How will you answer the call?
When fresh-faced 18-year-olds head out to college, they’re usually feeling a slew of emotions — from the rush and excitement of being on their own, to fear of the pressure coming their way. College life is a challenge, but not only because of the academic excellence that is expected of students.
"The best preparation for tomorrow is doing your best today."
- H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
You’re expected to do more than study than ever during this time. There are the everyday tasks, which parents used to handle, that you now must tackle on your own. It’s tempting to go with the flow during college, but you’ll soon realize that this way of living will lead to more stress and worry, and less time to feel free and easy going.
The List Is Neverending
There are many things you need to do in college. Do yourself a favor; don’t bury your head in the sand to avoid dealing with responsibilities, or ask your parents to do them for you. This is your time to prove that you can be an adult. The best thing about adulthood is that you can do it on your terms.
Some tasks you’re going to be aware of, but other things you may not realize because they used to be done for you. Mainly, the things you will be expected to do include the following.
Academic work – Attending lectures, studying, reading, personal development, handing in assignments on time, and keeping your grades high.
Housing – Renting, paying bills, doing maintenance, finding someone who you can count on in an emergency, and setting up utilities such as Wi-Fi.
The Everyday – Buy groceries to have the best food available (avoid the freshman 15). There’s laundry which needs to be done weekly, and cleaning. Setting up important appointments is your task too, like the dentist or the doctor.
Living – This can mean the financial duty of getting a job to support yourself. It also means having a good social life, meeting new people and having fun.
Take Your Time To Get Things Right
This list is overwhelming, especially if your parents were diligent in taking care of these things for you, but before you go into panic mode, remember that this isn’t rocket science. You’ll get used to doing these things, you just need some time and advice.
Start by asking for the right kind of help. If you’re in a new state, ask your landlord or a college advisor if they can recommend a good dentist or doctor for you. There’s also Google for any questions! Get the numbers of a few handymen who can help you in a maintenance emergency and start asking around for a job too, if you’re looking for one.
Moreover, browse through different grocery stores and laundry rooms. See which ones have the best prices. You’ll be surprised to know that the everyday things can eat up your finances if you’re not careful.
Create Your Kind Of Order
Your mind will tell you that now that you’re away from your parents, you can do whatever you want. It’s true, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t adhere to a schedule.
Find what works for you. If study time in your parents’ house was from 5 to 7 pm every day, but that’s not when your mind is focused, then don’t do that. Don’t waste your time. College is a time to figure out how your mind works best, so you can optimize your performance and excel in a way that feels organic to your mind and body.
It might sound contradictory, but a schedule will make you feel more relaxed and at peace. A schedule will free up your mind from the to-dos, so you can think about the fun and creative things.
Schedule everything, and personalize it to best fit you, not how you were trained to do things. Some things you will have to work around, like lectures or your job. These engagements have set times and you’ll have to adhere to that.
Other things, however, you can do on your own time. If the best hours for you to study come after 10 at night, do it then. Don’t forget to leave enough time to sleep, however, you don’t want to crash. If you’re a morning person, set up early morning studies and leave the evening to earn money on some nights, and have fun on other nights.
Schedule the everyday things, and the housing details too. Set monthly reminders when your rent is due and to pay utility bills. Set up weekly reminders to buy groceries and do laundry so you don’t run out of the necessities.
You can even set a reminder for a thorough clean of your apartment. You’ll save yourself time if you master the art of cleaning up tiny messes every day, so you don’t end up with a huge mess to clean in one day.
Your schedule should also hold quarterly or bi-annual reminders to schedule medical appointments to stay on top of your health.
Your schedule will be brimming with to-dos — this is the challenge of college life — but don’t let it be just about the never-ending tasks. Accountability and being an adult also means knowing when to stop and have fun.
Your mind needs you to laugh and forget about the pressure, and your body needs you to move. Accordingly, don’t forget to schedule the fun things too, like a cycling class or a weekend away somewhere.
Besides the scheduling, keeping track of certain things will help you function better. An expenses app is a key tool for you to know how much you’re spending, and how much you’re earning. An app like this will help make sure you’ll have money to pay for essentials such as bills and groceries.
It’s also good to keep track of important numbers and account information. In an emergency, you want to be sure you have that go-to person who you can contact for assistance.
Make Your College Life An Exciting One
When you accept the challenge of college life, it becomes exciting. A clearer mind means a better understanding of where you’re heading. When you’ve taken care of the stress from the little things, you can focus on the bigger picture- questions like, “Where’s this experience taking me?” “Is this what I want?” “How am I going to maximize this experience?” “How am I going to use my studies to create an extraordinary life for myself?”
Remember, we’re living in an age with infinite possibilities. Where working from any corner of the world is doable, and where we can work with people living on the other side of the world.
So how are you going to create the best life for yourself? When you don’t have to remember which day rent is due or worry about how much you’re spending, you can mull over the amazing opportunities that life has to offer, you just need a clear mind to see them.