College is one of those "work hard, play hard" situations; however, most college students, especially freshmen, get this analogy confused with work less, play harder. For new college students away from their parents, managing time and doing work can be a huge challenge.
Often the amount of freedom granted can become overwhelming, and one can lose sight of what’s important. It is true that first year college students have a higher risk of dropping out of school than any other college student because it’s their first time away from home for an extended period of time and their priorities are tested. When you’re in college you’re an adult making your own decisions, so why not take advantage of it, right? Wrong!
During my senior year of high school, my teachers constantly said “Do your work," “Manage your time,” “Don’t get caught up partying in college,” and so on. Those little warnings could easily go in one ear and out the other when you’ve also heard things like “Experience everything that college has to offer," “Have fun,” etc.
My first week as a college freshman, there was party after party. People constantly asked me to attend parties with them and offered drinks. Although I denied all drink invitations, I still decided to attend a couple of the parties to see what it was like.
Unfortunately, I always found myself standing around watching a lot of drunken people dance around on each other in a hot, crammed house. The music was so loud you could barely hear, and the house was so crowded you couldn’t walk through without getting lost or bumping into someone.
I wasn’t having much fun, but every time I tried to leave I was begged to stay by one of my friends. Because I stayed, I spent a lot of time the next day trying to complete all my homework, which left me tired and stressed.
I had a workload, and instead of me deciding not to go to the party because I had homework, I went anyway because I wanted to have fun. I figured I had time to blow and that I would get it done eventually. Boy, was I wrong!
College life definitely has many temptations, and it can be quite tricky to figure out.
Three important things I would tell any college student to remember would be:
- Plan your day ahead and execute every action accordingly.
- Do work first, then have fun.
- Just because you don’t have a class, it doesn’t mean you have free time.
Every college student should always keep in mind why they decided to attend college and the goal they plan to achieve. That way, when faced with the party vs. homework scenario, they’ll easily know which one to choose.
Brytnie Jones, of Gary, is a freshman at Earlham College. The opinions are the writer's.