Sunday, November 30, 2014

How to Get the Most Out of Your College Experience

Think you're ready to get your college degree? You probably don't need to be told for the thousandth time that there's a major life change on the way. If you're a determined student, you've probably already spent time getting ready to meet the challenges of your degree program in Toronto. But as ready as you think you are, life can take you by surprise. In case you've missed anything, here's a few other factors you should be ready for.

Make sure the rest of your life is in order
Firstly, this includes your money. Know where it is, how much you have, and whether or not you'll be getting more, as it can run away from you at school if you're not careful. Make a budget, and try and stick to it. Secondly, if you're at home, or living off campus, work out where you'll work, where you'll sleep, when you're doing your laundry, and any other little details. You can't make the rest of your life run like clockwork, but you can come close, and the more automated the rest of your life is, the more mental energy you can give to your schooling.

Get a physical calendar and use it
I could say "manage your time," but I'll cut to the chase and say that getting a calendar is the easiest way to do it. And it's got to be physical, because putting it on your phone or computer puts it two clicks away from Facebook. Maybe it's a wall calendar, or maybe it's an agenda book, either way, you need something physical. Write all your due dates out, and cross out each day as you finish it. Nothing will keep your time organized like a visual reminder of what has to be done by when, and how much time you have.

Do something outside class
At the same time, don't let this stuff stress you out. It's important that you have at least one activity during your college years you can use to "check out" mentally. It's good for your well being on both a physical and emotional level. And it doesn't have to be a completely frivolous pursuit, either. Joining a club on campus can ensure that you both have fun and advance your academics, by getting involved in the network of students around you.

Know your limits academically, and focus on the right things
Don't do too much! You may be tempted to rush through your schooling, and take a big, heavy course load in the name of finishing the program early, but you won't benefit yourself if you burn out early. Take things at a slower pace, and focus instead on what the college can do for you. Passing an exam and getting a solid GPA won't land you a job. That's not why you're at college. You're there to acquire practical job skills. So instead of looking at the work you can do for the college, instead examine what you can acquire from them. Its your career you're trying to forge, after all.

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