How to Optimize Your College Experience

One of the things I remember hearing a lot during my college days is that “the college years are among the best years in a person’s life”. I’d like to give a more precise definition: if you optimize it properly and learn how to function, your college days are sure to remain an unforgettable transition from late childhood into young adulthood.

How to Optimize Your College Experience

Keep in shape

As a consequence of life changes and general stress involved, many college students give up on their physical activity and get into a sedentary way of life. And to make things worse, in the beginning, it all makes sense – you no longer have enough time to do a bunch of seemingly trivial stuff, and you need to focus on what truly matters: studying and getting by.

At the start of my college days, I turned into a regular overachiever – I wanted to excel at everything school-related. I quickly realized that by excluding stuff such as physical workout, I not only had more time to focus on studying but found myself not worrying about a tight time schedule.

Unfortunately, the extra time that I now had quickly turned into procrastination; my video game-infused lifestyle started rapidly tightening my time schedule back into place – again, my freshman self was faced with a lack of time, only now devoid of all productivity. Plus, I started getting fat.

The thing is, everyone who was born in the 90s or later is going to prefer video games to physical activity, and giving up on the gaming life is one of the most difficult, yet best decisions you’ll ever have to make. Make exercise a regular thing, and video gaming an occasional pastime.

You need support

Although I’ve always been social and communicative, during my time at college, I’ve met many individuals who preferred being alone, and this is perfectly understandable. However, they have all ended up having a hard time past their freshman year, and quickly realized that they do need support. Some, for instance, have found the solution in programs such as GAMSAT tutoring and interview training, an awesome means of preparation for more competitive graduate degree programs, such as medicine.

These tutoring programs are good for everyone, but making sure that you extend your reach beyond strictly professional communication with your peers is also of the essence. It is no coincidence that many successful business partnerships start at college – this is the perfect time to establish new friendships.

Always start on time

Whatever it is, from the college debate team application, to studying and preparing for a graduate degree program, the key to gradual, but seamless success is starting on time. I realized this back in my freshman days – I remember everyone telling me that if I started doing things in a timely fashion, I’d easily reach success. While this is completely true, there’s another aspect of being time-efficient that is equally important – it builds up a habit, and habits are, without a doubt, the most important aspect of college time. And this isn’t exactly too time-consuming – instead of kicking back immediately after your classes, dedicate 30-45 minutes to revising the lessons covered that day, and then you can kick back and relax. This is an awesome time investment.

Meet the professors

If I can be proud of one thing in life, it is my ability to naturally network. I am not an opportunist, I am just always trying to make connections. This has truly meant a lot throughout my life, and college is no exception. Go ahead and get to know your professors through their office hours – this isn’t sucking up, this is all a part of your learning process.

Optimizing your college experience is a skill that can help you in many respects later in life. It is vital that you keep your mental balance and that you learn how to successfully cope with college life in general. Maintain your physical shape in order to achieve mental balance, always be on the lookout for anything that will make your college life run smoother, learn how to get a timely start and try working on your networking skills!

photo by lc3105

Claire Adams
Claire Adams is personal and professional development expert who believes that a positive attitude is one of the keys to success. You can find her online writing and giving tips about lifestyle and development as a regular contributor at highstylife.com. Stay in touch with Claire via Facebook and Twitter.  
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