BY JOHN REED
SC Staff Writer
What college student isn’t looking forward to bolting out of their house – and away from their parents – the moment they graduate from high school?
You’re finally free! All those years of slaving away to your parent’s delight have finally come to an end.
The price of this unknown freedom is higher than most incoming college students realize. Toiling under the thumb of your parental figures provides a modicum of security in all facets of life.
That roof over your head does not magically appear, but is earned through hard work. Being told what to do, given chores, and having a curfew are all part of an invisible contract that you signed the moment you were born.
In college, these things will drastically change and to the unsuspecting victim reality hits like a Mack truck.
A New Breed of College Athletics – Penny Pinching
Cash is king. This is true in all walks of life, but especially for students.
Being responsible enough to manage a budget that allows the freedom to have fun, but still pays the bills is a key component to survival.
Going out with friends, enjoying parties, and buying booze are primary objectives for the vast majority of college students.
How do you make the rent after all your money went to the beer fund the weekend before? The roof over your head is no longer your parent’s responsibility.
Raiding the crevices in couches and cars isn’t a fiscally responsible way to earn enough money to live, let alone survive on your own.
Unfortunately, this leaves the broke and beleaguered college student with one option, outside of winning the lottery. Find a job that will support your “after school” activities.
Working – One of Life’s Joys
Here’s the thing with finding, getting, and holding onto a job that is important to remember.
Hard work is required to maintain your position at any place of employment.
This starts with actually showing up when you are supposed to be there. Maintaining a schedule with school and work related activities is beneficial to managing your time responsibly.
Mom’s handwritten excuses to your professor or employer do not justify your absence.
As an adult, it is your responsibility to be where you say will be. Plain and simple.
Your ability to communicate is a key component to navigating the world outside of Mommy’s skirts.
Missed classes and days off from work are not ideal, but they do happen to everyone.
We live in an age where information freely flows in many forms.
Something as simple as an email explaining the situation will suffice.
If push comes to shove, there is the Stone Age form of communicating which involves dialing a phone number and talking to the person on the other end.
Out with the Old, In with the New
High school friends are a lifeline to newly minted college students.
It is a reminder of your past which allows you to continue to look backwards.
Not all high school relations are created equal.
By clinging to your previous connections, it makes it more difficult to move forward and meet other like-minded individuals with whom you can cultivate new relationships.
Strictly maintaining your high school associations hamstrings your ability to do something that is key to your college experience.
You must network with people in your field of study.
It is not what you know, but who you know.
In life, this isn’t more crucial than when you are career hunting after your graduation.
To Microwave, or not to Microwave
In the rush to absorb all that you can in an academic sense, there are valuable life skills that get overlooked.
Many college students cannot cook!
For your information, making Ramen noodles does not count towards one’s ability to create a quality meal.
In fact, by admitting to being an expert at cooking Ramen would be a black mark against your cooking skills.
Acquiring your degree is about improving your quality of life once you graduate, but not knowing up from down when you enter a kitchen will hamper this illusive quality that you seek.
The possibilities that come with being a knowledgeable cook are endless.
Cooking itself can become a business opportunity. Who doesn’t love to eat?
Healthy eating is important because picking up McDonald’s on the way home isn’t a sustainable habit and will lead to health issues down the road.
College is the perfect opportunity for an enterprising student to change their eating habits and change themselves.
Whose fault is it anyway?
You are not human if you do not make mistakes.
Part of the learning process, both in an academic and practical setting, is to learn through your mistakes. Fail your way to success.
Mistakes shouldn’t be glossed over because they can balloon into even bigger headaches down the road. Admit your faults. Take your lumps. Learn and move on.
Owning up to your flaws and mistakes can be a cathartic experience.
Negativity and doubt will not swirl about a person who realizes their shortcomings and has begun working to correct them.
If you aren’t learning then you are dying. Half the fun in life is the knowledge gained through new experiences.
Who Are You? Who, who, who, who?
When you graduate, with paper in hand, do you really know yourself?
You’ve learned that you can cram for exams, write papers at the last minute, and participate in school activities.
Isn’t life about more? Don’t pigeon-hole yourself because of your degree and what you think you know.
Explore, experience, and enjoy.
Colleges are epicenters for learning, but life cannot be taught in a school.
You learn through experience. Everyone must walk their own path so begin your trek with the foreknowledge that you don’t know everything and you should always be learning.
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