Do you ever feel like the people around you aren’t respecting you or your time?
If you make a few lifestyle changes, you could start to notice a difference in how you feel about yourself and how others treat you. Here are some of the things I’ve been working to improve on, which will hopefully help you, too.
As cliche as this sounds, it helps so much more than you think. As comfortable as Nike shorts and a T-shirt are to wear to class every day, your fellow classmates and teachers are a lot more likely to take you more seriously if you take the extra 10 minutes to put on a business casual outfit in the morning.
Although you don’t need to do this every day, it is good to start out trying this once or twice a week and work your way up to more days a week.
You’ll surprise yourself by how much better you feel and the level of respect you receive from classmates, professors and even strangers.
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As easy as it is to send a text or email without putting in the extra five seconds to use correct grammar, it is worth it in the long-run.
If you get into the habit of texting like a 13-year-old, it’s going to be a tough habit to break when you start venturing into the professional world.
I may be biased because I’m a journalism major and deal with editing words more than most people, but I just cannot take anyone seriously who can’t spell out words or use punctuation in text messages. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but at least make an effort.
3. Know when it’s time to stay in.
This is probably one of the toughest items on this list, and it’s a hard lesson to learn.
Yes, college is fun, but you need to know when you need to stay home and get your work done. Sometimes, that could mean passing up partying on some Friday or Saturday nights, but keep the big picture in mind.
You’ll like yourself a lot more when you ace that history midterm because you spent an extra night studying instead of doing keg stands.
Plus, imagine how much more impressed your professor would be to get a late, Saturday night email asking a question for the exam than one on Monday morning, two hours before the exam.
With the way technology is, it’s very hard to stay completely out of the loop with what’s going on in the world and nation.
You don’t need to be an international politics buff, but in order to be an informed citizen, you need to have some basic knowledge of what’s going on around you. Even though it’s easy to get caught up in the college bubble, there is—as hard as this is to believe—a real world out there.
Not only should you care about what’s going on because it affects you much more than you probably think, but some people may write you off as ignorant or dumb if you don’t.
5. Trust your gut and stick with it.
You are your own person and even though people will question your decisions in life at some point, remember that you have the right to make your own choices.
Even if people disagree, it’s OK to stray from the norm. If you make a decision and stick with it, as long as you can logically back up your choice and defend your actions, people will start to respect you.
If you’re a pushover, you will not gain respect from your peers. Be able to recognize that you are not infallible, but also that you can stick to your guns when necessary.
6. Sit in the front of class.
You don’t need to do this every day. There is always going to be that day when you’re dozing off in class and need to sit in the back, but you’ll be amazed how much more engaged you will be in the material if you’re sitting near the front.
You’ll be a lot more likely to participate in the lecture, which makes you a lot more likely to digest the material and understand it. Plus, your teacher will respect you a lot more if you are actually trying to participate in class.
7. Seek help if you need it.
Making an effort to improve yourself goes a long way. If you know that you’re not the best at calculus, then go to the tutoring sessions available to you on campus.
Nobody is perfect —we all have classes we struggle with—so don’t be embarrassed to go. There are so many programs at your fingertips and you would be a fool not to seek out these programs when you need them.
Also, if you are really having trouble, visit your professor during his/her office hours. They really do care about helping you succeed.
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Pick a club, any club, and stick with it. It’s amazing how much more respect you will gain from your friends and classmates if they see you are passionate about something.
Pick whatever interests you and figure out how you can participate. There is no right or wrong choice here, just pick what you want to do. Not only will you make new friends, but you’ll be able to add something to your resume.
9. Watch your tongue.
On a college campus, social and professional lines are constantly blurred. You don’t know who’s friends with who and when you’ll see someone pop up in a professional setting.
Sometimes, the people you’ve partied with could end up being the judges of whether or not you get accepted into an honor society.
As unfair as that sounds, that’s how college is. As hard as it may be at times, try not to gossip because you never know when that person could end up deciding your professional, academic or social fate.
I am horrible at being on time. I’m constantly rushing to get everywhere and usually end up five minutes late.
Not only is it rude to show up late somewhere, but your character starts to become questioned if you are chronically late.
To some people, tardiness is a sign of disrespect, and you do not want people to question whether or not you are deliberately trying to be rude.