Best Tip for College Freshmen – Learn self control

Below is a post from Broke Professionals – we swapped posts today as part of the Yakezie Blog Post Swap.   

For many, college is a time of freedom. For the first time you are staying away from your parents, you can eat what you want, spend your money in whatever way you want and pretty much use your time however you want. Living without parental supervision for the first time is a rush. Many incoming freshman are ecstatic about the prospects of living without daily restrictions. Sometimes there is a little too much freedom. If you are a lucky kid, your parents taught you a very great skill that not only makes your college experience fulfilling, but helps you build wealth throughout your life – self control. The sooner you learn this fine art of delayed gratification, the sooner you will be on your way to riches. If not, life will teach you this skill but it will take you much longer time to patch up the damage that has already been done.

Learn self control with spending
A LOT of students graduate with debt. It is not just student debt, most of them have consumer debt too. It is too easy to purchase an item on credit the minute you want. But at that time if you don’t show self control and don’t actually wait until you have actually saved up the money, you will be paying for that item for a very long time. Learn to budget and stick to it. If you don’t have the money you can’t go out and buy the latest cool gizmo. It sucks, but many things in life do. Remember that happiness does not equate to just owning material possessions. The earlier you understand that, the lower the chances you have of getting into serious financial ruin.

And if you make a habit of putting purchases on credit cards, you might still be paying for those items 10 years from now. Do you really want to pay interest on a pair of jeans even after you have a kid?

Learn self control with eating
Google Freshman 15 and you will know what I am talking about. This is very true for me. Yes, my mother told me to eat my veggies, but the moment I was allowed to eat anything, I stuffed myself with junk food and desserts 🙂

Learn self control with using your time
Believe it or not, most of us have plenty of time during school. At least more time than when we have a career and a family. College might be a great time to dip your toes into entrepreneurship. Know how to fix computers? Have a passion for writing? Like to teach? All of these can be converted to ventures that would bring some money, help you make career connections and also teach valuable life skills. But instead what do we end up doing? Playing video games or getting hooked on social media and spend all your free time doing nothing. No, I am not saying there should be all work and no play, but practicing good time management will help tremendously.

Learn self control with behavior
I have seen some freshman with no respect for parents or professors. Most people who work with students on a day to day basis are patient and understand that they grow up. But sometimes, it strains a relationship and will haunt you for the rest of your life. You will be surprised how much giving respect will gain you in life.

College is indeed a very enjoyable period of your life. There is however the need to realize that there is a balance in all things. Having a great time should not become a case of breaking all the rules and going against common sense. You may not always do the right thing. College is the time we make mistakes and it is the time to learn from mistakes too. But learning a little self control goes a long way in forming habits for a great future, financial and otherwise