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3 Tips to Survive College & Undergraduate School

I graduated! Completing Undergraduate School and later going back to college to complete Graduate School was tough! I learned some worthy shortcuts that can help take some of the stress out of the process.

Going to college can feel so overwhelming. The environment is new, the professor is new, the text books are providing new information to be learned and you are in a new learning environment among new peers. Juggling all of the new aspects of college can be stressful.

There are 3 things that helped to make my undergrad and graduate experience more effective.

Tip 1: Get oriented to campus.

Buy your books in advance and if possible read ahead a couple of weeks to save yourself time. Walk and orient yourself to campus including going to each class location to get clarity on where each classroom is located. It is also helpful to find the book store and library in advance to school starting for the season.

Sometimes you can email your professors a few weeks before school starts to get the syllabus and list of books required for the class. This can save you money because you have a better shot at finding used books a few weeks before school starts versus the first day of school. I recommend this tip be completed prior to the start of each semester or term for best result.

Tip 2: Consensus does not equal truth.

In most classrooms you will be presented with a lot of information, some of it will be factual, some will be theory. You will need to be clear about what you know and trust to be true from your personal experience.  When you have a solid sense of your own experience, it will help you to have more confidence to carry your own voice in spaces that don’t share the experience.  This is also a great way to strengthen your sense of self.

Tip 3: Stay invested in your experience.

You are paying a lot of time and money to complete college and graduate school. It is important that you maximize this unique once in a lifetime opportunity. Participate in class, give your best efforts, do your best work. If you skim your way through the experience you will be minimizing your outcomes for mastery and success. If you fully apply yourself to your experience you will be more confident in your area of expertise. Think about it, do you want a doctor helping you if they skimmed their way through medical school?

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