Submitted by Noal L.

Self-Awareness and thinking strategically are key for college success. I learned, and am still learning, the importance of balance and being aware of the world that surrounds me. Social, studious and sane – keep it all. For myself, being social is everything. Make it work somehow. On the weekend, I hang out with friends and bond away from campus, or if it’s a budding campus friendship – grab a frappuccino on campus for an hour between classes and just talk. Believe me it helps. Be a good student. Listen when needed, attended all classes and participate because it reflects back on you. You’re responsible for what you walk away with in college. Finally, strategy keeps you sane. Drive to campus an hour early to relax, socialize, prep for class and get your ducks in a row before you appear before your professor. In being aware of all of these things, such as the people there to support you and knowing what due dates or upcoming events, can help so much. When I started, I had no one and no clue other than my major and the classes I was taking that semester. Over the semester, I made friends and used my resources and now have a plan for classes for the next two semesters! I’m relaxed and I have friends and feel good about being on top of assignments.

Take a deep breath. Strategy is key. My first impression of state was mental chaos – I thought everyone was judging me from looking at me and, with the degree of information I didn’t know about the world around me, I was predestined to fail. On the day before classes began, I sat back and thought to show up to school a couple hours before my first class. I used that extra time to familiarize myself with parking, my classes, the buildings the classes would be in, and most importantly the people around me. Knowing all these things got me stepping forward to getting myself on track. I took a deep breath, relaxed and went for it. This worked especially in making friends and conquering tasks and assignments. I wanted to make friends to have people to connect with and rely on at State. I would take a deep breath and think, you’re you – don’t be anyone else; if they like you they do, if they don’t so what, what do you have to lose? (Thus making me the loud, open piece of work I was in Professor Fuller’s class), and sure enough, I made some friends and some acquaintances. Take college day by day – week by week; plan it out and strategize; but before that remember to take a deep breath. College is not as scary, confusing, and uptight as it’s made out to be.