Another semester is upon us and while many of us are still taking time to get over the shocks of the first one, I am looking forward to it with much more optimism. I look at it as an opportunity to do things differently than how I did them when I began college. Looking back at the time when I first joined Whistling Woods International, I realized that there were a few things that I didn’t pay too much attention to. Although at the time I didn’t feel I was doing anything wrong I just wish I knew better and had done those things differently.
Listed below are the 7 things I wish I knew before starting college. These may be specific to me but I think it applies to a lot of people in general. The list isn’t ranked in any order!
1. Nobody has an established group of friends on the first day of college!
As an introvert, I have always been more reserved with people and on the first day of college, I remember I kept to myself as I saw others go around and interact as if they had known each other since years! That’s when I realized that everyone was probably feeling just like myself. Lost, out of their comfort zones and alone, they just made efforts to reach out to one another to make each other feel comfortable. Realizing that really helped as it made me be less self-conscious and be able to make a lot more friends. Which brings me to the second pointer on my list.
2. Don’t have preconceived notions about others even before talking to them!
During the initial few days at college, I tried talking to as many people as I could but there were still people I didn’t interact with. And without even talking to them, I was guilty of having judged them. It was only later that when I worked with them on assignments and group projects did I realize that they were actually a lot of fun and now I am even good friends with a few people I once thought I would never talk to! This made me realize how we can be blinded by our opinions which may, in fact, be completely wrong!
3. Don’t be afraid to do things alone.
With friends, it’s easy to get into the same monotonous routine where you repeat the same things day after day, essentially falling into a rut. For days I felt unproductive and stuck in a rut where we would go to the same place to eat on campus, sit at the same spot in the cafeteria, follow the same routine every day. I wanted to break it but it’s difficult to get the entire group to do something different. That’s when I realized that I shouldn’t be afraid of exploring new things on my own. I started doing it and ended up making new friends on the way! It really was one of the more freeing things to do.
4. Maintain your grades at the beginning so you have a back up towards the end.
This was something I realized pretty soon and worked on it from the beginning. Having secured better grades in the first half of the semester allowed me to be more relaxed towards the end of the semester, where I could use the time to study for the finals.
5. Don’t procrastinate! As much as you don’t feel like doing the assignment, just do it regardless.
This one is a no brainer and applicable at any stage and not just before starting out college! There were so many days where I would have no motivation to start my assignments at all! I knew if I started it earlier, I would have more time to submit a better assignment but the initial reluctance was so great that I would always end up doing simpler things. I realized that I was facing a lot of resistance before starting the task and once I started it, I would most of the time finish it in one sitting. So I made it a point that on days that I was feeling the mental resistance, I would start the assignment no matter what. Doesn’t matter if it’s not up to the mark, I could always make it better after reviewing it but starting the work was the key! I became a lot more efficient this way but Oh for that handful of assignments that were just terrible, I pity my professors!
6. There will always be people that you don’t like, Be cordial to them
A little contradictory to #2, but despite having an open mind and not judging people, there will always be some people you just don’t get along with. You don’t have to like every person you meet. But a really important point, which I am also hoping to implement better this time around, is that even though you might not get along with a few people, be cordial with them! Be kind and friendly and learn to be more accepting of people. Yes, it sounds a little preachy but being cordial with people you don’t get along with is a handy skill that I hope to pick up on the way to the second semester.
7. Have fun at college, but don’t lose sight of what’s important!
It’s easy to get so involved with campus events, college fests and the other fun stuff that you may actually sideline the main reason why you’re at college! Being involved on campus is super important and fun too but not letting it come in the way of your academics is a balancing act that needs to be learnt.
These were the 7 things I wish I knew before starting out college, there were a few that weren’t mentioned in this list but these were the most important ones! I am on my way headed to the second semester but I hope that this list may land near another person just like me who’s going to be starting out wit