The Niagara News is the community newspaper of Niagara College located in Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, Canada. It is created and produced by the students of the Niagara College Journalism program.
Four mistakes you’ll make in your first year of post-secondary education:
Staying in high school mode. This goes out to all of you who were the class clowns in your math classes, or the “cool” guy who coasted through school with your grades in the basement.
It once was edgy and rebellious to skip classes, make fun of teachers in the middle of a lesson or just not give a shit. Those days are over. If you skip a class, no one will care if you’re there or not. If you start being disruptive in the middle of a lesson, the instructor just might kick you right out of the class. The actions which once seemed rebellious and cool will just seem trite and irresponsible to your peers in college and nerds from high school are suddenly the ones everyone wants to hang out with.
Thinking you’re too smart to try. You just got your acceptance letter to your program. Your parents are so proud of you. You look back on high school and think, “it was a breeze, I’m a genius.” Then you get your first assignment back and it’s a “C” or worse. Chances are, your ego was so big after graduation, that you weren’t going to have to break a sweat getting your diploma. Being smart just isn’t good enough. Any longterm goal will require effort, time and work. High school doesn’t do much to prepare you for how much work success really requires.
According to writer Malcolm Gladwell, it takes about 10,000 hours of practice to get there. In your first year of college, you’re just getting started.
Learn how much you can party. Everyone in college should have fun. If you’re not having fun, you’re not doing it right. You’ll probably have that one friend who may be able to drink his face off, wake up the next day at 8 a.m. and still ace his exam. The vast majority of us can’t pull that off.
This is a best chance to learn your limits. And just remember, you’re an adult now, so any immoral, unethical or illegal act you commit at your going to have to live with it.
Thinking this is just for a job. College is an experience, not a checklist. Yes, you want to get a career from it, but that isn’t just done in the classroom. It is a chance to explore new challenges, personalities, and opportunities. Many students find themselves in programs they don’t like because they see post-secondary as a means to an end. Ten seconds after you receive your diploma or degree, you’re going to forget 90 per cent of what your instructors said, but you’ll remember the experience. Every party you enjoyed, problems you solved with your roommates or all-nighters you pulled finishing a paper are all part of it. Student life teaches you 1000’s of lesson that make you who you are. I can’t guarantee that you will find you dream job, but try a few new things and I guarantee, you’ll find yourself.