“Did you make your bed?!”, “Clean your room!”, “Be home by ten!”, “Do your homework!”, are all things you probably will not being hearing anymore. You may be thinking “Finally, freedom at last.”, but don’t run off to party central just yet.

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For some, there is nothing more exciting than getting your first taste of independence, and if there is any moment that defines the birth of independence, it’s one’s college career. Living away from the household you have known can be exciting, scary, confusing, difficult, and even a bit shocking for some. There are so many important things to keep at the forefront of your mind while in college, but instead of boring you to death, like every other adult that could give you advice, let’s go over the necessities and get you on your way to success.

Step One: Get Organized. 

The more organized you are throughout college the better. This goes for every aspect of your life; academics, personal hygiene, cleanliness, and especially your schedule. Creating a place for everything and keeping everything in its place will prevent you from losing your keys, homework, notes, time, punctuality, and sanity. Starting out with a clean room will set you on the right track. Yes, it’s like the same broken record playing in your life playing over and over again. The rules of cleanliness do not go away and now you don’t have your mom and dad to bug you to do it either. If you can master keeping yourself organized you are on track for success.

Step Two: Stay Busy

It’s important to create a well rounded schedule for yourself from the beginning of your adult life. My father always used to tell me, “Trouble is a product of Laziness”. The more time you spend doing nothing the more you will build procrastinating habits. Sometimes having a minimal hour job, or internship can provide a great way to train you in the art of scheduling. Having a schedule that reaches across the entire week full of plans can be very beneficial. Not all these plans need to be tasks, chores, or work. Of course, it is always important to provide yourself with endorphin releasing, stress free activities. Just be sure you don’t spend too much time sitting idly by doing nothing productive, because that can induce procrastination, depression, loneliness, and stress.

Step Three: You Do You

This final step is by far my personal favorite. The days of “fitting in”, being “popular”, and getting in to the party of the year, are no more. College is quite a different dynamic than high school. A certain special kind of maturity seems to hit everyone when you enter college. My very specific advice to you is this; find yourself. As you venture through college your beliefs will be tested, and you will be tested. Don’t lose yourself looking for acceptance, searching for others approval, or worst of all trying to fit in. There is no standard, there is no requirement, but there is only you. Whether you are on a small campus or a large campus you will have to find your niche, and the best way to do that is be involved. I know what you’re probably thinking, “Well that’s something I’ve never heard before.”

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Let me further clarify what I mean by get involved. Not only do I urge you to participate in your residence halls, clubs, and intramural sports, but furthermore engage in class. Be a part of your campus and more importantly be a part of something bigger than yourself. Strive to understand others, gain a worldly perspective, and do not be closed minded. The more you form yourself through education, experience, and a multitude of perspectives the more successful you will be, and that I guarantee.

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