Be selective

6 Key Decisions You will make throughout College

While the biggest decision you have made up to this point may have been where you will go to college, the tough choices certainly don’t stop there. There are academic, social and career-related commitments every college student must make in order to progress through their time at school.

1. Your major/minor

You might go into college thinking you know exactly what you want to do (or the case might be the opposite), but you will come to a point where you have to choose the concentration you want your studies in college to have.

Choosing your major will dictate what classes you take, what students you meet and what professors you get the chance to work with for the remainder of your time at college. Beyond just the decision of your major as an undergraduate, you might be considering adding a minor to your program of study. Adding a minor can help supplement your college education and narrow your focus for your future profession.

2. The friends you make

While picking who does and does not make it into your social circle might seem like something you don’t really have control over, college is the prime time to ensure that the friends you surround yourself with are ones you can count on. During your freshman year, you might find yourself befriending every person you meet, but when you transition into your second and upperclassman years, you will solidify those that you will devote time and effort into.

This means that you do have control over your friendships, and if you want to succeed at school (and later on in life), you have to remember that your friends are a reflection of you and that they will influence you, even if you don’t realize it while it’s happening. Friendships can make or break your college years.

The friends you don’t make can be important to your personal growth as well. Letting go of friendships that are not healthy for you can help you have a good college experience.  You absolutely do not have to be friends with everyone, and you don’t have to stay friends with everyone you befriend during your first week at college, or even your first year. You have the power to dictate the impact of the people in your life on your own well-being, so don’t forget that you come first.

3. The clubs and organizations you join

From admissions to Greek life to sports teams or the campus radio station, everyone knows there are a million and one collegiate organizations you can get involved in. Most colleges run a “club fair” that might only seem to be about getting as much free food and gear as you want, but it is to your benefit to get involved in things you’re interested in.

4. Going abroad

Determining whether or not you’ll take time away from your home campus to go abroad is an important choice. There are pros and cons to each side, and you’ll need to put in lots of research if going abroad is something you’re interested in doing.

5. What you do with your summers

Summers in college are (as your parents will often remind you) crucial time in your undergraduate years. You might choose to work or intern, go home or stay at school or come up with some other summer alternative altogether. Regardless, making this decision means you have to be able to keep yourself in check and make plans in advance.

If you choose to go the career-oriented route during one of your college summers, it might have a huge impact on your later plans.

6. Maintaining a work and life balance

Particularly during your freshman year, incorporating time management into your daily routine is a little too much to ask. College is such a sensory overload, especially if you’ve never really been on your own before.  If you commit to too much, you might find yourself overwhelmed and your commitments can take over your academics or your social life.

These choices can be highly stress-inducing, and we want to help ease some of the anxiety.

C.A.N. is here for you to ensure that you are up to the challenges that lay ahead.  If you would like to discuss the transition to college and how C.A.N. can be of assistance, please fill out the contact us page on our website. http://www.canstudentconsultants.com/

Do it for you

Sacrifices You Must Make if You Want to be Successful

Unfortunately, our problems are tied to wanting to feel good in the short term.  There are many hurdles in our lives.  One of the biggest is loss aversion. We are wired to focus more on what we stand to lose than what we stand to gain.

This is one reason why becoming successful is so difficult.  Achieving the success we want is often more about what we are willing to give up than what you are willing to do. If it weren’t for the need to make sacrifices, we might all be successful. If you are willing to give things up in the short term you can win in the long-term.

When you are in college you need to make decisions on what you are willing to give up to satisfy your goal of academic success.  Some examples are:  1) Time -how much of it is necessary for studying and working.  2) Money – how much of it is necessary to stay in school and what do you need to do to get this money. 

It is your decision to make.  You either make the sacrifices or you don’t. What looks like sacrifices on the front end, turn out to be investments when you look at them in hindsight. You give away something upfront, but the reward you get is worth much more than what you gave up in the first place. Delayed gratification works.

C.A.N. is here for you to ensure that you are up to the challenges that lay ahead.  If you would like to discuss the transition to college and how C.A.N. can be of assistance, please fill out the contact us page on our website. http://www.canstudentconsultants.com/

You are a survivor

9 Ways Students Can Survive College

Your undergraduate years will be some of the most exciting, but frightening, years of your life. You will learn so much and you will make your share of mistakes and have to learn hard life lessons. Check out these 10 tips on how to make your college experience one of your best life experiences:

1. Successfully take notes for a difficult class

Ditch some of your high school note-taking techniques. Write your notes legibility and in ways that YOU can comprehend. Sometimes, writing a simple diagram in your notes can help you study for that mid-term, later. Do not write down EVERYTHING your professors says. The point to taking good notes it to locate the main point of a lecture and some vital details.

2. Treat your roommate with dignity and respect

When you get to college, you will have a roommate. It is not easy to share a room with a stranger. If you can, start a conversation with them and get to know them. After all, you will be sharing living space.

