When you walk onto campus as a freshman, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and eventually complacent. You invest a lot of money into your education, and you don’t want any of that to go to waste. You also spend some of your prime years of life on campus, so you want to make the most of it.
If you are looking to make the best investment of your time in college, consider these five things that may hinder your success in college. That way you can avoid them and keep yourself on track to graduate with the best advantages possible.
1. Lack of Professional Development
The last place you want to be after graduating is reviewing your resume with a counselor trying to find out ways to show you have actual real-world experience despite having none.
To remedy this, participate in student organizations and volunteer for non-profits around your passions. These activities are strong indicators to hiring managers you are actually interested in working for their company when you apply for internships.
Explore your professional interests through semester-long intern programs. Then once you complete an internship, ask your supervisor or a co-worker for a formal recommendation along with endorsement on LinkedIn. Many schools also allow internships as college credit towards your degree. Also of note, under the Fair Labor Standards Act, an internship qualifies as a paid position within the “for-profit” and private sectors.
Once you’re ready to graduate, you can also check back with the companies you interned with to see if there are any unannounced or formal job postings you can discuss with them. Your summer internship could turn into a profitable lifetime career.
2. Anger Issues
Doing well in college requires a sense of self-awareness and temperament to manage your time well. Sometimes the feeling of being overwhelmed or failing turns to anger. This regular anger only leads to time wasted and self-fulfilling failures. If small issues boil over into anger for you or your behavior becomes violent under the influence, get help through anger management treatment.
3. Irregular Sleep
The recommended amount of sleep generally averages 7 to 9 hours. Numerous studies have directly linked sleep deprivation with cognitive performance impairment and poorer functioning of certain areas of the brain. Epidemiological studies have shown that chronic exposure to irregular work schedules is associated with increased risk of obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.
Avoid inconsistent sleep and all-nighters by managing your time better. Deadlines are far more manageable by penciling in on your calendar test dates, project due dates, and other activities so you know how much time you’ll need to dedicate in advance.
Furthermore, make sure your quality of sleep has fewer interruptions by avoiding large meals before bed and establishing a regular sleep schedule.
4. Not Using University Resources
Many scholarships go unclaimed. A recent report showed as much as $2.9 billion in a single academic year in federal aid went left un-awarded as almost half of graduating high school graduates didn’t complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid or FAFSA. To determine eligibility for federal financial aid, fill out the FAFSA online.
Once accepted into a specific school, consult with the department’s dean and academic advisors to discover additional scholarship opportunities.
Academic advisors are also great resources for learning more about studying abroad, degree plans, graduation requirements, and extracurricular opportunities.
For your physical health, many campuses have health clinics, pharmacies, and fitness centers along with insurance plans available to students.
5. Getting Far Too Locked Into a Routine
Maintaining a regular sleep schedule is important. That said, don’t forget to enjoy your time in college.
Do little things to change up your day so your college life doesn’t get monotonous. Take different walking routes to class. Meet new people. Take classes outside your major and discover new things you may have never heard about.
There will be many chances to learn so don’t be afraid to explore many different professional career avenues. If you joined a student organization and it’s not sparking any passions then move on to new adventures. Four years may sound like a long time, but it will go by in a flash.