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  • Dr. Mena Birett

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.

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