This time of year retail stores are filled with back-to-school items for your college bound student. They can purchase everything from color coordinated bedding, bathroom essentials and even mini-fridges and microwaves to stock their not-so-spacious college residence hall rooms. Most universities send incoming freshman lists of what to bring with them to college and what items are better left at home. While those lists are great for making sure your student has a comfortable living space there are a few other things that will help make their college experience a success.
The essential list of what every student should take to college:
1. An open mind. Let’s face it, students enter college with the assumption that there is information they haven’t yet learned and they are going to college to remedy that situation. By opening their mind to new ideas, people and realities they will be able to take advantage of greater levels of learning. College offers opportunities to meet people from different locations, backgrounds and beliefs. It allows students to explore ways of thinking and being that are different. Go into the experience with respect, willing to listen and engage.
2. A willingness to step outside their comfort zone. The best college experiences will cause a student to stretch and grow in perhaps uncomfortable ways. It will put their ideas and beliefs to the test. It will challenge them and they will perhaps fail. Be willing to try the tough stuff and make mistakes, because in those mistakes is where learning takes place.
3. A spirit of cooperation. Education doesn't happen in a vacuum and some of the best college memories, not to mention learning, come from those all-night study sessions, from exchanging ideas and wrestling with concepts in endless debates with your peers. Learning to work together makes for a richer college experience and is essential in the job market you will enter upon graduation.
4. A sense of gratitude. College is expensive and not everyone gets the chance to attend, nor does everyone have someone in their corner encouraging them to achieve the goal of a college education. Remember to thank those who helped you, whether they are paying for college, they offered encouragement or helped you prepare in other ways, and then make the most of your time in college.
With an attitude made up of these essential items college students will get more out of their college years than even they dreamed possible!