Top 5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before College

academic advisor at Rowan University sits with a student to review her schedule

five students sit in lounge chairs in a lobby area at Rowan University to study1. Know that it’s not like high school

You’re now responsible for the coursework, and it’s easy to delay assignments in favor of more fun opportunities. In high school, everything was set at a certain schedule. When you get to college, your life is already consumed by other responsibilities, and now, classes which could be held at any time during the day or evening. Then there’s studying. The “never studying while passing all your classes” strategy can no longer be used. There will be many nights spent sitting down going over the material, whether it be in your room or Campbell Library where you will be surrounded by students doing the same thing. The professor will not go over the whole lesson a second time. Take the opportunity and meet with classmates to study. Not only will you bounce ideas off of people, but you could end up making friends.

Student Government Association officer sits under an SGA sign with hands upward toward sign2. Don’t put all of your eggs in one basket

You may come to college already with a plan. You could be set on a mechanical engineering major, with maybe one internship at a certain place and a specific job. You’re convinced that nothing will deter you. Well there are no guarantees in college. Be prepared for some kind of change. There are many groups to get involved in: from student government to Greek life to a number of sports. Who knows, you might even meet your new best friend at archery club.  You can also change majors if you find your classes aren’t what you thought they would be. You can choose from any other course of studies and utilize a variety of resources to help such as your academic advisor, the career center or even other students.

3. Talk to your professors

The Rowan professors are very knowledgeable. They come from different backgrounds and are happy to help. After class, walk over and start a conversation. You should have some time to chat as long as they don’t have another class. The conversation could stem around anything, from assignments to outside events! Any trouble with the class can be alleviated by simply talking.

4. Understand that you are not alone

female student holds up Family Weekend photo and photo booth series

College is a big step in one’s life, and it’s understandable to feel anxious. You’re leaving behind friends and family for a long time as you go out into the world. Just know there are countless of others who are in the same boat as you. You will find no shortage of awesometacular people that Rowan has to offer. They all are experiencing the same anxieties and want to make friends just as much as you. It’s also important to know that if you do find yourself overwhelmed by worry, there are people who can help. The Wellness Center has walk-in hours where you can sit with someone. Your parents are also a call away. Even a simple text or better yet, a letter, would do a lot to keep the connection. Family weekend is also a great time to catch up with relatives and see them in person.

two friends high five each other while walking past each other5. Just breathe! 

I used to dislike college in the beginning. I saw a complete turnaround when I started getting more involved. Involvement is key to get more acclimated to Rowan. Attend every club meeting and study session you can, and like me, you will meet tons of cool people. Your time spent at Rowan will be a time of change, be sure to make the most of it! It’s easy to get stressed and to shut yourself in, but you would be doing yourself a disservice. Let every failure motivate you to succeed at the next opportunity. Because as a very smart man once told me, “the safest place for a battleship is the harbor, but that’s not why they build them.”

By: Jeff Goodwin,
Sophomore, marketing major

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