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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 16, 2019

                      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                      How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

                      You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

                      We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

                      The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

                      Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

                      1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

                      Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

                      For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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                      • (1) Research
                      • (2) Deciding the topic
                      • (3) Creating the outline
                      • (4) Drafting the content
                      • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
                      • (6) Revision
                      • (7) etc.

                      Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

                      2. Change Your Environment

                      Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

                      One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

                      3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

                      Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

                      Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

                      My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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                      Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

                      4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

                      If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

                      Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

                      I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

                      5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

                      I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

                      Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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                      As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

                      6. Get a Buddy

                      Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

                      I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

                      7. Tell Others About Your Goals

                      This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

                      For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

                      8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

                      What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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                      9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

                      If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

                      Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

                      10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

                      Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

                      Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

                      11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

                      At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

                      Reality check:

                      I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

                      More About Procrastination

                      Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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