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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 July 23, 2019

                      5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

                      5 Steps To Move Out Of Stagnancy In Life

                      In the journey of growth, there are times when we grow and excel. We are endlessly driven and hyped up, motivated to get our goals.

                      Then there are times when we stagnate. We feel uninspired and unmotivated. We keep procrastinating on our plans. More often than not, we get out of a rut, only to get back into another one.

                      How do you know if you are stagnating? Here are some tell-tale signs:

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                      • If you have been experiencing chronic procrastination on your goals
                      • If you don’t ever feel like doing anything
                      • If you keep turning to sleep, eating, games, mindless activities and entertainment for comfort
                      • If you know you should be doing something, but yet you keep avoiding it
                      • If you have not achieved anything new or significant now relative to 1 month, 2 months or 3 months ago
                      • If you have a deep sense of feeling that you are living under your potential

                      When we face stagnation in life, it’s a sign of deeper issues. Stagnation, just like procrastination, is a symptom of a problem. It’s easy to beat ourselves over it, but this approach is not going to help. Here, I will share 5 steps to help you move out of this stagnation. They won’t magically transform your life in 1 night (such changes are never permanent because the foundations are not built), but they will help you get the momentum going and help you get back on track.

                      1. Realize You’re Not Alone

                      Everyone stagnates at some point or another. You are not alone in this and more importantly, it’s normal. In fact, it’s amazing how many of my clients actually face the same predicament, even though all of them come from different walks of life, are of different ages, and have never crossed paths. Realizing you are not alone in this will make it much easier to deal with this period. By trying to “fight it”, you’re only fighting yourself. Accept this situation, acknowledge it, and tell yourself it’s okay. That way, you can then focus on the constructive steps that will really help you.

                      2. Find What Inspires You

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                      Stagnation comes because there isn’t anything that excites you enough to take action. If you don’t have a habit of setting goals, and instead just leave yourself to daily mundanes, it’s not surprising you are experiencing stagnation. What do you want to do if there are no limitations? If you can have whatever you want, what will it be? The answers to these questions will provide the fuel that will drive you forward.

                      On the other hand, even if you are an experienced goal setter, there are times when the goals you set in the past lose their appeal now. It’s normal and it happens to me too. Sometimes we lose touch with our goals, since we are in a different emotional state compared to when we first set them. Sometimes our priorities change and we no longer want to work on those goals anymore. However, we don’t consciously realize this, and what happens is we procrastinate on our goals until it compounds into a serious problem. If that’s the case for you, it’s time to relook into your goals. There’s no point in pursuing goals that no longer inspire you. Trash away your old goals (or just put them aside) and ask yourself what you really want now. Then go for them.

                      3. Give Yourself a Break

                      When’s the last time you took a real break for yourself? 3 months? 6 months? 1 year? Never? Perhaps it’s time to take a time-out. Prolonged working can cause someone to become disillusioned as they lose sight of who they are and what they want.

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                      Go take some extended leave from work. A few days at bare minimum; a few weeks or months will be great. Some of my ex-colleagues have quit their jobs and took months out to do some self-reflection. Of course, some of us might not have that luxury, so we can stick to a few weeks of leave. Go on a trip elsewhere and get away from your work and your life. Use this chance to get a renewed perspective of life. Think about your life purpose, what you want and what you want to create for your life in the future. These are big questions that require deep thinking over them. It’s not about finding the answers at one go, but about taking the first step to finding the answers.

                      4. Shake up Your Routines

                      Being in the same environment, doing the same things over and over again and meeting the same people can make us stagnant. This is especially if the people you spend the most time with are stagnant themselves.

                      Change things around. Start with simple things, like taking a different route to work and eating something different for breakfast. Have your lunch with different colleagues, colleagues you never talked much with. Work in a different cubicle if your work has free and easy seating. Do something different than your usual for weekday evenings and weekends. Cultivate different habits, like exercising every day, listening to a new series of podcasts every morning to work, reading a book, etc (here’s 6 Proven Ways To Make New Habits Stick). The different contexts will give you different stimulus, which will trigger off different thoughts and actions in you.

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                      When I’m in a state of stagnancy, I’ll get a sense of what’s making me stagnate. Sometimes it’s the environment I’m in, sometimes it’s the people I’ve been hanging out with, sometimes it’s my lifestyle. Most of the times it’s a combination of all these. Changing them up helps to stir myself out of the stagnant mode.

                      5. Start with a Small Step

                      Stagnation also comes from being frozen in fear. Maybe you do want this certain goal, but you aren’t taking action. Are you overwhelmed by the amount of work needed? Are you afraid you will make mistakes? Is the perfectionist in you taking over and paralyzing you?

                      Let go of the belief that it has to be perfect. Such a belief is a bane, not a boon. It’s precisely from being open to mistakes and errors that you move forward. Break down what’s before you into very very small steps, then take those small steps, a little step at a time. I had a client who had been stagnating for a long period because he was afraid of failing. He didn’t want to make another move where he would make a mistake. However, not wanting to make a mistake has led him to do absolutely nothing for 2-3 years. On the other hand, by doing just something, you would already be making progress, whether it’s a mistake or not. Even if you make a supposed “mistake”,  you get feedback to do things differently in the next step. That’s something you would never have known if you never made a move.

                      More to Help You Stay Motivated

                      Here are some resources that will help you break out of your current phase:

                      Featured photo credit: Anubhav Saxena via unsplash.com

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