Top 10 – What I Wish I Had Known Before College

As we’re quickly approaching the back-to-school season, we decided to “pay it forward” in a way and help publish some collective wisdom. What do we mean?  Well, read on.

Over the past few months, we talked to many different international students and asked what they “wish they had known before going to college.”  While we were given many different answers, we decided to pick our own “Top 10.”  We also chose each of these tips by how often it was mentioned, as well as how applicable it would be for the  majority of our students.  We hope you can draw some helpful tips and feel free to add your own in the comments section!

So, without any further delay we kick it off with number 10:

10. You will experience culture shock

This one is about as true as the sun rising tomorrow.  Whether it’s subtle differences or large cultural changes, you will experience culture shock (for instance, this song has taken over American pop culture, which is probably not what you’re used to).  But, it’s important to embrace these changes and move forward!

9. Research the weather of where you’ll be studying.

While we’re firm believers in the layer theory when it’s cold outside of our Boston offices, you’d be in for a rough surprise if you only brought winter clothing for the early autumn months.  Save yourself some cash or plan ahead, and pack clothing for multiple seasons.

8. Be nice to your roommate.

It sounds easy now, but the honeymoon phase will wear off at some point.  Always be polite and respectful, and not like this person.

7. Budget your money: make sure you what you need is covered before buying what you want.

This tip seems pretty standard, but it’s obviously a lot easier said than done.  Need help? See one of our posts here or here.

6. Pick a major that will help you get a job!

Even though many industries don’t require a specific degree, some do!  Research your career path and plan what you may want to do during and after college.

5. Wait to buy your textbooks until the first day of class.

Sometimes professors will list books on their syllabus, but not all of them may be required.  For optional texts, try checking out rentrals or online second hand stores (this may also work for your required books too).

4. Start networking as soon as you can.

College is loaded with potential friends, so make use of it!  After all, you’ll never know when you may be traveling throughout the US and need a place to stay..

3. Be prepared to change…and for the people around you to change too.  

Studying and living in another country will change your perspective on almost everything.  You’ll change that way you look at life and even smaller, ordinary tasks.  But, know that the people around you will be doing the same!

2. Beware of “all you can eat.”

Some colleges in the United States have cafeterias or dining halls that offer “all you can eat” style dining.  While this sounds great now, just know that it doesn’t necessarily mean you should “eat all you can.”

1. Get out of your comfort zone.

After all, you only learn about yourself when you’re pushed out of your personal bubble.

One Response to Top 10 – What I Wish I Had Known Before College

  1. Pingback: 5 (More) Quick and Easy Ways to Save Your Money « peertales

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