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10 tips every college student should know

10 tips every college student should know

Are you headed to college soon? Or are you already in college and still apprehensive about how things are going to turn out?

The reality is that the transition from high school to college can be a bit difficult. It’s important that you know your goals beforehand and make plans to achieve those. There are many things you need to consider and be careful about.

Nevertheless, college life should be fun and will ultimately help you shape your career. Here are 10 tips every college student should know.

1. Budget! budget! budget!

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    Be financially literate. Know your constraints beforehand with respect to money.

    If required, start keeping a record of all your savings and expenditures. Stop spending on things you don’t need. Buy your books and supplies only if it is very necessary. Try taking things from library or rent them. It will save a lot of money and effort in case you decide later on to drop a class.

    There is a subtle difference between needing and wanting.

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    Cut down on your credit cards, if you are an avowed shopaholic.

    If you wish to establish a credit history, make a small purchase regularly using your account number.

    Start saving regularly. Trust me, these small savings will make a huge difference. If you really need some extra money to sustain yourself, consider a part time job.

    2. Time management.

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      Time management is very crucial. Manage your time well between your classes, part-time job (perhaps!) and other extra curricular activities. Be disciplined in classrooms.Take notes. Participate in discussions. You will thank yourself later on.

      Before committing to anything, make sure that you have sometime everyday to unwind. Otherwise, all the pressure and stress will catch up to you soon. And you definitely don’t need that.

      3. The system is not your enemy!

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        Remember this always.

        Don’t try to work against your college authorities and professors however much you are tempted. Talk to them in case there is any problem or misunderstanding. Be cordial even if in reality, the rebel in you wants to paint the city red. This will pay off in the long run.

        4. People always talk. You have to learn to ignore them!

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          It’s very important to have a social life. Getting along with roommates and batch mates will help you not only adjust in the new environment but also to meet new people and develop lasting relationships.

          You create memories and go through various experiences with people you meet in college. At the same time, don’t get bothered by unnecessary rumors.

          Some people tend to take comments to heart. It would be advisable to avoid that. Make sure that you know your limits when it comes to having a social life.

          5. Internships and hiring.

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            Plan on getting an internship if you don’t have one already. Practical experience always looks good on a resume. You will be one step ahead of your peers when you start job hunting after you graduate.

            6. Confused about a major?

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              Still not sure if you want to continue in the same major as you entered in the college? Do not worry. You can change it.

              For instance, some engineering colleges allow this change after a year of study. As a freshman, you should take your time to explore and think carefully about the possibilities and then make a decision regarding the department you want to major in.

              Take different classes to discover new areas of interests. You might surprise yourself.

              7. Your adviser is there to help.

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                Usually colleges make every effort to initially match students with a faculty adviser who is in their area of interest. But, you can match yourself with an adviser of your choice later on if you feel that you want to learn more from him/her.

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                8.Library/Research Facilities

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                  Get to know the facilities provided by your college for your research work.

                  If you need some tutorial/remedial classes outside the classroom, ask around if those are available or can be arranged. In short, try to have knowledge about every program which is running at the college which might help you.

                  9. Set goals.

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                    College is where the most mind opening learning of your life will happen. It is important to set clear goals for each class you wish to take. Try to take at least one extra class per semester. At the same time, do not over burden yourself.

                    10. Stay healthy!

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                      This tip is old school. Research says that physical exercises result in increased blood flow to the brain which indirectly improves mood and sleep; reduces stress and anxiety. Exercising a few hours every week will help you increase alertness and attentiveness which leads to faster learning. It’s very important that you eat right, exercise regularly and stay fit.

                      So, hope you enjoy your journey in college!

                      Featured photo credit: Addy Abdullah via flickr.com

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                      Last Updated on September 17, 2018

                      How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

                      How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

                      Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

                      Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

                      All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

                      Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

                      How bad really is multitasking?

                      It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

                      Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

                      This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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                      We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

                      So what to do about it?

                      Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

                      Now, forget about how to multitask!

                      Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

                      1. Get enough rest

                      When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

                      This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

                      When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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                      2. Plan your day

                      When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

                      When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

                      Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

                      3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

                      I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

                      I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

                      Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

                      4. When at your desk, do work

                      We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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                      Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

                      5. Learn to say no

                      Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

                      Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

                      By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

                      6. Turn off notifications on your computer

                      For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

                      Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

                      7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

                      Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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                      You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

                      The bottom line

                      Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

                      Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

                      Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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