It’s official—you’ve registered for classes, paid your tuition fees and are ready to start college. Pursuing a college degree is an amazing opportunity to grow professionally and personally, but it can also be a challenging experience if you haven’t prepared yourself mentally for what lies ahead.
While enrolling in classes and purchasing school supplies is a necessary step, you also need to have a solid game plan for not just surviving college but making the best of this crucial time in your life. The more prepared and organized you are, the easier the transition to college will be.
Don’t Strive for Perfection
Going to college while juggling other responsibilities can be stressful enough. Establishing unreasonable goals for yourself may be self-sabotaging. You can strive for success and personal growth without setting unreasonable expectations.
Accept that transitioning to college may be a bumpy experience and will likely include plenty of ups and downs. Instead of aiming for straight As, set goals that are more realistic and useful. For example, during your first semester of college, focus on finding a pace that’s right for you.
You may need to first learn how to navigate a learning platform if you choose to take online classes. Accept that those first few months of college may feel uncomfortable and embrace the transition. As time goes by, you’ll likely settle into your college routine and be able to pursue more ambitious academic goals.
Ask for Help
Whether you work full-time, have children or both, attending college often requires help and support from others. Things that you could handle by yourself before may need to be delegated to family members and friends. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need time to yourself for studying. Perhaps a parent, spouse or a good friend can help you care for your children, go grocery shopping or cook dinner.
If you find yourself struggling mentally or academically, utilize your school’s resources. Schedule a session with a therapist or mentor. Reach out to a professor you trust for guidance or clarification on an assignment or topic you find confusing or unclear.
Create a Routine and Stick with It
Before you begin college, establish a sustainable routine. Block off a realistic amount of time for schoolwork and make it your top priority. Many people tend to leave schoolwork for the last minute. While procrastination may be tempting, it’ll likely leave you drowning in assignments and negatively affect your academic performance.
By dedicating a couple of hours each day to studying, you’ll avoid the stress of having to turn in multiple assignments at the last minute. Dividing your study time equally during the week will give you more free time on the weekends to relax, exercise or spend quality time with your children.
Nourish Your Body
If you haven’t established healthy eating habits, starting college may be the ideal time to do so. Studying can take a significant toll on your brain, so make it a priority to nourish your mind with healthful foods. While eating junk food and skipping meals may have worked for you thus far, if you want to stay energized and focused on your studies, you’ll need to incorporate brain-boosting foods into your everyday diet, such as lean meats, yogurt, fish, eggs, fruits and vegetables.
Avoid skipping meals, even when your schedule is tight, as failure to recharge may cause your energy level to plummet, which can negatively affect your focus and academic performance.
Get Plenty of Sleep
Being consistently busy with school and work may cause you to stay up during the night doing things you enjoy, like watching movies, going out with friends or even just browsing social media. While the need to engage in the things you like after a busy day of work and studying is understandable, sacrificing sleep can increase your stress levels and make it unnecessarily difficult to manage multiple responsibilities. Allow your brain to recover from a busy day by getting at least seven hours of sleep. Getting plenty of sleep allows your brain to recharge and serve you well during this busy stage of your life.
Are You Ready to Embark on Your Academic Journey at St. Louis College of Health Careers?
To learn more about SLCHC’s educational opportunities, call 866-529-2070.