I love a good game of strategy use. In fact, it’s one of my favorite things of life.
So of course, when it came to college, there was a strategy. There is ALWAYS a strategy.
I’m sharing this with you in hopes that the next-gen readers who decide to go to college and want to make their experience efficient AF can put these bits of wisdom to use. Buckle up.
- I started in high school. Junior year, which was the first year I was given the opportunity to take AP courses for college credit, I jumped ON that shit and took as many as I could handle. I did that senior year, too, which means I was able to start college having already knocked out a handful of gen eds.
- As SOON as I graduated high school (as in, that summer), I started taking college classes at my local community college. (I was also going to a SUNY school so I knew they would transfer to my college in the fall – something you gotta do your research on first)! I knocked out a few more gen eds that way.
- I always took my WORST subject (AKA anything math-related) at the local community college during breaks. For several reasons: a. The courses were more difficult at my state school. I tried. and flunked. b. Teachers are much more chill during the summer when the pressure is lessened and there are FAR less people in the course. c. BECAUSE there are FAR less people in the course, I was able to get more 1 on 1 time with the teacher. d. I would make it the main focus (AKA I wouldn’t take any other courses at that time so I could give it my all). Had I taken math during the school year along with all my other classes, I would have gotten overwhelmed, burnt out and likely failed again.
- I NEVER STOPPED. From the moment I graduated high school to my last year of college, I NEVER stopped taking courses. As in, any time there was a school break, I stayed and took a couple of my required courses. Once again for the same reason as I mentioned above; It’s easier, less stressful and less hectic.
- I researched my professors and courses before choosing. If a teacher was known to give students anything but a positive experience, I wasn’t interested. I chose as many teachers as I was able to. Same went for courses. If I had a few to choose from, I only took what was interesting to me. (Seems like a no-brainer but some people I know just signed up for whatever without researching and REALLY regretted it)!
- I stayed local. My family said they would help cover more of my tuition if I stayed local, so that seemed like a no-brainer, too. I stayed in my hometown and lived in an apartment, worked and went to class. I spent my money on an MBA later on.
- I picked a flexible major. This is also important. I’m ALL for doing what you love, but when it comes to getting a job, employers care about your real-life experience and what you can bring to the table. That’s really it. So something like a math degree doesn’t make sense unless you’re an…engineer? I don’t even know. I kinda knew what I wanted to do (I loved being on TV and writing so I chose Broadcast Journalism as my major) BUT my reasoning behind that was that it was a communications degree. Communications skills are pretty general and also FUCKING VALUABLE. I ended up working in PR from having that degree, too. As in, my degree was flexible for a TON of different job options. Something to keep in mind. Options are a MUST!
- I made classes non-negotiable. I firmly believe that how you do anything is how you do everything. For me, I RARELY missed a class. Even if I didn’t want to go, I still went. I made them the most important thing I needed to focus on and took them seriously. I put in the effort. If you’re going to college, you gotta have that mentality. Otherwise you’re setting yourself up for a lifetime of laziness and excuses.
- I worked. This is a big one, too. I ALWAYS had a job when I was in college. Often several. Was it easy? Fuck no, but I made it as easy as I could be. I worked on campus at the info desk. I worked at a convenience store. Basically I did easy stuff where I could sit, do homework and it was peaceful and quiet most of the time – that paid the same as some of my friends in obnoxious retail jobs they hated. Even that was strategic! But that aside, having to learn how to balance a class/homework/social schedule along with work at 18 did WONDERS for my current work ethic. It’s just a good habit to get into. Now I fucking love to hustle and work so it’s something that was ingrained in me from repeatedly doing it for so many years.
The secrets are out, my friends. If you’re taking the traditional route and heading down the path of higher education (and you’re all about EFFICIENCY like ya girl here), this is the formula that worked for me.
And if you’ve got any of your own time efficiency hacks to share, tweet me with your best <3