Staying in College

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Now that you are in college, it is up to you to whether you succeed or fail. In order to succeed you have to try your best at all times. While college may seem a lot like high school, it is vastly different. Although your professors want you to succeed, they realize that you are an adult and success is solely in your hands.

You are now in total control of your education, and your actions. Sometimes it is hard to stay motivated when you are worried about grades all the time. Homesickness also plays a part in the early months of college. Below are a few strategies to keep your motivation level up, while keeping you focused on what really matters.

Prioritize: If you are carrying a full course load of classes then you know you will have homework assignments to do for every class. It might be easier to start with the smallest task and work towards the harder ones, but this is really counter-productive for you. Those hard assignments may take you more time, but you will probably learn a lot more if you do them first instead of last. Rank your assignments in order of importance, then rearrange your study time so you can do the tasks that will have the most impact on your grades and course work.

Set Realistic Goals: If you have a 20 page paper you need to write for one class it can seem overwhelming just to think about it. Instead of focusing on the whole paper, break it down into sections and do these one at a time. Small projects are much easier to manage than the big one all at once.

Reward Yourself: When you finish a job, a project, or assignment, allow yourself a small reward for moving forward towards your success. Get yourself a snack, or call a friend. Whatever little pleasure you enjoy, grab it, and then get back to your next project.

Remember, your parents are no longer going to push you through school. What you do and how you behave is all on you now. Making the most of your study time allows you to also enjoy some free time to get to know the school and your fellow students.

Homesickness may kick in at one point or another. This is very normal; so don’t feel like you are the only one who suffers from it. Whether it’s mom’s good cooking, your own bed in your old room, or friends you left behind, homesickness is all about missing what you left behind. It’s still there, while you are here.

Make the most of your off time to get out of your room and socialize. When you stay in your room you begin to think about what you miss. You might even spend time Skyping, emailing or even phoning old friends and family back home. It is fine to do so, but it is not healthy if doing so makes you very sad afterwards. Get out of your room and find friends on campus. Join a club. Go to the library. Study outside. Anything that puts you in contact (even if only eye contact) with other people.

Your college dorm (or apartment) is now your new home. Make this space yours. The college, and surrounding areas are now your new home. Get out and explore them. Whatever made you happy ‘back home’ can also make you happy in your new home-away-from-home. Connecting with people and places in your college town will have you feeling right at home in no time.

Finally, allow yourself time to indulge in your homesickness. Give yourself an hour, or a day, to be sad and miss all you left behind. Once the time is up then you need to move on to other activities that will make you feel like you belong. Focus on the present and let the past rest where it is.