BY VICTORIA GILMORE
College begins! A new environment, new friends, and new-found freedoms are exciting, but it’s entirely possible to feel overwhelmed. Many students will be away from their homes, families, and friends for the first time. Some students will be living in an entirely different country! We want you to be excited about your freshman experience so StudySoup is going to tell you a little secret . . . College isn’t much harder than high school. What’s different is the structure. With a few tips and a little planning, you’ll be a pro in no time!
In college, you are the boss. You are responsible for everything including your time, your health and wellness, your academics, etc. Here are some secrets about adjusting to college life. With a little practice, you’ll be a pro very soon!
1. attend orientation
This will give you the lay of the land. Not only will you be able to familiarize yourself with the campus layout, but you’ll know where to find valuable college resources. This is also a good opportunity to meet your fellow classmates and make new friends.
2. prioritize time management
Now that you’re the boss, you get to decide what’s top priority. But with freedom comes responsibility. Stay on top of the most important things with to-do lists, productivity apps, or whatever will help you prioritize.
3. create a weekly schedule
Once you’ve decided which classes you’re interested in, create a schedule. Add everything, including classes, personal time, social time, study time, and work hours. Get a digital planner if it helps and be sure to stick to it!
4. establish a routine
Wake up at the same hour every day and go to sleep at the same time. This will regulate your sleep schedule and ensure that you are not only well rested but also able to accomplish everything on your to-do list.
5. stay connected
Be sure to remain in touch with your friends and family at home. They can offer a sense of stability while you’re getting established in your new environment. Hearing a friendly voice is very comforting when you’re away from home. Plus, they want to hear about your new life! So be sure to reach out often.
6. don’t procrastinate
There will be lots of new and exciting things to do but don’t forget your studying. Trust that you will learn the ins and outs of campus life gradually and put your focus on your courses. Start your projects early, get your reading done, and stay on top of your work. This will do two things. First, it will reduce your stress level. And second, it will ensure you turn in good quality work which will get you better grades.
7. GET HELP
If you’re struggling either academically or emotionally it’s okay! All of us need help sometimes and it shows great maturity to reach out when you do. Find out where you can get tutoring campus or counseling to help you through the bumps. If you learn better from online sources, there are homework help platforms like StudySoup that can help you. Everyone wants you to succeed so don’t be afraid to reach out!
8. learn to say no
It’s important to be involved in your new community but overextending yourself can overwhelm you. Be sure that you have the time, focus, and energy to commit to extra activities but also say no if these activities will cause you additional stress.
9. stay healthy
Eat well, sleep, and get plenty of exercise. Feeling run down will only add to your stress and discomfort while you’re adjusting to college life. It’s hard to concentrate on anything if you’re not sleeping and eating nothing but sugar and pizza. So listen to your body and your emotions and treat yourself well.
10. BE FLEXIBLE AND OPEN-MINDED
College is different from what you’re used to. That’s what makes it so much fun. You will meet a lot of new people who have varying viewpoints and ways of doing things. Embrace it! Try new things and get to know new people. Learning to be adaptable is one of life’s most challenging but also most rewarding skills! It will serve you well both in college and when you graduate.
Remember, you’re the boss in college! But with freedom comes responsibility . . . responsibility to yourself! Be patient, stay flexible, and don’t wait to get help if you need it. Before you know it, you’ll feel right at home!