College Milestones to Look Forward To
So you're heading off to college in the next year or two. You can definitely expect a lot of firsts, but rest assured your experiences up until this point have prepared you for what's to come. And once you attain some of these "firsts", you'll have grown closer to the mature adult you're striving to be.
Here's some of what you can expect during your college years. You'll:
- Write your first college paper. You've written papers in high school, but honing your skills and gaining the approval from a college professor is bound to give you a heightened sense of accomplishment.
- Choose a major. It's one of your first important decisions that only you can make. Take some time to thoroughly examine your options, try an internship or two, visit your campus career center, and do some soul searching. Choosing a major that's right for you is an important step when looking for a fulfilling career.
- Make a budget and learn to stick to it. You may have some of this experience under your belt, but you'll encounter a higher level of responsibility when it comes to managing your money at college. You may take out a student loan for the first time, use student work money to pay for your college expenses, and decide how to use your spending money. All of these experiences will be the starting point for making solid financial decisions for the future.
- Join a student organization. It's proven to be one of the most effective and fun ways to develop an interest/talent while giving you the opportunity to make new friends. It also gives you the experience of contributing to a community that can help make change.
- Travel without your parents/family. You'll feel a sense of maturity and confidence when you travel alone for the first time. Whether you go to a different city, state, or country, it's up to you to manage your time, money, and schedule on your own. And if things go wrong, it's up to you to find the solution. Most people remember their first parentless trip.
- Make your own decisions about dating and friendships. Up until this point, who you spent your time with has been greatly influenced by your family, friends, and community. In college, you'll be learning with a new group of people and it's mainly up to you to decide who you'll spend your time with.
- Learn to take care of yourself. Getting hungry? Head out for some fast food or find your stash of snacks. Need shampoo? Visit the local store or place an order online. Looking for clean laundry? Get a load ready for the washing machine. Need some exercise? Go for a run. Want some relaxation? Ask friends to join you for a movie. These are some of the basic decisions you'll be faced with at college. It's up to you to make sure your daily needs are met.
College is an exciting time filled with getting to know yourself better, making decisions, and learning from your experiences. Using this time to discover how to manage it all will help equip you to be productive and successful as a college graduate.