25 Tips to Survive Your First Year at College
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Entering college is a relatively new and an exciting phase of life. According to a report by CBS news, more than 28 percent of college students said that they feel stressed by everything they need to do in college. Following these tips will guarantee a smooth freshman year in college with limited stress and anxiety.
1. Attend all the orientation sessions
You might ask yourself many times that do you really need to go to that campus tour? The reality is that you shouldn’t skip any of the sessions as they are a way of getting to know your campus better. By learning about your college quickly, you’ll feel better and will be prepared if any issue surfaces.
2. Connect with your roommate and other residents in your dormitory
Most of the people around you are first years as well and they are going through the same emotions as you are. They can be your safety net not only for this year but for all the four years. Take enough time out to connect with the fellows around you as they may help you in coping with the situation in a better way.
3. Stay in contact with your family and friends back at home
Once you have settled in your room and tried to give it a more home-like feeling, you must check on your family and friends. They might fade away in your mind because of your studies and other activities but it is never too late to make a call. Let them know that you are fine and they’ll also help in lifting your morale up.
4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
There’s a lot of information which you need to know about your campus. Be it registering for classes or getting to know the names of different professors, you would need help in every situation. There are many senior students around and never be shy to ask them about anything. Even if you have made a mistake and something has gone wrong, stay calm and rectify it by getting the answers to all your queries.
“A person who never made mistake never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein
5. Set your priorities straight
You need to study hard, maintain a social life, and look for a decent job on the campus as well. All this can be managed effectively if you choose and set your priorities right.
6. Rely on the campus study resources
There are many resources on the campus that can actually help you in getting better grades. They have the library and the writing centers which are there for the students. Utilize these resources well so that you can perform up to the mark in your exams.
“A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library.” ― Shelby Foote
7. Become a part of different student organizations
All colleges have numerous student organizations. These social and sports clubs can help you in advancing towards your dream and discover your interests. This is also a great way of making friends with whom you share the same interests. The membership of these organizations is also an effective way of improving your reputation in college and fill your student life with a lot of adventures and emotions.
8. Go to all your classes
Skipping that 8 am class and getting some more sleep sure sounds tempting but it is better to avoid this feeling. Never miss your classes because they actually help you in receiving vital information and lets you know about the tests and due dates.
9. Meet your professors outside of class
There are only advantages of meeting with the professors because they tend to help you out in the best possible manner. If you are facing any problem in the course, they’ll gladly be there to solve it with you.
10. Form a bond with your academic adviser
This is one person who will resolve all your conflicts and will give the best possible advice when it comes to choosing a major and adding/dropping courses. There is always an option of changing the adviser if you don’t click with the first one.
11. Believe in yourself and make time for yourself
Do not think that you are the only one who has had some problems in their freshmen year of college. The rest of your mates are going through the same struggle and the best way out is to firmly believe in yourself. Take some time out and reflect on your decisions so that every step you take satisfies you.
“We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained.” – Marie Curie
12. Don’t be hasty in choosing a career or even a major
Are you concerned that everyone else has chosen their major and you are the only one left? There is nothing to be worried about as most of the colleges give you months’ time before you can actually settle for your favorite choice of major. It is not a race so take your time and focus on what you want in life.
13. Take responsibility for yourself and your actions
Being an adult, one needs to learn to take responsibility for their actions, admit their mistakes, and then work on rectifying them.
“Believe in yourself and all that you are. Know that there is something inside you that is greater than any obstacle.” – Christian D. Larson
14. Never procrastinate
In high school, it is easy to wait till the last minute to complete an assignment and still end up with a good grade. However, the case is entirely different in a college as the marking criterion is stricter. Make a schedule and follow it religiously without giving yourself any room to waste time.
15. Stay organized from the beginning and manage your time well
In college, most of the professors provide you with a schedule for the entire semester in the beginning and expect you to be prepared on your own. There are no follow-ups and reminders and getting an extension in the date is almost impossible or results in a compromised grade.
From the beginning of the college year, resort to an organizer or such an app so that you stay on the right track and are prepared for everything.
“Months are different in college, especially freshman year. Too much happens. Every freshman month equals six regular months—they’re like dog months.” ― Rainbow Rowell, Fangirl
16. Eat right and stay healthy
Sometimes, the freshmen get so busy with their lives that they forget to keep a track of their eating habits. With no mom or dad around, there is no one who can actually see that you are not taking care of yourself. If one doesn’t take care of their body, there is no way they can perform well in their classes. Eat a balanced diet and never skip a meal because of any reason whatsoever. Try to never eat alone.
17. Do not compromise on your sleep
A good 8-hour sleep is a must to stay fresh the next day. There is no denying that college life is hard and coping up with assignments and schedule sometimes leads to long hours of sleeplessness. In such a situation, it is better to devise such a schedule which helps in getting the work done right on time. This will lead to getting good sleep habits in the night before important assignments or exams.
18. Keep track of your money
This is your time to create a budget and follow it. All the funds are now with you and it is your responsibility to manage your student loans and private funds well. The average credit card debt of college students is alarming so spend wisely and do not create unnecessary pressure for yourself.
19. Never resort to cheating
Do you know what is worse than procrastinating? It is cheating on your exams. A college is a place where the privileged ones get a chance to increase their learning. Utilize this time to seek greater knowledge which will help you in later stages of life.
20. Learn to come out of your comfort zone
It is okay to be shy and reserved in the beginning but if you will not challenge yourself, there is no way you can stay ahead in college let alone in your practical life. Overcome all your fears and take valuable advice from all the wonderful people around you. Stay active and be expressive because this will help you in exploring different dimensions of your personality.
“Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So, throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore, dream, discover.” – Mark Twain
21. Be prepared to feel overwhelmed
There are a lot of things going on in college so be ready to experience those moments where everything seems to be a bit too much. There will be times when you will be unprepared for situations or won’t be able to do something you really want because of a busy schedule or prior commitments. No matter what the case is, stay calm and stress-free because that will help in overcoming all odds.
22. Try to stay on campus as much as possible
Try not to leave your campus too often whether because of homesickness, friends, or a relationship. You need to settle in and for that, spending maximum time on campus is necessary. The more time you will spend in this place, the more homely feelings you will be getting. Mingle in with new friends as this will greatly help in enjoying this new phase of life.
23. Keep looking for opportunities
Respected colleges have a range of student programs, competitions, and a lot of job opportunities on campus. There are many study abroad programs as well so as a student, you must seek these opportunities which will give a boost to your career and create more excitement in your student life.
“Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.” – Thomas A. Edison
24. Do not overthink situations
All the freshmen are thrown with a lot of things simultaneously. Overthinking about what major to choose, what classes to take, whether or not you’ll end up having good friends will only ruin this phase of your life. Everything will set into place if only you would give it some time. Do not be overshadowed with negative thoughts rather, show the positivity inside you to others through your actions and learn to let go of little problems and issues.
25. Enjoy your student life
At the end, it is about enjoying each and every minute of entering a college and being a student. Only 34 percent of people have the privilege of getting a college degree and if you are amongst them, you are luckier than more than half of the country’s population.
“Success comes in a lot of ways, but it doesn’t come with money and it doesn’t come with fame. It comes from having a meaning in your life, doing what you love and being passionate
about what you do. That’s having a life of success. When you have the ability to do what you love, love what you do and have the ability to impact people. That’s having a life of success. That’s what having a life of meaning is.” ― Tim Tebow