There's no doubt about how thrilling the 'college years' are. It's a time of discovery, figuring out your identity outside of school, and of course, learning all that you can so that you can prepare yourself for what you want to get out of life. It's really only when you look back on this time, a few years later, that you can see the value of your tertiary education. And how you might have done things differently to truly get the most out of this experience.
Thankfully, this is something that a lot of people have thought about and to help you avoid any regrets or 'should-have-would-have-could-have' moments, we have gathered the best tips for you.
Here are the 8 things you should know before you start studying.
1. Be open-minded
When you confine yourself to thinking just one way, you limit your growth, which kind of makes you dumb. So, keep an open mind (just not so open that your brain falls out) and be available to learn anything – even from the most unexpected places, situations, and people.
2. Take short courses in what interests you
Most colleges and some universities offer short courses, but more than that, there’s a whole world online offering short courses. We say, whether it’s sewing, cooking, lego, or dance, take a course in it. You won’t regret it.
3. What you do affects others
We’re sort of wrapped up in ourselves as kids – don’t feel bad, it’s just how we grow. As you get older, however, you need to become more empathetic and responsible for your impact on the world. Consider how you could affect others and put yourself in other peoples’ shoes before you act or speak.
4. Assumptions are the mother of all…
Let’s talk about assumptions, because assumptions often lead to mistakes we wish we could undo. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and keep an open mind, so that you’re able to be objective and encounter experiences you never thought possible.
5. Be compassionate
Of course, we do mean for you to be compassionate towards others, but don’t forget about yourself. The truth is, we’re often way too hard on ourselves. Especially when we fail at something. Compassion not only helps you make friends and make a difference, but also keeps you mentally and emotionally stronger.
6. Make goals, keep them to yourself
There’s something special about goals that you commit to just for you to know about. Take time out to decide on achievable goals, smash them into a timeline that works for you, and don’t tell the world as you go along.
7. Breathe… just breathe
Studying can be hectic and overwhelming, but instead of letting things spiral, take care of yourself. Try meditation to bring back balance and calm your inner self. It helps a LOT. We’re talking breathing techniques and other methods that you can use anytime to centre yourself and relax, like before an exam or a presentation.
8. Reach out to people in the industry you’re interested in
Most of us have an idea of what we want to do, but sometimes that idea doesn’t align with reality. Chatting to someone who already works in that field will give you a very real idea of what’s entailed so you’re not putting in all this effort and money for something you don’t want to do.
We know all too well how exciting and perhaps a little overwhelming this time of life can be for a lot of learners and we hope these tips will help you maximise your next few years.
We wish you all the best of luck with your preparation as you enter this next phase of your journey!