By Belle Zembrodt, MS, LPCC
NKU Honors Program Interim Director
1. College is not the same as high school.
There is a lot more freedom in college than high school but with that freedom comes responsibility. In high school you spend about seven hours a day in class with a teacher telling you what to do and reminding you when it is due. In college you may spend three hours a day in class but you are expected to spend time outside of class reading, preparing for the class, studying and keeping up with your assignments on your own. It is important to read the syllabus to know what is expected and when.
2. You don’t need to have a major right away.
Sometimes students feel a lot of pressure to choose a major right away but if you are not sure about what you want to do, take the time to explore. Colleges have a Career Services office where you can identify your interests and goals and learn about majors and careers that would be best suited to you.
3. Know yourself.
Many students have not considered what their values are or how new ideas might affect their behavior. Values form the basis of decisions. Take time to reflect on what you believe and be yourself.
4. Treat others with respect.
There are people from all over the world on a college campus. Some of these people may have ideas and values very different from yours. Everyone has dignity and deserves to be treated with respect. It is to your advantage to talk with people different from you to gain a broader perspective on life and your own values.
5. Use the student support services.
Many students think that going to tutoring or the writing center means they are bad students. Actually it is just the opposite. Good students use these services so that they can do better. Students who are less successful don’t go to class or do the work.
6. Be healthy.
Sleep is so important. Be sure to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. Eat healthy. Exercise. Colleges have campus recreation facilities and joining an intramural team is a great way to exercise and make friends. It is easier to manage stress when you are healthy. If you do have a cold or cough, go to the nurse at the Health, Counseling, and Wellness office.
7. Ask questions.
Don’t be afraid to ask. Asking questions is a way to learn. People on campus are here to help. If you aren’t sure who to ask, ask anybody. If they can’t help you, they can point you in the right direction.
8. Don’t give up.
College may be big and scary at first. But before long, you will know your way around and you will be helping other people.