Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Managing the College Lifestyle

This post was written by Owen Shea ’17, CCD Peer Career Ambassador 

Social life, good grades, sleep… realistically, you can only pick two of the three to do well when you’re in college. Life before College doesn’t always prepare us for the rigors of the academic and social demands of campus life. I’m sure most students can relate to a night of studying for an upcoming midterm , attending a group meeting later that night, squeezing in time for a rough draft on a paper, and topping it all off with finding time to celebrate your friend’s birthday. It’s only Tuesday and the week ahead is full of more work and very little sleep. I thought college was supposed to be the best time of our lives?
Here are three tips to make sure you can get good grades while having friends, a social life, and not being a sleep-deprived zombie while functioning during the day.
1) Capitalize on weekends
2) Get ahead, stay ahead
3) Be yourself
Weekends are the time to catch up on work and sleep. Don’t waste the day away and roll out of bed around 2pm… get up, get a good breakfast, go to the library and finish the homework assignments for next week. Then enjoy the time away from the classroom as a refresher. You’ll be thanking yourself once the next week begins.
There are a multitude of resources at your disposal and there is no reason not to take advantage of them. In my experience, QTM was a subject that always took extra time for me to understand. In high school, I could show up to class and immediately understand what the teacher was talking about. That is not always the case in college. Fortunately, I was aware of my options and I got a tutor and dramatically increased my grade. Going to office hours is also an underrated tool. Asking some questions and going out of your way to display commitment to a class shows the professor your effort level and they will remember that when final grades come along. It never ever hurts you to see your professor for any reason. They are here to teach and… help. They WANT to help you!
Fitting in during college is an extremely difficult process. Who’s that kid that is sleeping five feet from me? I miss my mom’s cooking. Everyone is having fun around here, but me. Be yourself. Get involved in clubs that might interest you. Don’t sit in your room all day, even if you have tons of homework. You need to have a life or you will go sane. Make an effort to find friends and start with your roommate… after all, they will be living with you for eight months. Finding who you are is an extremely difficult process and college is one stepping stone to that process. What will your vocation be in life? You won’t find out if you don’t attempt and yes sometimes fail, but attempt again and that attempt may just lead to success. Relax and find people of similar interests. You’d be surprised how a simple conversation sometimes goes a long way.