7 Things I Wish I Knew Before College

Ahh… College, a chapter in life that not all are privileged to have. You get to learn so many new things — be it on academic, self, or life. After a year of my foundation studies, I’m officially done with college! As someone who has been around the block, I felt the need to share some things that I wished I knew before starting college.

#1.  Time flies really fast, I’d say a little too fast


When I turned in my final exam paper, it felt like a year just vanished in a split second, I realised, “Wow, it just, ended… poof, gone.” Maybe it’s because of the pandemic, or maybe I was wrapped in assignment deadlines but one thing’s for sure, procrastination leads to no good. Eliminate that from your mindset, it’s really not worth it. Start your assignment right when they are handed out. You don’t want to stay up all night stressing out about it. Pay attention and make notes in class because the “Exams are in a month” you keep telling yourself, is clearly just to make you feel better about procrastinating.

#2. Sleep while you can


Now, just because you woke up early every day in high school doesn’t mean you’ll be able to do it in college. Sleeping patterns may change throughout the year and you’ll struggle to fix it. Again, caused by assignments and class schedule. During my final semester, my sleep pattern had a drastic change and I kept losing focus during class. I know it’s a bad routine but it’s really hard to fix it after it happens, so be prepared and appreciate all the sleep you can get!

#3. The stress is real


Haiya, college not as stress lah, wait till you enter university!” While that may be true when we compare the two, your college days will definitely be more stressful than high school. At one point, my eyelids would twitch a lot throughout the day and I ate less than usual. Though I may have Googled the cause and symptoms, I knew I was just stressed and anxious. Will I do well this semester? Will this or that work? Is our report good enough for my lecturer? When these questions hit you, that’s when it’s going to be difficult. Everyone manages their anxiety differently, but remember that it’s always better to prepare and prevent than to mend.

#4. Classes might not be what you expected


Did you see a module that you think would be fun? Well, don’t expect too much, especially with the pandemic still going on. Not every class will be engaging or exciting. Some may think that the lectures are everything in college, but in my opinion, that’s not always the case. It’s the same in school, as eventually you’ll still need to do extra studying on the side by looking up textbooks or even videos online. Don’t worry though! A great place to get information is Taylor’s library, which is filled with a lot of paid content, so make good use of it! You can also ask the seniors about how their lecturers conduct their lessons to help you prepare better for class.

#5. You’ll never stop learning about yourself


As mentioned earlier, college is a chapter in life where you’ll learn a lot about yourself, but what I didn’t expect was the dilemma in choosing my next step — my degree studies. Sure, I was passionate about Mass Communication, which was why I decided to study Foundation in Communication. However, the course branches out to many options — Digital Media Production, Public Relations, Event Management, and so on. I thought I wanted to be a videographer, but then I also wanted to be a writer, and now I aspire to be a news anchor. Truth be told, I’m still not sure about my future career, but that’s completely normal! You have to keep trying new things to figure out what you really like, and I’d suggest you join different clubs and societies, expose yourself to different challenges, and meet new friends!

#6. Short semester is another phrase for hell


You’d think lesser modules, means lesser stress? N-O. How I wished someone warned me before that a short semester isn’t ‘more relaxing’. Since you have a shorter time to complete, you’ll have to go through and process two chapters every week instead of one and less time to work on your assignments. Personally, I think it’s worse than a normal semester. There’s just so much to do in such a short time. Good time management is really important so make a list of your priorities and complete them one by one. There’s no use cramping everything only to have little to no progress — plus you’d end up being more stressed.

Bonus: The least expected pandemic


College is nothing like the movies, I hope you knew that. And no, you don’t get to party every weekend. But something I wished I knew, was that COVID-19 would make it worse, I can’t even meet my classmates and making friends online could be more difficult for some as you’ll need to step out of your comfort zone to really engage with others. That said, it’s really important to know your classmates in order to complete an assignment properly! One of the easiest ways is to ask for their social media to know what they usually like to do.

That’s about it! All in all, don’t forget to have fun, but still take college seriously. Your CGPA score is important for possible scholarships in the future. You’re an adult now, hence you’re responsible for your own wellbeing and choices. And remember that your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Good luck to you!

PS: Taylor’s offers a lot of different scholarships, so make sure to secure them with your very best.

Denise Chang is currently pursuing Foundation in Communication at Taylor's College. She is also the Director of Public Relations and Events for Taylor’s AKPK Club.

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