Thursday, September 1, 2011

Advice For College Students

The purpose of primary education is the development of your weak characteristics; the purpose of university education, the development of your strong.  ~Nevin Fenneman

An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.  ~Author unknown, commonly attributed to Benjamin Franklin

Whether you think you can or think you can't - you are right.  ~Henry Ford

As fall is ushered in every year, hundreds of thousands of students pack up and move back into colleges across the world. Without an intentional focus on what you're doing and what you want out of college, it's easy to waste it. That being said, I thought I'd ask some of my blog readers and twitter followers what advice they would give themselves as a college freshman. Here's what a few of them said:
And here are a few others I have based off my own life and my years working at a college:

  • Create a mission statement for college and post it on your desk. There are days you'll wonder if it's worth all the work, pain, and sacrifice, and it'll be helpful to have something concrete to go back to.
  • Create a balance between work and play: Sometimes it's easy to get caught up on all the parties and events that colleges have to party. Don't seclude yourself, but you also don't have to attend everything out there. Remember that you are at college to get an education, and you're paying a lot for it. Don't waste it.
  • Learn to say "no": There are so many good opportunities at college: clubs, volunteer work, jobs, friendships, and classes. You can't do it all, and if you don't learn to say no, you'll end up being stressed and burned out. Choose a handful of things that are important, and say no to the rest. 
  • Don't Skip Class: It's REALLY tempting to skip class in order to sleep, go to a party, or watch TV. Don't do it. Professors tend to have a lot more grace with you if you have an emergency or need an extension if they see that you're putting forth an effort to show up. 
  • Study Abroad! If you have a chance, travel as much as you can! You learn a lot about yourself and the world by doing it!
  • Get to Know Yourself: College is the time where you step away from your parents and have control of the choices you make in life! Get to know who you are, and feel confident in that! Develop self worth. Learn what your strengths are and then develop them! Learn how to cope with your weaknesses.
  • Increase Health And Wellness: There are a huge amount of jokes out there about the lack of health in college. Remember that every day you have the choice about what healthy decisions you make! Try adding different wellness behaviors to your life!
  • Develop Coping Strategies for stress and anxiety: Those stressful moments will come up. If you healthy coping skills in place for those moments so that they don't suck you under. 

Obviously there's a number of other things I could say about starting college, but long lists get overwhelming:) 

Now it's your turn:
What was the most important lesson you learned in college? What's your best piece of advice?


  1. what a great list! will be forwarding to my frosh...

  2. Oh my gosh, this is a GREAT list! I 100% agree with every last one. Well, put, my dear!