Many graduates refer to their time in college the best time of their lives. There are, however, certain steps future students must take to ensure that they are ready. Here are a few things to keep in mind before classes start:
Choosing a major is an important consideration. Finding something you love to do is a good first step, but it is import to consider what you can do with the degree. Philosophy, English and other liberal arts degrees may be fun and rewarding, but the job prospects are not particularly strong unless you want to work in academia. Sometimes, it is worth considering other fields with a more defined post-graduation career path.
Fortunately, colleges typically require four semesters of general education courses, and the first two years of college can be spent taking these courses and considering your major. Further, many colleges have courses and resources dedicated to helping undecided students find the right degree for them.
How to pay for it?
College is not cheap. Between tuition, housing, books and having some fun between classes, the costs can add up. Carefully ensuring that you are equipped to handle the necessary expenses can be a challenge. Further, if you feel that you will have to work to pay your bills, finding a job as early as possible can help. It is also worth considering taking out student loans. Fortunately, there are tools that can help you calculate your needs.
If you decided to sign up for student loans, there are online resources that can help you calculate how much you need to borrow. These tools can help you plan your expenses and calculate how long it will take to repay these loans.
Where to live? What to eat?
Dormitories and other on-campus living quarters are great for new students. They help you meet fellow students and form friendships that are likely to last throughout your college career. For some, however, it might be worth looking into off-campus locations if you would rather live with friends you already know. Some of these options might be cheaper than living on campus.
Many new college students neglect to plan for how they are going to eat. Meal tickets can be a cost effective way to eat, but online resources can help you find even cheaper, and sometimes healthier, options.
With careful planning and a bit of research, you can help ensure that you are starting college the right way. Now, prepare to study hard and have a great experience!
Whether you are preparing for college or you are in your first year and you are floundering, you’ll find that you need to look to the future. While going to college is an important life experience, it is also a means to an end, and if you are invested in making sure that your college education takes you to a career, there are several things that you need to keep in mind:
Consider Your Interests
What are you interested in, and what do you consider your strengths? If you get into a field that has no personal interest for you, you will regret it somewhere down the line. You are lucky if your interests are broad, as this opens a wide range of experiences to you. Do not choose things that seem only practical, as this can lead to great dissatisfaction.
Consider Your Work Ethic
How much work are you willing to put into your chosen profession. While some people are interested in law and want to go to law school for the full term, other people prefer to become paralegals, a job which requires less training and more immediate benefit. Decide how much time and money you are willing to invest in getting where you want to be.
Study Your Chosen Profession
Get to know people who are where you want to be and interview them. Shadow them while they are at work and learn more about the position you are seeking. This is something that can help you firm your resolve or it can teach you that this job is not for you.
Find a Degree that Leads You Where You Want to Go
It is sometimes too easy to assume that you will be fine with any degree at all. While that might have once been the case, you’ll find that it is far more important these days to get degrees that teach you skills you need for the chosen job market.
Use the Resources Available to You
Do not think that you are doing this alone. Programs like The College Network are interested in helping you get where you need to be, so when you feel lost, look for the resources that are there for you.
If you are worried about where your future may take you, consider what your college degree is supposed to be doing for you. Your education is what you make of it, so take control!
Motivation. It all starts with motivation right? And when you don’t have motivation you simply don’t have it, right? Or not? Is there a way to stay perpetually motivated? In session number 2 of the StudySuccessful podcast I try to answer these questions by explaining my top productivity/motivation system!
Items mentioned in this episode
- Nine Ways To Get Motivated For College
- Successful Students Motivational Course
- Dan Pink on motivation
- Learning On Steroids: Extinsive Video Course by Scott H Young. Everything about motivation/study hacks and studying methods. (Big reccomendation for all my readers!)
- Weekly/Daily goals
- StudySuccessful.com Facebook page!
- Powernapping: The Secret to Productivity and Creativity
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In January 2011 I bought an iPhone 4. A device which I am really happy with. Only one problem. It is a big (BIG) distraction. Since I have the phone, I am constant checking my email/twitter/facebook. And this is causing problems, especially with studying for a test. Luckily I’ve come accross a solution, a technique which made my concentration go SKYHIGH!
I am sure some of you already heard from this, it isn’t something new, but after explaining it to a couple of friends, groups of students in workshops and discussions about the topic I have some insights to share, some thoughts behind the technique and only when you understand the underlying mechanisms you can start to use a technique like you should – you should have a burning desire to use it.
The technique is called ‘The Pomodore Technique’. It is fairly easy:
Take the Pomodore Technique into action:
- Shut everything down and set a timer for 25 minutes. Work until the timer goes off.
- Have a 5 minute break. Do something fun, enjoy your break.
- Repeat this 4 times. Which makes around 2 hours of studying/working.
- Take a big break. Go for a cup of coffee/lunch or whatever. I don’t care: have a bigger break.
Pretty easy right? Why I am sharing this on this blog? Let me explain a couple of points.
Thoughts behind the Pomodore technique.
First of all, what means shutting down? After I booted up my iPhone for the first time I knew this was going to cause me problems with studying. Without an eggtimer or anything running in the background I am constantly checking the thing. Using the technique, I force myself into not-looking for 25 minutes. This doesn’t seem like a long time, but you only need 5-10 minutes to get in some sort of flow, which enables you to go on, it gets you in a state of mind where you are highly concentrated so you can absorb the knowledge like you should.
I don’t shut my iPhone down, but I do shut off the messages and everything. When I am studying at home, I just put my iPhone in an iPhone Dock for instance, so it is at a distance. I can still look up terms on the internet, but I won’t be noticed when somebody is texting me or something. I am shut down for the outside world – contact me in my breaks. I am setting my own office hours.
