Well, you are growing up and heading to college soon, so here's my top tips. Some are quite random, some you've probably heard before, but here's what I've learned from 2 years of college:
1. Know the ClimateNothing's worse than being stuck on campus wearing the wrong kinds of clothes, so know the climate and prepare for it. For me, this meant following Sunny's instructions and buying a nice, warm, stylish pair of waterproof boots. I wear those things so often! For you, this will probably be less about cold and snow and a lot more about wearing cool clothes to survive the heat.
2. Keep the Scholarship
College is expensive, so put your classwork first and get the grades to keep the scholarship. I believe that you can do great in any class as long as you put in the time. So give classes the time they need and get those grades!!!
3. Talk to people who know about your major.
This could include counselors, teachers, and most importantly, older students. They are the ones who know about good teachers, bad teachers, hard classes, easy classes, and when you should start looking at jobs and internships. There is no better resource for finding out exactly what you need to succeed in your major.
4. Take advantage of on-campus jobs
This is something I didn't do. In today's economy, every employer expects you to be overqualified for even the smallest job. Finding a job at home for the summer is extremely difficult if you don't have any work experience. However, on-campus jobs aren't as picky. My job in the math lab didn't even ask about job experience. So start working early and get plenty of job experience before you start looking for internships. I didn't do this, and now I'm looking for internships and will only have a few months to a year of work experience to put on the resume. Start working early, even if its only working 10 hours a week or less.
5. Go to Activities Alone.
This one also took me a while to get used to. Freshman year, I didn't feel comfortable to activities or clubs without dragging one of my roommates along. Well guess what, they were busy a lot of the time I wanted to do things, so I stayed home. DON'T DO THAT!!!! Go alone, it will let you meet more people, cause guess what? If you always go with someone you know, you will only stick around them and never meet anyone new. Find clubs your interested in, go to ward activities, go to institute, go to everything! It's a lot more fun than sitting at home.
6. Take Fun Classes.
Take that hula class, take that bowling class, take that social dance class. They're easy, fun, and that's where you meet a lot of people. Guess where most of my dates sophomore year came from? My social dance class! You don't get know people sitting next to them and listening to a professor, you get to know them trying something outside your comfort zone and by actually talking! So have fun, learn a new talent, and meet people.
7. Always, Always, Always, do your Dishes
Freshman year, I heard a lot of drama about roommates because that was when everyone was just randomly put together. But the one thing I learned is that almost every argument boiled down to one thing: cleanliness. If one person didn't do their dishes or clean up their stuff from the living room, the whole apartment was mad and no one was able to be friends. It doesn't matter how kind or interesting you are, if you don't clean up after yourself they won't see you as anything but a slob. So for roommates, the first step to being friends is cleaning up after yourself. (Even if this means making a pile of stuff on your bed everyday. Just keep the community space clean)
I guess they need their own category, huh? My friend Wilson pointed out something quite strange about BYU culture: people look at meeting the opposite gender purely as a way to find their next boyfriend/girlfriend, and if it doesn't work out they never see each other again. Well, that's just stupid. Look for friends first, of both genders! Being friends first is a lot simpler, easier, and more fun. If something develops, great! If not, you have a new friend to hang out with.
9. Be Prepared
Always have the ingredients for your favorite treat on hand. For me, it's chocolate chip cookies. You never know when you'll have a bad day, some free time with a friend, or someone to thank. Having the ingredients on hand for something delicious and simple is a quick fix for any of these. The only hard part is not making them too often! (Also, have a can of chicken soup in the cupboard for those lazy days, those sick days, or for a friend in need. Thanks to Dad for that tip)
Wow, I'm kinda surprised I came up with that many! You've probably heard some of these before, but it's what I thought was worth repeating. I hope it's actually helpful!