Being a first-time college student can be nerve-wracking for both dorm residents and commuters. However, it doesn’t have to be so scary or overwhelming.
First and foremost, get your class supplies and schedule all set for class.Being unprepared can be very overwhelming, especially during the first week of classes. Double check your schedule and buy any supplies that you may need for your classes. Sometimes, your student account will show you what books or supplies are necessary for the course. However, if you want to wait until the first week of classes to double check what books you definitely need, that’s also perfectly fine.
Photo: Pang Yuhao on Unsplash
Next, get to know your school by checking where your classes are BEFORE you go to class. This ensures that you won’t get lost before your classes and you won’t be late. Being prepared will allow you to give yourself time in the morning to relax and get ready for school without the pressure of not knowing where your class is.
Whether you’re commuting or dorming, it’s important to get yourself out of your comfort zone and attend the welcome events that your school has to offer. Get involved with the school. This is the prime time to meet new people and make new friends. It’s the best time to get to know your school and see what they have to offer. Making new friends makes college all the more fun and easier to get through.
It’s always important to find a “safe space” at your school, or a nice, quiet place for you to study, do homework or find peace. This could be the library, tutoring room, student lounge, etc. Find a safe space at your school so that you have a place to go to whenever you need a quiet place or whenever you just need to have a moment for yourself.
Once you receive your syllabus, write down due dates or any other important dates on your calendar or day planner. This ensures that you’ll know ahead of time what to expect and when you’ll need to schedule time to study for an exam.
Meet with your advisors. This is essential and important for new students. Your advisors are there to guide you and help you ease into college. They’re there to help you register for classes, drop classes, or with any conflict you may have. They are a huge resource for your college career.
Take advantage of the resources that are offered to you. Every school has a tutoring lab, so it might do well to visit yours just so that you know where it is and what their hours are. If you have an exam or a paper that you need help with, the tutoring lab is there to help you do well with your classes. If you’re having trouble with your laptop, you can always go to the computer lab or the help desk to help you with any issues that you may have. If you are applying for a job, go to the Career Services department of your school to help you with your resume and cover letter. These resources are here to help make your lives easier and to make your college experience even better.
Find your balance. It’s important to get good grades and hang out with your friends but it’s also important to make time for yourself. Set a time to study and do homework. Then, set a time for yourself so that you can breathe and relax. And whatever time you have afterwards, use it to socialize and hang out with your friends. The most important thing to remember is to maintain a balance. If you are spending more time hanging out with your friends instead of studying, it’s important that you cut back and set schedules so that you know when to study and work hard.
Lastly, but also most importantly, go to class. It may be nice to skip class to get a bite out to eat with your friends, but your education is ultimately more important. There will always be time to hang out with friends and go to parties. However, you cannot make up the classes you missed, so be sure to attend your classes.
Hopefully, these tips will help you survive your first month of college. As overwhelming as everything may seem, you will get used to it and you will enjoy college.
My name is Linda Tran. I'm 24 years old from Boston and I'm majoring in Marketing with a concentration in Social Media at the Southern New Hampshire University. A fun fact about me is that I learned coding and HTML at the age of 11.