Second. Tiny Wings is a great game for the break. I don’t know who of you ever played Tiny Wings, but it is a game about a little bird whom’s wings aren’t that big, so he has to slide over the land. You have to help him to get as far as possible during one day. Here is the thing: one game takes around 5 minutes. So this makes the perfect pomodore-break game, because you only play one game and you can go on with your studying again!
Third. You don’t want to have these breaks. When friends are testing out this technique they don’t want to stop after 25 minutes. Because they are finally in the flow, so they want to continu to work on their study materials. I tell them to still take the break, because your brain needs some rest. You need a couple of minutes to get out of the material to get into with a fresh mind again later. This enables you to go on for 2 hours.
Last, you need to have your own office hours to complete work. I am studying in a library, more often with others than without. But you need to set your own ‘office-hours’ to complete your own work. When you listen to friends and drink coffee with them whenever they want, you can’t stick to your own schedule. Since I adopted the Pomodore Technique I am not a nice guy to study with anymore, because I am studying for 2 hours until I have a break and I need to take a break in my hours. Sounds selfish? Maybe, but hey, I am the person who wants to pass the test as well!
Interested? Test it out yourself and let me know what happened!
There is enough bullshit around the internet about the Pomodore Technique, I hope I gave you a couple of insights which made you curious about the Pomodore Technique. It definitly is something I am starting to believe in more and more. So test it out yourself!
Don’t forget to leave a comment with your thoughts, especially when it is not working for you or anything, I love to learn something new every once in a while =)
This is a guest post by Katheryn, if you would like to send in a guest post as well, please visit the contact page!
An increasingly popular option for students around the world, particularly in Europe and the United States, is to study or work abroad for six months to a year in a different country. Of course, the advantages of doing so are innumerable?you’ll learn a new language or practice one you’ve studied only in a classroom, you’ll meet new people from all over the world, and you’ll experience a completely different culture. That being said, the value of your time spent abroad is directly related to how you structure your experience. Here are a few tips for making the most of your stay.
[Note from Stefan: If you are going to Study Abroad, make sure to check out this awesome guide on How To Study Abroad: 'The Ultimate Study Abroad guide'!]
1. Don’t drink too much.
For many students who go overseas, the temptation to party is practically ingrained in the entire “study abroad” culture. While of course, you do want to have fun, taking it to extremes will make you miss out on many opportunities that living in a new place affords.
2. Choose a homestay option over dormitory living.
If your study abroad program gives you the option of living with a family instead of sharing a dorm room or apartment with other exchange students, consider the advantages of staying with a family. Not only will you get to practice your language skills in an immersive environment daily, but you’ll also have a taste of what it’s like to live as actual denizens of the city or town in which you are studying do.
3. Make local friends.
In the same way that home stay accommodation encourages a more authentic exchange experience, so too does actively making local friends. Many study abroad programs become somewhat insular with their groups, effectively creating an “expat” clique. Branch out and make finding local friends a priority. If anything, you’ll be steered away from expensive expat bars, restaurants, and other entertainment venues.
4. In addition to studying, check out volunteer or internship options.
As any student has enrolled in an exchange program before knows, the vast majority of courses are not very difficult or particularly time consuming. So you’ll more than likely have tons of free time on your hands. Visa restrictions will probably not allow you to get a real part-time job, but think about scoping out volunteer or intern options. Participating in one of the two will enhance your international professional experience?something employers everywhere are interested in?and it will also give you the opportunity to be more involved in a new community.
5. Take advantage of visiting cultural institutions.
Whether or not you are the museum type, do avail yourself of the opportunity to experience another country or city’s cultural institutions. Whether it’s going to see the opera, the theater, an art gallery, or a local park, find something you enjoy and go check it out. While your stay will be longer than a typical tourist’s, you won’t be living in your host country forever, so it’s enriching to explore whatever culture the country has to offer.
These are just a few ways to enhance your time spent abroad. Above all, remember to enjoy every minute of your stay, because it could very well be the last time you actually reside in such a different place. For students who have already had exchange experience, what was your favorite part? What additional advice would you offer students who have yet to study overseas?
Katheryn Rivas is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online universities. Questions and comments can be sent to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Only 2 hours left for probably the best Personal Development Deal you can get on the internet.
Adam Baker (from ManvsDebt.com) has organised with 23 of the biggest personal development bloggers out there to create a one-time (so only 72 hours) deal for the best personal development products out there.
Already got a couple of questions from my newsletter subscribers on how to use this deal as a student. Well, first you need to buy the package. Yeah it is an investment ($97), but it is an investment definitly worth it. Next steps? Let’s dive into it:
- Buy the package. Head over to the site right now and go to the checkout. Payments are through Paypal and creditcard.
- Put the books all somewhere else. Put them away in a different folder, you are not going to read them yet all together.
- Grab ‘Focus’ by Leo Babauta and read it first. This book will learn you some general principles on how to focus, even dealing with things like and more important: how to change a habit!
- Grab Scott H Young’s ‘Learn More, Study Less’ and read it. Read the book good and learn from it.
- Take the actions required to change which are described in the books into account for the next 6 months. Learn, experiment and improve.
- After half a year take a look at the other books. The other books are definitly worth a read as well, but as a college student, these two books will do the trick!
These two books already pile up to $102, so you are already cheaper off! And now with the other books you will definitly have health, happiness, sleep, financial success and everything else you should have to become the best student you can possibly be!
Disclaimer: I am an affiliate for this package, so yes I do get money from this. But this deal is so amazing I can’t let you go with not getting it..