For the first-year college student, leaving home for the first time, this can be both scary and exciting. Below, are a few tools, skills and habits to help you get through the awkward first year. You may also be able to apply some of these to the remainder of your college education and beyond.
GO TO ALL OF THE ORIENTATIONS:
There are going to be quite a few, but they’re all important to attend. The more you attend, the more at ease you’ll feel.
GET TO KNOW YOUR ROOM & DORMMATES:
Take the time to get to know your fellow first-year students. You may be surprised to learn that they’re experiencing the same challenges you are.
MAKE CONNECTIONS WITH STUDENTS IN YOUR CLASSES:
This will help to expand your network of friends. This can help to form study groups and if you do miss a class, they can be a crucial resource.
MEET WITH YOUR PROFESSORS:
You’ll find that each professor has scheduled office hours, for the sole purpose of meeting with students. This is a great opportunity to introduce yourself and understand their expectations.
This could be through an app, or with an old-fashion calendar. There are going to be a lot of assignments and papers due, so do whatever it takes for you to keep track of their deadlines.
GO TO CLASS:
After all, that’s why you’re spending the money to be there. There will be times when you’re going to want to blow off that 8 am class, but as tempting as it might be, attending the class is going to be much more useful than asking a classmate for his or her notes.
BE PREPARED TO BE OVERWHELMED:
Other than summer camp, this may be the first time on your own, in charge of yourself, and this may seem overwhelming at first. Remember, you’re not the only one going through this.
USE THE STUDY RESOURCES AVAILABLE ON CAMPUS:
If you’re having trouble, learning labs and tutors are great resources. Another idea, form study groups.
EXERCISE & EAT RIGHT:
Exercising and eating right will help you avoid the extra “Freshman 15.” Go for walks, find people to exercise with and try, as best as you can, to stay away from the extra fries and dessert bar.
You will experience moments of home-sickness and feel as though you don’t belong. By joining a club, student organization, sorority or fraternity, or sports team, you’ll meet more people. You’ll want to remain on campus and feel more connected to the school.
KEEP TRACK OF YOUR MONEY:
Here’s a tip that extends well beyond college. Avoid the credit card solicitations that will come your way. Create a budget that will help to extend your cash further.
SEEK HELP IF YOU NEED IT:
No matter how prepared you think you are, this is going to be an adjustment. Don’t face issues alone, ask for help. Your college has several services available to students.