School/college/university are the most exciting, memorable times in a person’s life. There are many reasons to attend college, as it allows one to gain an education, discover new passions, and meet lifelong friends or sometimes ordinary friends. Place of education can also heavily impact your financial future, as earning a degree can open doors for you to pursue the career of your dreams and make a rewarding salary, increase your learnings, and it also play role in developing new skills.In this beautiful time period some students make some mistakes that should be avoided.
Please for the love of all that is good, learn to take proper notes. There are dozens of ways, thousands of books or websites suggesting good ways of note taking, but everyone is different, and what works for someone may not work for another. I know that I remember things better when I write them down, I always write everything down, and even if, when I read them later, things seem obvious, I know that it’s precisely because I wrote them earlier that I remember.
Now this one is obvious, but it is so important. PowerPoint slides are nothing compared to going to a lecture and paying attention. I’m in second year, and I did miss some classes last year and last trimester, and I regretted it profusely. Heck, I even came to the campus this morning at 9 to realize I actually didn’t have class today. I stayed anyway.
The first week of university last year, I met over 50 people. I only talk to 5 of them now. High School puts so much pressure on students to make friends right away, or else groups form and it’s too late. University is different. Friendships are more real, more sincere, since you only spend time with people you truly want to spend time with. And once I understood that principle, I relaxed, and started building more meaningful friendships.
On our first lecture in Psychology, the lecturer told us that in this class, no more than 10% would end up being counselling psychologists. We all gasped and looked at each other suspiciously. Would that person be what I’ve always wanted to be? That’s the mistake. It is good to have expectations and goals, but it is also important to know that this isn’t an end in itself. I want to be a counselling psychologist, but it is also okay if I end up doing something else.
I have 12 hours of lectures and tutorials per week. Now that may seem like nothing, and my friends in Belgium have up to three times as much hours as I have, but what they don’t seem to grasp is that for every hour I spend in a lecture, I am supposed to study and do supplementary reading on my own. This keeps me busy, but it took me a long time to find a study plan that worked for me.
When it came time to choose a college, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted to go away from my hometown to study. In many aspects, I’m glad I did because it was a great experience. However, now that I’m paying my hefty student loan payment every month, I realize I should have attended a community college for the first two years before going away. Community colleges, as well as online colleges, offer great opportunities to take general education courses for a fraction of the cost while saving thousands on room and board.