College only lasts for a few years, but it’s packed with new experiences and opportunities. It’s important you make the right decisions to ensure you have no regrets and avoid mistakes that could cost you in the future.
1. Sort Out Your Finances
Making poor financial decisions can leave you with unnecessary debt. For instance, you should only borrow what you need in student loans. You’ll need to pay back everything you borrow with interest — it’s not free money. You may like to consider working a part-time job to have some extra spending money or to start paying back your student loans as soon as possible.
2. Seek Help When You Need It
Your college undoubtedly has a huge range of resources to help you. At the writing center, you can learn how to improve your papers, whereas tutoring can improve your grades in a class you’re finding difficult. The financial aid office can provide you with advice about paying for college, counsellors can provide you with mental health support, and your academic advisor will help you make the right decisions regarding your classes.
3. Choose Classes with Your Career Goals in Mind
One major could lead to a variety of career options, meaning it makes sense to pick something you enjoy. Nonetheless, if you have a particular career in mind, you will need to make sure you’re choosing classes that will lead you to your goals. Ensure that you’re taking any prerequisites you’ll need and that you have the right academic experience to make you an appealing candidate for any graduate qualifications you’d like to pursue.
4. Join Clubs
You may be worried about having enough time for clubs, especially if you have a full schedule of classes and a part-time job. However, extracurriculars are a crucial part of the college experience. You may not have belonged to any clubs at high school, but college is different. Clubs are your chance to meet people, develop skills you won’t learn in the classroom, and become a more well-rounded person. You’ll have the option to join clubs that match your current interests or explore new potential hobbies.
5. Find Ways to Destress
Belonging to clubs is one way to reduce stress, but there are plenty of other things you can do as well. Practicing self-care is critical — whatever that involves for you. Options include exercise, meditation, working on art projects, or even watching your favorite series.
6. Work an Internship
An internship may be a requirement of your major. Even if it’s not, you should definitely do one because it will help you later in your career. For example, you’ll gain useful contacts (you may even receive a job offer if you intern in your final year of college), learn skills you can add to your resume, and figure out if a certain career is right for you.
You have a large number of opportunities to network at college — take advantage of all of them. Develop relationships with your professors by attending office hours, strike up conversations with classmates and people at clubs, and try to talk to as many people as possible at your internship. All these connections will be important after you graduate, as finding a good job is often about who you know.
You’ll have a better college experience if you live off campus. Find rooms for rent near University of Alberta at 1TEN on Whyte. You’ll be living with other students (either in your own bachelor apartment or in a private bedroom in a shared suite) just 1 kilometre from campus. We also offer a range of great amenities to enrich your time at college, including a state-of-the-art gym, study rooms, a courtyard, and many common spaces. Book a tour to see where you could be living.