My seniors graduate this week and I was compiling a list for them. After asking people on Twitter and Facebook for their ideas, here’s what I put together:
- Never buy textbooks. There are always places to find cheap (or free) versions.
- Don’t sign up for a credit card, no matter what “prize” they’re offering you. If you do get one, though, be sure to pay it off each month.
- If you can avoid it, try not to get a job during your first semester. Better yet, make plans for a summer internship early in the school year.
- Don’t do anything stupid. But if (when) you do something stupid, don’t post pictures about it on Facebook.
- Don’t get a tattoo unless you designed it and you’ve thought about it for at least two years.
- Back-of-the-envelope calculation: (15 credit hours a week) x (18 weeks in a semester) x (2 semesters) = 540 hours of class a year. If tuition is $20,000/year (it’s probably more), you’re paying about $37 (or more) per hour of class. Don’t skip class!
- Sit in on large lecture classes in subjects you aren’t actually taking. No grades, no one will notice, and you’ll learn a lot.
- There are scholarships available everywhere. Most people don’t apply for them. Go get the money they don’t want.
- Join clubs. Get to know your professors. Talk to people in your dorm. Besides getting to know really cool people, you’re setting yourself up to get a job in the future.
- Study abroad. Don’t want to leave the country? Then just spend time around people whose viewpoints you completely disagree with.
- Unless you’re playing with a huge group of people, put the video games away. Unless you’re creating the next Facebook, turn the Internet off every now and then. It’ll be there for you later.
- Cover your drinks. Cover yourself. Eat healthy. Do everything in moderation.
- Get your requirements out of the way early. You don’t want to be ready to graduate only to find out there’s one course you still need to take… and it’s not available that semester.
- The thing that made you socially successful in high school was conformity. But if you want to be successful in college and beyond, think differently and do your own thing.
- Call your parents.
What would you add to that list?