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Best laid plans…we all have them, we all make them.  But do you know anyone whose plans ALWAYS go as originally intended?  I certainly don’t!  It’s always good to have a Plan B prior to going to college; but if you don’t, read these bits of advice from EducationQuest staff members in case your first year of college doesn’t go as you expect.

Create a Budget

“I wish I would have paid more attention to personal money management.”    Victor Garcia, Bilingual College Planning Specialist

Helpful Hints

  1. “Intramural activities are a great way to meet new people.
  2. Even if you have class during lunch hour or dinner time, there is always a snack location where you can get a meal before or after class. 
  3. Student services can be a great start to getting the help you need.  
  4. Arranging your classes for Tuesday and Thursday gives you more freedom for the weekend. 
  5. Learn what organizations are there to assist first-generation students. 
  6. Ask if there is a multicultural center if you are a minority; this is a great place to meet new people with similar backgrounds.”    Juan Rodriguez, College Access Specialist

Ask for Assistance

“Before going to college, I wish I had more experience driving in a big city.  Imagine learning how to drive in a community that doesn’t have stoplights or stop-signs on the main street…now imagine heading off to college in a city you barely know, with interstates and multiple lanes of traffic (and no GPS at that time)!  I’m thankful for the new friends who helped me adapt to city driving and traffic.  Don’t be afraid of a new environment and pushing yourself…just ask for help!”    Joan Jurek, Director of College Planning

Get Involved!

“I wish I would have known how important it is to become involved on campus.  Joining groups such as a sorority, health sciences club, or student government (just to name a few) help you to meet so many new people and provides you with opportunities that you don’t normally get by staying in your comfort zone!”    Jacquie Butler, Senior College Planning Specialist

“I wish I had known just how important it was to get involved on campus right away. My freshman and sophomore years were pretty lonely and tough. By junior year, I found my tribe because I was forced to get involved in the student newspaper and radio station because of credit requirements for my major. It was the best thing that could have happened. The amazing people I met during that time are lifelong friends. I just wish I had met them even sooner!”    Regan Anson, Assistant Vice President – Communications & Media Relations

Ease Into the First Year

“I wish I would’ve known that 8 AM classes in college are NOT THE SAME as 8 AM classes in high school!  Avoid 8 AM at all costs!

I also wish I would’ve known that loading up on credit hours your first year is a bad idea. Especially when taking mostly non-major required courses; those hours really add up!”    Sydney Burdick, Content Creation Specialist

Be Your Own Advocate

“I wish I would’ve known to advocate for myself.  I wouldn’t talk to my professors if I was having a hard time understanding.  I wouldn’t talk to financial aid when I had issues with scholarships or loans.  This is also crucial if a student has any kind of physical or educational disability. You must advocate for yourself if you want to be successful.”    Andrew Hunzeker, Outreach Services Manager

Manage Your Schedule

  1. “The open time on your daily calendar, when you don’t have class, is not time for napping. It’s time for studying, and working on projects or activities you’re involved in. 
  2. Living in a sorority can take a big campus down to a smaller group of potentially life-long friends.
  3. If you work during college, don’t let it impact your studies or your social life. There needs to be time for all of that – 20 hours a week max. You have many years of work ahead of you.”    Liz Koop, President & CEO

By Lori Caffery