College is a place to learn some new habits - and also to forget some old ones

    By IvyTies
    College is a place to learn some new habits - and also to forget some old ones

    In the movie "My Big Fat Greek Wedding – 2," Paris (Elena Kampouris) wants to go to college of her choice but her traditional family wants her to join a college in the city where they live. We won’t jinx the movie by telling you what happens in the end but this is a common story of students around the world. There are often parents, uncles, cousins telling you what is the best college that you should go to. And that makes the decision even harder. However, the fact remains that ultimately the decision is yours to make—you need to sign the acceptance letter. This is the very first decision by which you can show to your family that you are ready to decide your own academic journey.

    Maturity and ability to make decisions

    The first thing you need to learn before going to college is that you need to make your own decisions. You would no longer be in high school. You would no longer be surrounded by your siblings and your parents, school headmaster, and no longer be in a protective shell of your family home. You would be in college. Almost every college has academic advisors, but they are not the same as your counselors in high school. If you ask a college advisor what you should do, they would turn the question back to you and ask you back, "What do you want to do?" They are trying to teach you to how to make decisions on your own. They will of course correct you if you are wrong, but college is not a place where you will be monitored all day. You are expected to be mature and possess some decision making ability. Admission officers are often impressed when they see that maturity and decision making skills in your application packet. If you have been relying on your parents all your life to make decisions, it is now time to ask your parents how you can learn that skill yourself.

    "I need help, someone please guide me!"

    Honestly, this sentence will probably fall on deaf ears when you are in college —nobody will respond to you. Everybody is busy with their own problems and have little or no time for your problems. If your high school had 1,000 students, a typical university has 10,000 students. This is also the case on a college admissions website, such as The correct approach to getting help on college admissions and in college is to show maturity. Think again what exactly do you need help with. Remember a golden rule - people are more willing to tell you their life story than to help you solve your problems. So instead of asking "Someone please help me with my problem," find someone who you think is successful and ask them how they became successful. Ask them how were the decisions they took that led to their success. Most likely you will make a new friend and also learn new things that you did not know before.

    Start talking to strangers

    While growing up, you have probably been told, “Don’t talk to strangers.” It is time to completely forget this advice. In college, your new rule should be to talk to as many strangers as possible. Some of the closest friends you will ever have in your life will be from your college days. Some may be your coworkers in the future, or perhaps your business partners, or perhaps even your life-partner. Landmark research by Professor Mark Granovetter at Stanford University, California found that people are six times more likely to find a new job through some casual acquaintances than through a close friend. So get out of your comfort zone and make as many acquaintances as possible. You can either run into someone interesting in person, on more likely these days, on online platforms, such as Message people, make friend requests, start a conversation.

    So get out of your old habits and develop some refreshingly new ones!