10 Realistic Tips for New College Students

Congratulations to all those who have got accepted by college this year. Perhaps, you are about to begin your classes or on your way to finishing up the first semester or quarter. No matter what your story is, if you are little confused about what you should be doing in college to make your future life smoother consider the ten tips given below. They are based on realism. Some of them are also secrets that no other person will ever reveal to you.

1. Work on having a GPA of 3.0 or slightly higher: You must have heard that you need to compel yourself to have a GPA of 3.4.This is a myth and not many students can get to it actually.The best thing to do is to maintain a GPA of 3.0 or slightly better like 3.3. Why?  Because that is your ticket to scholarships and masters programs. Additionally, when applying for jobs, you will be able to include it in your resume without any hesitation. Does it make you look great to employers? Not fully. According to latest trend, attractiveness of GPA is pretty much replaced by some other elements which we will discuss in a few minutes. One of my own professors who has a day job with the state told us that high GPA shows we answered exam questions correctly, but the problem is that after the end of the class, we forget those answers. Another one who has same kind of work told us that someone working to boost GPA is a great follower, but not an innovator and independent problem solver. This is how employers currently think.

2. Take classes wisely: Do not just take any class. First research the amount of load it has. Find out how its professor is. Trust me, not all classes are same. While some are easy, others are deadly. Perhaps, you are a fan of a good challenge, but in college, such thing can turn out to be troublesome especially under the shade of psycho professors.

3. Think before you take more units than you can handle: It is believed that taking as many units as possible per semester helps one graduate quicker. Probably, it is true. Nevertheless, keep in mind the GPA factor and the load that come with those units. Yes, you might get passing mark in all your classes, but with GPA pushed downward. Note that these days, employers can ask you to show your transcript to make sure that you have the classes relevant to work you will be required to do in your job. Don't you think you will be embarrassed when they will find out that you have lots of C's?

4. In a hard class, try to make friends for group studies: Sometimes due to budget crisis, it is seen that every class of a specific course is taught by just one professor. This is very common in public universities. It is possible that he is hard or the material itself is too abstract. Under such circumstances, do not hope that just by attending the lecture you will be able to sail through the class. Try gathering some people from the class for group studies. It will turn out to be very helpful.

5. Study in advance: Yes, do not wait for the last moment. In college, exams are often based on lecture, PowerPoint slides, chapters and even lab work. If you start going through them one day before the exam you will feel find yourself panicking.

6. Give importance to networking:  Make friends in your classes. Keep professors in hand. They can sometimes help you get job after graduation through recommendation. If possible send them friend request on Facebook.

7. Do not give away a great idea to your professors: This is for business students. In majority of the classes, you might have to come up with unique business ideas or product concepts. Make sure that you do not give away the great ones to your professors. They can actually use them to expand their own career. This is true. I know one girl whose original marketing concept was sold to an apparel company by our professor. She did get a good grade from him, but not the money and credit from the company.

8. Take advantage of scholarship offers: Majority of the time, most scholarship offers in colleges go unnoticed because they are not heavily promoted. Keep your eyes open for them and apply for the ones that seem easy to you. Do not worry if you are bad in writing essays. It is always possible that you are their only applicant! So no matter what, you might end up being the winner. Yes, your ego can make you detest free money. But do remember that you will be able to insert the scholarship names in your resume under the section called awards. Some employers do look for them.

9. Try to buy textbooks from either eBay or Amazon: Whether used or new, textbooks are expensive in college book stores. But same is not always true online. Both Amazon and ebay have sellers selling them at lower prices. Take advantage of that.

10. Focus on getting skills and volunteership while still in university: These are the elements that have replaced the attractiveness of high GPA in the job market. Of course, in your sophomore year, you cannot get a professional job relevant to your major. This weakness can be prevented by saving the classwork. They can turn into a portfolio which you can show the employers. But do note that things are always changing. 

Sometimes being in college equals to being lost in the ocean. The semesters go on, but the arrival of fourth year seems too out of reach. This can sometimes tempt you to lose interest in school work. In this situation, keep the dream of your future in your eyes. Just think about how what you do in college will have an impact on your future. From time to time, do have fun with friends and family. But always let yourself know that you can make it through the college.

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