Monday, September 21, 2015

5 Ways to Challenge Yourself in College

So being a Transfer student has certainly brought it’s share of obstacles. I’m caught in that strange place where I am academically a Junior yet feel like a Freshman on this new campus. I have both experience and inexperience, wisdom and at the same time no clue. But I do know one thing: College is the best place to challenge myself.

This season in life is not for the unadventurous spirit. It’s the time to do the hard, scary things and see what happens! I’ve written down the top five ways I’m challenging myself this school year. If I’m the same by years end as when I started then I’ve let myself down. I challenge you to take a few of them yourself and see how much you grow as a person.

1. Be a New You

This is one of the few times in life that you are thrust into a population of people who have no idea who you are. As scary as that might be for a lot of us…it’s actually a huge opportunity. These people are here for an extended period of time, studying and participating in the same things you are. They don’t know you’re insecure about how you look. They don’t know that embarrassing story from last summer. All they see is another new face in a crowd of strangers.

This is your chance to be a new you! I know there are things about myself that I would love to grow out of. Shake off some of those old habits. Be random and sit somewhere new. Be adventurous and try out for that play or that sports team. You never know what might happen!

2. Learn!

This might come as a surprise to some of you..but you go to college to learn new things. Important things like how to cook noodles in your coffee pot. You learn that too but that’s not really the point. You’re supposed to learn things in class! Hey I know not every class is interesting but heck you paid money to be here! Don’t waste that money by not paying attention in class. Even if you don’t make an A, what you put into the class with your attention and hard work will pay off later in life.

There’s always something new to learn. There is always something, even a little thing, that’s worth learning in any class. A lot of students have lost the love of learning. They’re content to let their brains turn to mush. Don’t be that student! You don’t have to be a genius, just take advantage of the opportunity and challenge yourself to actually learn something instead of just memorizing answers for an exam. You’re brain will thank you later.

3. Work Hard

College is already going to be super busy. I get that. But busy doesn’t always mean that you’re working hard. It’s way too easy to zone out of classes and only apply a minimum requirement of your energy to homework. But you or your parents are paying a lot of money so you can get an education! Take advantage of the opportunity and really apply yourself.

Yes working hard can be….well hard. However, the payoff will be so so satisfying.

4. Make Friends

This one kinda goes hand in hand with being a new you. Some people are really lucky and find a core group to hang out with in the first few weeks of college. Some super lucky people find best friends and even dates before Orientation week is over! I am not one of those people. No matter what type you are don’t settle for less than what could be when it comes to friends.

If you already have a core group, awesome, you’re very lucky and should hang on to them. Don’t forget to reach out to others though and be intentional about getting to know new folk. Who knows they might be super cool. If you’re like me and have difficulty finding a core group or even making more than two friends at a time…don’t give up! Make the effort to be outgoing. Go where the party is or stay around and talk at meals for the purpose of meeting new people and forming attachments. It will be waaaayyy worth it. I promise.

5. Learn to Handle what Life Throws at You

Orientation week will likely be a blur of amazing firsts for you. Then the first week of classes will hit you. Like a semi-truck going ninety on the highway. You'll know pretty quickly which classes you'll live through and which ones will actually kill you. Prepare to jump through academic hoops and sign papers and run all over campus to make it to the right offices at the right times. Long story short: College in general will throw situations at you that you've never had to deal with before.

Mom and Dad aren't here to do things for you. Sometimes they can't even walk you through what to do. This challenge at college is the challenge to grow up and do things on your own. Take charge of your education and make things happen. Keep track of your schedule and handle your time effectively. This is your chance to be an adult and live your life responsibly. Did I just mention responsible and college in the same context? Yes. Yes I did and I don't apologize for it!

Well that's it for now! Five ways to challenge yourself in college. Trying these out will hopefully stretch you and me as people. Experience only adds to maturity and college is the perfect place to grow as a person. Anyone else have ways to personally challenge yourself in college? Don't forget to comment or post your questions below. As always, thanks for stopping by!



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