Hellooooo, Cuesta College! When I cut this rope, you’ll all be on your way to your opening classes, wherever and whenever they may be. But before we begin this journey, allow this old hat to provide you with advice that you NEED to know. You REALLY wanna survive college? Well, there are some S’s you need to know to make it through. Study, Sustenance, Sweat, Social, and Self.
Firstly, of course, is the expected Study. It is a good idea to set time aside every day to work on assignments and reading for the next class meetings. But struggling with that accomplishment, contrary to popular belief, doesn’t necessarily make you lazy. That’s one of several reasons why your professors have office hours, special pockets of time designed to allow you to meet them, discuss, check up on your progress. Your learning style may be different than another student’s, and your professor is likely willing to accommodate, but they’ll have no idea that’s even needed if you don’t take the time to talk them.
Sustenance is pretty simple. Get good meals. Your body is a machine, though whether it’s well-oiled is none of my business. But you can ensure it has the gas it needs to start strong and stay the course if you pack that lunch with healthy, hearty options that you can look forward to every single day.
Sweat is similarly simple, though its most effective incarnation varies wildly from person to person. School is ridiculously stressful and a cause of much anxiety and depression for those not prepared for it, but exercise is a fantastic way to keep yourself on-track (pun intended) and, on the whole, much happier. Try getting more walks in or bring a frisbee and taunt passersby into joining you. As they destroy your hopes for a career in the sport, you can take comfort that you got their heart rate jumping too.
Social is an often criticized but actually vastly important bit of this ordeal. You’re gonna meet new people while you’re here. Hopefully, some of those new people will click with you in some way, shape, or form, and you can begin to bond and feel more at home. You’re finally around people whose maturity levels should hopefully be a bit higher than you’re used to seeing, and you get to develop the skills that will help you survive as a fellow human being.
Finally, Self is the skill to recognize your own self-importance—to take the opportunities to prioritize YOU—your future, your mental health, whatever you need, over those things that love to get in the way, like distractions and toxic commitments, even anxiety and depression. For what it’s worth, Cuesta offers its students lots of excellent services such as counseling, condoms, headache medication, and more, in the Student Health Center. Keep yourself in tiptop shape. You can do it, Cougars!
Contributor Lola White-Sanborn hopes that SSSSS is a helpful acronym to her readers. Overcome your fear of snakes ... or leaky tires ... and send her your collegiate news via firstname.lastname@example.org.