Yesterday, I’ve posted the first article of the Prep Yourself for College series by listing what you should have before you start your freshman days (read it here), now onto the second one which is just basically a list of general tips.
Bear in mind that here are what I’ve personally learnt during my college days. Feel free to try them out, or not (it’s up to you; you’re legally an adult now).
- Read a lot: yes, read. And no, don’t just read those boring assigned books you’ve done in the past, I mean read! Read odd topics such as the history of war, or pho origin or female prostitute-turn-powerful-pirate, or stars, or whatever.
Expand your mind! College is a pause for breath before you dive into the workforce, so why not spend this time exploring as many topics as you can? Don’t graduate an uncultured swine (I love you if you get this reference).
You can get a membership (costs 3 USD in average) in many small libraries. My favorite ones are:
- Hun Sen Library in Royal University of Phnom Penh (check it out here)
- Toshu Fukami Library in the University of Cambodia (check it out here)
- RUPP’s Department of Media and Communication Library (check it out here)If you want to own a book instead, check out these bookstores (they are my heavens):
- Monument Book (check it out here)
- D’s Books (check it out here): I actually like hanging out in D’s, just strolling or sitting in its café. Very relaxing music, and quite many books to choose from!
- Bohr’s Books (check it out here): very different selections from D’s, yet beautiful all the same.If you’re like me, who are quite frustrated at not being able to find a particular book in Cambodia, these free e-book sites are e-heavens for you:
- bookzz.org (heaven, I tell ya!)
- gen.lib.rus.ec (an even bigger heaven)If you do not like the uncomfortable feelings caused by starting at your mobile devices while reading, I sincerely urge you to consider buying yourself a Kindle. Investing a couple of hundred dollars for a life-long path to heaven. I’d say that’s fair enough.
- Volunteer: you’ve probably heard of how volunteerism helps you. Yes, it does help your resume. Yes, it does help you make friends, and yes, it does help with experience. But most importantly, volunteer because you genuinely care. There are many (and I mean MANY) aspects of our society that needs improving, and more than ever, youths play an important part in that process. You need experience, and they need a helping hand. Win-win. And please, please do not just go for the sake of appearing to help. Think long and hard before engaging in any volunteer project. Make sure that you are really passionate about the cause before applying because once you are in, you will need to put efforts in driving the cause forward. Please don’t just show up, snap a selfie, and leave. You won’t learn anything, and it actually damages your credit!
- Make new friends: it’s very rare for high school friends to stay close in college. I really applaud those who can, but most of the time, people drift away because they are no longer heading to the same direction. College is a place where you can make new friends! You don’t need to immediately make close friends and post pictures with the hashtag #bff; it’s fun to just have acquaintances from all walks of life. Do not expect everyone to want to be close with you. The goal is just to explore and learn. Talk to new people, and learn from them!
- Apply for exchange programs: and not just to boast to your friends that you are capable of being selected either. Apply for exchange programs because by doing so, you can open your eyes to the differences and similarities between your country and others. Expand your mind (without fee too, I might add). You can check pages such as WEduShare (here), Youth Development Center (here), Ahladang(here), and Youthop (here) for any exchange and volunteer opportunities that might arise.
I’m sure you can now sense the underlying theme behind all these tips.
It’s to explore! Do not worry about getting your life together yet. Hell, just a few months ago, you needed to ask permission to pee! Now, you’re expected to make life decisions?
College is essentially a playground for you. Develop your own sense of right and wrong, explore, and learn from whatever means you can- people, volunteering, exchange programs or books. The most intelligent of brains can do nothing if it does not have any material to rearrange. Feed your mind!
Remember that you are shaping your life right now. Make sure you have enough food upon which your mind feeds.
Read the third, and final article of the Prep for College series on how to study effectively here!
Complementary article on why should you read literature and the third