Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Five Ways Your Life Will Change in College

If you're a high school student, you probably already know that making the transition to the post-secondary world of community college is going to involve a lot of changes. You'll be doing harder, more focused work, you may be moving away from home for the first time in your life, and you have to seriously begin thinking about what you'll be doing when your education is over. What you probably haven't realized is that there will be all kinds of tiny lifestyle changes. Some of them may seem daunting, but they all come together to help form you into a stronger, more mature person. Some of these life changes are….

1) You'll learn to have a flexible schedule
In high school, you effectively have a 9-to-5 routine: Wake up, eat something, get to school, have two classes, have lunch, have another two classes, go home, do homework, eat a third time, then amuse yourself until you have to go to sleep. Then you do it all again the next day. In college, this all goes out the window. Classes can be at odd times, and odd days of the week, and assignments are erratic enough that the same day may be empty one week, and jam-packed with work the next. This will teach you how to roll with unpredictability, and not sleepwalk your way through a schedule.

2) Freedom, both great and terrible
In college, no one will keep tabs on where you are and what you're doing. You want to skip a class? There's no punishment. You can also wander the halls of the building freely. Overall, you're left to your own devices. This can be a great thing, as you can work at your own pace, and prioritize things in a way that suits you. The downside can be that a lack of structure and oversight can lead to slacking off, since no one's making sure you're in class, or getting work done. Ultimately, it comes down to you disciplining yourself, since you'll be the only one monitoring your actions.

3) Your school will become your home away from home
Regardless of whether you live on campus, near campus, or at home, you'll be spending a lot more time at school than you used to. This isn't really a bad thing, though. Remember, people have to live there, so you'll find everything you need to survive on campus, including food, shopping, entertainment, and study space. A college is far more of a community hub than high school ever was, and you'll find yourself cozy and entertained.

4) You'll care more about money
While there's plenty of scholarship and bursary opportunities available, college will still be expensive, and if you weren't money-conscious before, you will be now. Between transportation, textbooks, buying lunch, and all the other little necessities of student life, you'll find yourself having to manage your savings. Everyone needs a bit of financial know-how to survive, and college is an excellent space to learn about it.

5) You'll learn who your real friends are, and get some new ones
It's natural that you'll drift away from your high school friends, since you no longer have a convenient social setting to see them in five days a week. Don't fret, though. You'll still see some of them, and in the process, learn who the ones who care enough to keep up with you are. Regardless, though, you'll meet a new set of friends in college, and these ones can be used to build your career. If they're in your program, then they want to be the same thing as you post-graduation. Getting to know them can benefit you, since you'll serve as each other's personal network of support and job tips post-graduation.

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