Editorial
29 July 2020

4 Useful Advice To Be Mentally Prepared for College

Are you preparing for your upcoming college intake? Have you been snowed under with a checklist of things to prepare yourself for college? Getting your textbooks ready and finding accommodation for the semester aren’t the only things to be prepared with for college. 

Many might not consider getting mentally prepared but it’s as important as other preparation. Being mentally prepared helps you familiarise and get along with this whole new journey of life.

1. Be open for new opportunities

 

Your college days are one of the most important days of your life when discovering yourself. You’ll get to learn new skills, meet a variety of people from various backgrounds and personalities, and experience a world of opportunities.

But, for that to happen, you ought to be open to opportunities that knock on your door. 

 

This could mean signing up to help out in campaigns or joining a club — all of which could help you find your passion, grow your soft skills and colour your resume with different experiences. By engaging in clubs and activities, you get to broaden your horizon and discover your strengths and weaknesses while having fun!

As the saying goes, “Risking is better than regretting.” By taking risks, you’re also giving yourself a chance to do something possibly worthwhile. Otherwise, you may regret not having done it for the rest of your life. 

The same goes for me as I took the opportunity to be part of The Risers which I’m glad I took as I was chosen to be one of the faces of The Risers and be a part of a wonderful team. So, be sure to embrace every little moment of your college life but remember not to overcommit yourself as doing so will cause you to burnout which could eventually impact your grades.

2. Don't believe everything on social media

 

They say, “Take what you see on social media with a grain of salt.” 

It’s important to know that social media is just an entertainment platform and what you see doesn’t always reflect reality. While you may see your friends and college seniors having a good time, this doesn’t mean that they don’t go through difficult moments.

So, don’t believe everything online or take any of your friends’ or influencers’ posts on social media as validation. More importantly, don’t compare yourself with others.

I’ve personally come across many posts glorifying how enjoyable life is in college but thankfully there were also different perspectives that showed completing assignments requires a lot of effort. However, from the start, I didn't set any expectations on college life as I understood that it was going to be a whole new journey for me, especially studying in a world-class university like Taylor’s. All I wanted was to keep my grades up. 

Although you may have an expectation of how your college life should look, it won't necessarily be the same as what you’ve seen on the media. Since everyone lives differently, you will encounter different experiences. Rather than jumping to conclusions from social media, ask opinions and thoughts from your seniors and siblings who have been there. Feel free to reach out to me too!

 

3. Talk to your friends and seniors

 

There are many people whom you can talk to when looking for advice, one of which is your seniors. Through them, you can get an insight into what studying in college is like and ways to go about.

At first, I had no one to refer to as I was new to Taylor’s but eventually I opened up to many friends. 

They guided me throughout my Foundation days and provided me with many hand-on tips and trickstime-management, money-saving advice, and many more.

I also asked about their experience on campus and advice on how to prepare for college. They gave me a piece of advice which is to make use of the resources around. Having these insights, you can equip yourself with the necessary skills and traits to prepare yourself mentally for college life.

For more support, you can consider making an appointment with your college counsellors. Initially, I had many questions on how to face the challenges in college life and balance my student-athlete life. That’s where Taylor's counsellors played a very important role in providing me with all the necessary information, mental support, and counselling services which a first-year student would need. By virtue of the counsellors’ support, I was able to prepare myself mentally to embark on a new life journey. 

Bottom line: Ask questions and reach out to your older friends, seniors and also the counsellors whenever you need help because they know best on the ins and outs of college life.

4. Expect the unexpected

 

No matter how much advice you’ve received from your seniors, family, and friends, you’re going to experience a whole new journey of life and each challenge you face will not be the same as the previous.

Always expect the unexpected as life will throw you curveballs when you least expect it. So be ready to tackle the challenges although you can't be 100% prepared always.

Initially, I thought I was so prepared for college — I even had everything planned perfectly to juggle between studying and sports activities. However, in the end, I didn't manage to cope with my studies as my weekday schedule was jam-packed with training, classes, assignments, and tests. 

Slowly, I learned to manage my time and reduced my social activities to focus on my studies and that’s how I kept track of my dues. Don’t worry. Every other first-year student will feel the same as you so you aren’t the only one going through this. All you have to do is buckle up, sit tight, and face the challenges head-on. As each semester progresses, you’ll get used to the atmosphere, and eventually, learn to fit in with the culture and environment.

Yes, transitioning from high school to college is not as easy as it sounds. So, congratulations to all of you who have made it this far! New beginnings and adventures — intellectually, mentally, and socially are waiting for you. Don't be afraid of encountering challenges, instead be empowered by it.

Equip yourself with relevant skills such as communication skills, interpersonal skills, leadership skills, and most importantly, be adaptable to changes because change is inevitable. Get ready for this new phase of life and use this opportunity for your personal development. Mark my words that it’ll be one of the best moments of your life and you’ll enjoy it.

PS: Here are 4 tips for you to become a successful student!

A Taylor’s Sports scholar, Shahmala is a passionate karate athlete and a math whiz with big dreams to inspire everyone. She’s currently pursuing her Bachelor in Actuarial Studies at Taylor’s University.

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Shahmalarani Chandran
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