The Orion

How to get through college successfully

Allison Galbreath

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Illustration by Darian Maroney

As my time in college comes to a close, I’ve been thinking about my years at Chico State. And the time has come for me to pass on what I’ve learned to other students about the rest of their college careers.

Obviously my experience and thoughts dictate my views and opinions, so take everything with a grain of salt.

  • Use the resources provided. There are plenty available, from campus events to counseling (for both mental health and careers) to tutoring for classes. Money is already being spent to be here, so you might as well take advantage of what’s being offered.
  • Take in as many opportunities as possible. There are a multitude of jobs, clubs, etc. available. Find some based on personal interest. You never know what could lead to a job or help you get a job in the future. Chico State is a relatively small campus. In larger colleges, students are often one fish in a sea of students. But here? It’s much more likely to be able to be a part of the campus and make your own experience. In my years here, I’ve been a writing tutor, taught English 30, wrote for The Orion and edited the Watershed Review, the local literary magazine.
  • Try to find balance between work, school, health and social life. Obviously this is a lot easier said then done. But what I’ve discovered is that this is pretty much what everyone’s college career is about: learning to find balance. Each person will struggle with one or more of these. For me, probably not surprisingly, it’s the social life. I struggle to find time to dedicate to it as I’m always either working, at school, doing homework or at the gym. Having a social life is important as it can relieve stress. Just don’t let it take over or consume your time to the detriment of other important areas.
  • Find ways to deal with stress. I can guarantee everyone will feel stressed at one point, usually during exam season. And everyone has a different way of coping. Just try to find a healthy way to do so. Go to the gym, drink some tea, take a walk, make a plan.
  • Take school seriously, but not so seriously that it causes depression. Related to taking advantage of opportunities is realizing that everyone pays to come to college. And everyone knows it’s not cheap. I know many people are here for the social part of college, but that’s not the only aspect of school. Try to get as much out of it as possible. That includes the difficult, sometimes boring, school part of college.
  • And finally, I know everyone says it, but it’s true: College goes quickly. Even if it takes someone a semester or two more than the average, it’s still short relative to the rest of your life. Appreciate it and the experience while it lasts.

Allison Galbreath can be reached at [email protected] or @agalbreath19 on Twitter.

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How to get through college successfully