College 101: Things I wish I knew before college

Throwback to one of the happiest days of our lives! (photo from Facebook)

Hello, June! 

Here in the Philippines, this month is also known to as the back to school season. Though most schools and universities have already moved their classes to August there are still some who will be starting this month. 

So in line with the back to school feels this month, we are gonna back track a little bit  as I reminisce my college life and share some things that I learned as I was starting out. 

To commence this month which will be filled with throwbacks and college tips here are some things I wish I knew before entering the world of college.
1. College is not like high school. Your T.O.R. is everything
-This is a pretty obvious one, I know, but as a freshman in college most of us just want to fit in immediately, make as many friends as possible and for those who are going to colleges and universities away from home: it is an avenue to have more fun because we are “free” from our parents’ curfew schedules and being grounded. 

Well, let me get it to you straight: college is like the last ‘hurrah’ before the “real world” so you gotta make the best out of it because unlike your high school report card, your college Transcript of Records (TOR) is going to be your best friend in job hunting someday.

So bond your new friends but also spend some time with your future best friend. Wink. Wink.

Throwback photo with me and my first dorm roomies in college. <3 span="">
 2. Living away from home ain’t that fun
-Yes, we are initially happy that we are away from our parents nagging and strict rules but sooner or later especially your freshman year home sickness will strike. The first week is the hardest, as per experience, as teachers will ask you to introduce yourself and share a little bit about your family and hometown. Found myself crying after classes back then. #TheFeels

If you’re going to a different city for college, I highly suggest for you to consider living in a dormitory because having roommates definitely helped me cope in adjusting in a different city, different vernacular language, and even the pressure of academics. “The more the merrier,” right? You don’t have to go through it alone. 

 3. Being a loner can get quite lonely
-Get involved. Other than having roommates, joining organizations or charity groups is also another way that you can make friends. Participating in such is a good way to nurture your talents, help others, and establish significant connections that might be of help to you someday. 

 4. 24 hours is not enough

-True that! My first semester in college started out with a pretty laid back schedule but as I journey near graduation, things got tougher and tougher and you’re gonna wish for additional hours in the 24 hours of the day. 

That is why as early as possible, you need to know how to manage your time wisely and master the art of juggling your assignments, projects and extracurricular activities later on.

"Team No Sleep" during out TV Production class.(Photo from Facebook)
 5. Cramming is never pretty

 -As time gets limited, you need to really develop a study habit and avoid cramming as much as possible. Being a homebody myself, I just chose to study in the comforts of my bedroom or dorm room but later on I realized that it’s much better if I studied in that certain spot (near the window but away from the crowd) of our library as I can concentrate better.

So as early as possible explore places and strategies like making flash cards or jotting some keywords in a piece of paper that is effective for your studying. You will need that for the fast paced finals week. 

6. In class: teacher > crush

During my junior year in college, me and my friends are laughing about this joke that when girls look for class schedules during the freshman year their initial question would always be: “Is there a handsome guy in that class?” but later on the question changes to: “Does the teacher give good grades?” 

In college, it’s not your crush that will matter in class but your teacher so research about them as much as possible from those who were previously under their class. This way you’ll know what to expect and you can prepare yourself for their assignments and projects. As the slogan of one TV Station campaign goes: “Ligtas ang may alam.”

Music workshop we participated with Joey Ayala. (Photo from Facebook)
 7. Spare times can get boring

-Make use of your spare time to develop your talents and discover new passions. College may be pretty hectic but there will also be times when your schedule would tone down so make use of your extra time for self-development. You may try enrolling in an art class, music class or take some time blogging. Something for you to look forward to other than school.

8. Your mom will not be there for you when you’re sick

-Stress eating and eating processed foods is something expected from college students and I am also guilty of this myself but we should put in mind that what we do to our body today will also affect us immensely later on. If you can, try to cut the junk like drinking less soda or only eating in fast food chains during the weekend. 

And I would like to stress out that being sick without your mom by your side sucks so take good care of yourself. 
The Pig Friends trying to hide the bags. *wink*
 9. Sleep is everything, EVERYTHING.

-I love afternoon naps and when I was in college, I fell in love with it more. Every single minute is so precious.

If you’re still a freshman, take long naps as much as you can and sleep eight hours a day. You won’t have that much sooner or later. 
A little adventure while shooting for our magazine show segment (Photo from Facebook)
 10. Things will get ugly when you lack rest
-College may be too much sometimes so if you feel like you’re drowning know when to step back to recharge yourself. Our body and brain have their limits too so take some time off to hug your mom, bond with friends or bond with a warm fluffy puppy.

 Taking a break is a better option as it will make you even more productive when you get back to your school works rather than wasting your time pushing yourself too much.

Bonus content: To all the freshies out there, TBA means “To be arranged.” You’re welcome.

 Oh college, even though my experience was not what I imagined it to be, it is still one of my most treasured phase in life as I learned a lot of things, a lot of myself and gained friends for keeps. All the tears, the stressful days, the pressure, even the pounds and the eye bags I gained are all worth it.

How about you? What’s something you wish you knew before college? Share it with the hashtags: #IWishIKnew and #CollegeFeels.  

-Kriztja :)

*As published in Sun.Star Davao on June 1, 2016*

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