BY ANTON LUCANUS
Each year, millions of new students converge on college and university grounds, eager to start their journeys as students and future professionals in their chosen fields. Now, as a new influx of eager students prepares to work towards attending college or university, there also comes the inevitable flurry of nerves, of uncertainty. The decision to go to college is undoubtedly one of the most important that a student will ever make, because so much of their future relies on their decision-making process now. It doesn’t just get easier when the first semester starts, either. There will be many periods during a student’s studies where they feel overwhelmed, unsure, even a little afraid of their next steps. It is human nature that we go through periods of chaos – it is these moments that tend to be the pivotal moments in life that lead us to our greater purpose. During intensive assessment periods at university, for example, a student’s decision to lend a hand to their classmate, or refer them to a trusted essay writing help service, can ultimately lead to their choice to become an English professor or a writer themselves.
Structuring a healthy study schedule
Seemingly little moments are strung together and can ultimately have a significant impact on a student’s trajectory during and after college. All the advice that any new college student could ever get simmers down to one core value: accountability. The reality of being a student is that decisions are being made constantly – even if one isn’t consciously aware of it. A good example of this constant decision making ideology is committing time to study. It is one thing to take notes during class (where there are no distractions), but it is another thing entirely to actively made the decision to be accountable for one’s dedication to their studies. Deciding for or against study at any given time is an expression of accountability (or lack thereof, depending on the student in question and their general attitude towards studying); students who make time most days (if not every day) to study at least an hour, for example, tend to have a stronger grasp on their accountability to themselves, than the students who avoid studying until they must cram in a mad rush before finals week.
Finding a happy medium between commitment and fun
Committing time to studying may feel frustrating to some students, but study is an integral part of being a student. Particularly when one is a new student experiencing all the big firsts of life as a college student, it can be tempting to fall into the mindset of “I have plenty of time”, only to figure out too late that the three parties from the last week could have been better spent studying for finals. Students around the world tend to struggle with similar (if not the same) issues, and the age-old issue of scheduled studying is one that is continuously grappled with – particularly for those students who live on campus and are constantly surrounded by the college part culture that has evolved over the years. There is nothing wrong with going to college parties and having fun, but there must be a healthy balance for accountability not to be called into question.
Using college as one long networking event
As a college student, one becomes solely accountable for their actions, words, and responses – this is especially true of students who live on campus or move closer to campus for their studies. There is a fine line between excessive partying and taking the edge off in between bouts of study or shifts at work. The experience of college is not all about the academic aspect of higher education. Aside from study (because no decent college experience is solely about the study), college students should take accountability for their lack of industry knowledge and make conscious actions to amend said lack of industry know-how.
It is fine to not be fully aware of the internships available as a student – most students are not aware, after all – but taking it upon oneself to learn about prospective opportunities and to take the actions to express interest and even apply speaks volumes of one’s commitment to their education and their career beyond graduation. Applying for internships and working on personal projects is not only admirable, but it is highly encouraged, it shows strength of character and willingness to work outside the box, and it plumps up work experience in the field before one has even technically entered the field – all motions that speak to a student’s sense of determination and commitment.
Of all the advice that any new college student could be given, the smartest is likely to be the importance of accountability. Practically every facet in a student’s college experience can be traced back to the sole ideal of accountability. Millions of college students begin their higher education journeys every year and every key decision during their time as a college student is reliant on their sense of personal accountability. From choosing majors and then classes, to committing time to study and applying for and carrying out internships, every action carried out while at college or university ultimately shapes the kind of individual that a student comes to be when graduation rolls around – and thereafter.
Byline – Anton Lucanus is the Director of Neliti. During his college years, he maintained a perfect GPA, was published in a top cancer journal, and received many of his country’s most prestigious undergraduate scholarships. Anton writes for The College Puzzle as a means to guide current students to achieve personal and academic goals