College is bound to be an experience unlike any other that I have ever encountered. It will be the first time in my life that I will have to step up my responsibility to another level. My mother will not be there when I get back from a hard-pressed day at school with an uninspired home-cooked meal waiting for me on the stove. My father will not be there to pound on the ceiling above me in order to get me out of bed each and every morning. I won't have those friends and mentors who held me in line day in and day out. It's all going to be on me. In light of that, I have determined that the best guidelines to follow in order to achieve a sense of control over my life will be to avoid overburdening myself, get involved with extracurricular opportunities, and manage my time befittingly. Then, and only then, will I attain success in college.
As a twelfth grader, I don't know a single thing about what it is like to live the typical college life. To be completely honest, I'm still trying to get used to this whole high school thing. From what I have read about, the stories I have heard from those who are close to me, along with the way I handle my current education, I figured that the advice I am giving myself will help me cope with the stress that awaits.
First things first, do not overwork yourself. I don’t see myself having too much trouble completing this task seeing as I already apply minimal effort to just about every assignment that I have ever been given. Take this essay for example, which, if I am assuming correctly, is probably being typed at ten o’clock the night that it is due. However, if I have to undertake such an enormous amount of responsibility all at once, stress is almost guaranteed to become a factor. In an essay titled “College Pressures” by William Zinsser, struggling Ivy League Students are described cracking under the various pressures that are placed upon them. Whether it’s parental expectations, peer harassment, or simply high standards for oneself, the majority of college students have to deal with it, especially those with the greatest aspirations. This leads to students pushing themselves too hard, pulling all-nighters and shaming themselves after one bad grade. This, in turn, can result in dropping out of school, having a mental breakdown, or worse. Cornell University had to install a safety net that dangles underneath a popular bridge on campus in order to prevent a method of escaping from stress that people take unfortunately turn to. This is a real-world problem that is affecting college that affects collegiate scholars across the country. Hopefully I can keep this unhealthy problem in check as I learn to relax and live a balanced college life.
Secondly, it is necessary to get involved. My older brother currently attends Niagara University and he couldn’t be happier with where he is. Last year, as he was just beginning his initial freshman semester, he really took advantage of his opportunities to be involved with his surroundings. Before he knew it, the kid became the pivotal benchwarmer to Niagara’s club rugby team, he starred as a background character in the Winter theater performance, and he was hired as the backup school mascot. All such wonderful secondary roles! The point is, though, he took part in his community and learned to love his college. I desire to do the same by possibly joining the running group at my school, or maybe the Ultimate Frisbee intramural team, or even an Engineering Club with people who share similar interests to my own. Either way, whichever path I end up taking, I know that my involvement in extracurricular opportunities at college will help me adjust, feel comfortable, and contribute to my overall success.
Thirdly, time management is an immensely important ability to grasp. This is an area in which I have always strived. My number one tool since the day I started high school has been my agenda. I spend a solid ten minutes every night focusing on scheduling my plans for the following day. It is a way for me to relieve any built-up sensations of stress and frustration, and leaves me with a calm and organized feeling. In regards to college, managing my time will be vital in order to avoid handing in assignments late and making it to class on time. This is a skill that will basically determine my success on the next level. Being able to stay on top of studying for tests, writing essays, and getting projects done is crucial in combating poor habits such as procrastination.
Procrastinating is an issue that I fall victim to quite frequently, so improving those aspects of time management and motivating myself to stick to my schedule are going to be top priorities by the time I head off to college.
It’s a totally different world out there, and college is most definitely going to take a toll on me. I may become physically drained and in desperate need of sleep. I may become socially hindered and have nobody to hang out with. I may become mentally confused and lose track of what I am doing or where I am supposed to be. On the other hand, if I closely follow the advice that I have carefully laid out for myself, my college journey will turn out for the best. It will be filled with happiness, friends, and control over my needs. If you ask me, you can’t get any more successful than that.