Your First Year in College – A Mindset for Success

Last Updated on May 23, 2023

Most college freshmen assume that they have a good idea what their goals are when they enter the doors of the university. It may seem like college is a pit stop they have to attend for four years before they can join the real world. Several years of studying and taking exams, and you’re an adult with credentials.

It’s true that the short time you spend in the university will give you the academic background you will require to land that high paying job. But your stay in the university can be more productive if you tweak your perspectives a bit. Here are some ideas for reflection during your first year.

Keep your eyes open for golden nuggets of opportunity

The chance to get a good college education is great enough, but college is not just about studying for your degree. Although the bulk of the work is all about school stuff, never forget that college is teeming with other opportunities that you may never find anywhere else. Many of the successful people you read about in books started out by grabbing every small chance to improve their chances of succeeding.

For example, a bulletin notice informing seniors of an opportunity to work in a Fortune 500 firm directly after college may seem like something that’s not for you yet. But the truth is, opportunities like this will give you an idea why aiming for good grades in most of your subjects is worth all the trouble. You’ll soon discover what all these job offers have in common and the knowledge will motivate you.

Just overhearing some of your dorm mates talking about an extracurricular activity meant for people with your skills could change your plans for the summer or spring break. These nuggets of valuable information aren’t like the courses you have in your syllabus, which have a timetable. You have to seek them out and keep your eyes open for when they spring up in front of you.

College is a chance to build your people skills

Building your personality matters because every great person out there, even the most compelling and most likable person you know, went through a period of trial and error when it comes to dealing with others. Your personality comprises the way you make decisions, as well as the way you adapt to changing scenarios, especially those that involve other people.

College forces you to interact with people you might have never chosen to talk to or interact with. How you interact with those that seem strange to you is a good mirror of how much (or how little) you know about dealing with strangers, especially weird strangers. By continuing to meet people from all walks of life, you’re not only building your personality, you’re also constructing a solid repertoire of experiences you can draw on when faced with similar situations in the future.

While earning that diploma is the main reason you’re in college, finding ways to make college more like a life experience than a requirement for a job can help you make the most of your tuition money.

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