Top 10 Things College Students Should Know Before Graduating

By Sonal Tuslyani, Staff Writer

1. The Early Bird Really Does Get the Worm

The benefits of getting assignments done early cannot be stressed enough. If you get your paper done early, you do get free time to catch that movie. But being the “early bird” can do a lot more for you. When you sign up for class, you want to be the first to sign up, especially if you’re a freshman with little to no university credits who gets last pick after all of the upperclassmen. On top of that, there are events that are first come, first serve that you just have to sign up for on the spot. For instance, the winter ball tickets sold within the day, so trying to get tickets the day after was impossible. If you’re the early bird and you get the worm, you’ll get to experience things you won’t want to miss out on.

2. Don’t Be Afraid To Try New Things, They Won’t Bite

Ever hear of giving something the old “college try?” In college, you have at least four years to screw up and get back on your feet or to not screw up and find out what you want to do for the rest of your life. Maybe there’s a club or a sport that you never thought you would or could be a part of that is lingering in the back of your mind. Maybe you’re curious about what would happen if just once, you were a part of something that was completely outside of everything you’re comfortable with. If you’re going to reinvent yourself, now is the time to do that. You have nothing to lose, because you have all of four years to mess up and still be socially accepted.

3. Quality Over Quantity, With Your Papers And Connections

Gone are the days in high school where writing three to five pages with correct grammar and spelling was enough to get you that “A.” Now, it is more important than ever to learn how to write, because the quality of your writing will strengthen your essay. So go ahead, take that compositional risk and incorporate those metaphors and hyperboles that you spent years mastering. While you’re at it, throw in some humor and rhetoric, because you’re going to need whatever you can muster to help you keep your grades up.

When you’re in college, it’s all well and good that you have your “crowd,” or group of friends that you hang out with all the time. It’s important to network and make a lot of connections, but it is just as important to make good connections, that will last. Bearing that in mind, don’t be friends with the person only because his or her mom or dad or uncle or aunt or cousin owns the company that you’ve been dying to intern that. Choose the friends who you want to be in your life after graduation.

4. Study Groups Are Saviors

I’m sure there are some teachers and professors who would beg to differ, but studying with other people can be more effective than studying by yourself, even if you’re a little chatty. However, don’t be afraid to find new people to study with if it takes way too long for your current study group to get through the material. It doesn’t mean you can’t hang out with your friends, it just means that you have to pencil in people and time to help yourself get better grades.

5. Clubs Are Key

The first thing that everyone wants to know is what your major is. But when you get a job, you won’t have a major. In fact, chances are you’ll be working with people with the same degree as you. But before you can even start thinking of getting a job, you need a hobby. It looks good on your applications for graduate schools and when you apply for a job. Companies like to see that your life isn’t consumed by your work and getting a hobby will show that. It also gives you a break from some of the more intense stuff you go through in college and life. And who knows, maybe you can turn it into a high-paying career. Most importantly, it’s fun!

6. Volunteer

The first thing people hear when they are considering volunteering is that it is something they can put on their resumes. News flash: that’s what internships are for. If you’re going to volunteer, do it because it is something you are genuinely interested in. If you don’t plan on doing so already, consider volunteering because it’s worth the time and effort you put into it. If nothing else, it will give you a sense of community by making you a part of something special.

7. Take Advantage of Resources

Take full advantage of every resource that comes at you and take all the help you can get, because the second you graduate is the last second where all the resources you could ever need will be this close to each other, especially considering that this is a small campus. If you’re stressed, S-CAPS is right around the corner. Need tutoring? Sign up in Robison Hall on the fifth floor. Even if you’re not failing, it’s still worthwhile to get a tutor to bring that “B” up to an “A.”

8. Dress For Success

Remember when you showed up to the SATs dressed comfortably in your sweats? Yeah, well, maybe that wasn’t your best strategy. According to College Magazine, dressing better increases a student’s self-confidence and could improve test performance. If in doubt try both ways and see what works best for you.

9. Sleep

One thing that almost no one in college ever gets enough of is sleep. According to US News the University of Cincinnati’s survey of about 200 undergraduate students showed that only 21 percent of college students get more than eight hours of sleep. Between working to pay off tuition and bills and studying twice the amount of time you are in class so that you can pass your classes, you don’t have the hours you need to sleep. US News also said that the lack of sleep can affect a student’s memory and concentration, so getting that extra hour or so of sleep could be just what you need to do well on your finals.

10. Avoid the Four-Year Freshman Fifteen

You’ve probably heard of the “freshman fifteen.” Some of you might be experiencing it right now. In fact, some of you might be experiencing the “freshman more-than-fifteen” which isn’t all that uncommon. Part one of beating the “freshman 15” is a maintaining a healthy diet which includes a balance of protein, vitamins, and carbohydrates. Part two of the “freshman 15” is exercising which means balancing between aerobic and anaerobic and working out your upper body, lower body and core. It is recommended that you consume a protein bar or a protein shake within an hour, preferably 45 minutes of completing your workout. It is also recommended that for every gram of protein, the protein bar or protein shake contains four grams of carbohydrates. The fitness center is a great resource for this extra push.