3. Take the initiative to meet new people

It is scary to be thrown into this world of higher academia and be expected to be sociable and get excellent grades. One way to meet people is to get involved in student-led organizations that interests you. Get involved and begin to make meaningful connections.

4. Keep in contact with your loved ones

Is so easy to get caught up in ‘the college life’ that you forget to call your family. Make time to reach out to your family and friends back home. Keeping in contact with family and friends gives you an unbelievable boost of confidence and strength to deal with college life.

5. Save money on books

College is expensive enough without overpaying for books.  Here are a few websites that will help ease the pain of buying books: chegg.com, amazon.com, Ebay .com, and half.ebay.com. If you can, rent the books you need. Buy used books. Buy your books from other students that no longer need them (look up Facebook groups dedicated to this as well).

6. Seek out job and internship opportunities

If you want to know how to get a job/internship while in college? Ask.   Your college likely has several websites dedicated to finding employment and internships. If you can’t find that awesome internship you wanted– Volunteer. Volunteer in your department of study. Volunteer as your favorite professor’s teaching assistant.

7. Ask important questions

Ask questions. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for wanting to get an understanding of something. If it is important for you to know, then have the confidence to ask all the questions you need to

8. Become comfortable with yourself

You are going to notice that you will start to change more and more while at college. Get comfortable with who you are because ‘you’ are going to be with ‘you’ for the rest of your life-so you might as well learn to love yourself now.

9. Avoid making bad decisions

Media and society will make you think that alcohol, drugs and random hook-ups make your college life worthwhile. Avoid anything and anyone that threatens to deter your college career. Think about this; if you didn’t do ‘that’ before you got to college, chances are you don’t need to do ‘that’ while you’re in college.

C.A.N. is here for you to ensure that you are up to the challenges that lay ahead.  If you would like to discuss the transition to college and how C.A.N. can be of assistance, please fill out the contact us page on our website. http://www.canstudentconsultants.com/

Could money derail your college goals?

Before your money situation becomes a problem, do some work that will help you to avoid the stress that low cash will cause in your life. 

This week, you should consider the following:

Creating a budget will help you to achieve your goals.

Finding a bank or credit union will help you to manage your money with services like checking accounts, savings accounts, and access to cash through ATMs.  It would be ideal to select an institution that offers free checking, accounts that do not require minimum balances and pay interest.

Applying for grants and scholarships, because they do not have to be repaid. 

Applying for low-cost loans.  Make sure you read the fine print.  There is a difference in loans from subsidized (government pays interest while you are in school) and unsubsidized (you pay the interest while you are in school).  You may be approved for more money than you need.  Be careful of this as you will have to repay this money after you graduate.

Most college students have to work during their time in school.  You should consider working on campus, if possible.  As the people that would be your supervisors understand that you schedule will be flexible.  You will also have little commute time to work and no expense.

If you haven’t already started, saving and investing as much as you can will make the college experience less stressful.  The goal is to have about three months of living expenses saved, in the event of an emergency.

Decrease money flowing out by:

To lower transportation expenses, you may want to consider getting along without a car for now.  That will cut gas, insurance, maintenance, registration, and car payment expenses.

Choose and use credit cards wisely.  My experience has been that credit card companies prey on college students.  I would always recommend not getting a credit card, but if you have decided that you have the discipline to use a credit card it is good to realize that not all credit cards are created equally. Look for one with the lowest interest rate, longest grace period (time you get to use the money before paying interest), lowest annual fee (preferably free).  Some cards also offer rewards for using them.

Use debit cards wisely.  If you are not the type of person who records every withdraw you may find yourself overdrawing your checking account and may incur penalties.

Use ATM cards wisely.  If you find this withdrawal process easy, you will want to check your balance after every transaction so that you do not find yourself in a tight position when you need the money.

Paying off high-rate debt (credit card) can be more beneficial than having money in a savings account at a low percentage rate.

Avoiding credit blunders.  Every time you create a debt you have agencies assessing if you are a good or bad risk.  This may affect your ability to purchase a car or house in the future.

Using tax credits can also add to your bottom line.  If you are paying for college yourself, you may be able to use these credits to reduce your federal income tax.

Avoid the “let’s go out” trap.  You will be asked to go out and the cost will increase, sometimes with you not even realizing it.  Some friends will tell you that they will cover you until you have the money.  Sounds like a great idea until you realize you are already in the hole financially for next month and this month isn’t even finished!

Tracking your spending can be a real pain, but a huge help if you aren’t sure where your money is going.  It could be as simple as the amount of money you are spending for lunch, because you can’t stand the dining hall food that you have already paid for!

Examining each expense line in your financial plan for possible reductions can help you immensely.  From have BYO – bring your own movie and a dinner in your room with friends instead of going out to changing banks to one with no fees to buying snacks in bulk, any step toward reducing your money going out will help you succeed in meeting your college goals.

C.A.N. is here for you to ensure that you are up to the challenges that lay ahead.  If you would like to discuss the transition to college and how C.A.N. can be of assistance, please fill out the contact us page on our website. http://www.canstudentconsultants.com/