Friday, August 23, 2013

Top 8 Ways to Survive Your First Year at College

Saint Anselm College's Alumni Hall, built in 1...
Saint Anselm College's Alumni Hall (Wikipedia)
by Anirudh Motwani

Going off to college is exciting, a little scary, and a time to cherish.

It's something that you will remember forever.

So how can you make the experience positive and not something you'd like to forget?

Here are a few tips to get you started on the right foot.

Get to know your roommate and other students

These people are likely going to be a huge part of your life for the next four years (or even longer). You should establish positive relationships with them; they may be able to help you study, help you in hard times, and become your best friends. If you don't get along with your roommate, make the best of it until you can request a new one or work something out with someone else.

Take tours around campus

You may not think you need to do this, but a tour can show you things that you might not find out otherwise. Besides, you absolutely need to know where certain things are, and you don't want to be guessing about them when you really need to get to them.

Go to all of your classes

This may sound silly,but many new students find their new-found freedom to be overwhelming. They may decide to skip a few (or a lot) of classes, and before they know it they cannot catch up. Go to all of your classes and stay diligent about attending. You need to take this time of your life seriously.

Get organized right away

Many professors are unpredictable, and some will give you all of your assignments due all throughout the semester on the first day of class. Get a planner to keep track of everything you have to do. Keep your things organized so you are not struggling to find papers, books, or other materials. Your life will go much smoother if you are organized.

Remember why you are in college in the first place

College can be a time to socialize and learn. Knowing how to balance these things out in your life can be challenging at first. You need to remember to have time for yourself, your friends, and for school. However, you are in college to learn, and it should be your number one priority.

Take time to create great study habits

Right away you need to establish a serious way to study and then make it a positive habit. If you procrastinate and try to cram all of your studying in, you will suffer the consequences. Making a habit of studying will become second nature after time.

Join a study group if it helps you to focus. You might find that being held accountable to attend the group encourages you to make an effort. Studying with others often helps the material to sink into your mind, too.

Take great care of yourself

You need to stay healthy and get lots of rest in order to keep your mind sharp. Don't exhaust yourself trying to balance everything out. Take a break from everything when you need it, and don't stress yourself out too much.

Explore your options and figure out what you really want for your future

As time goes on, you may find that you are interested in other things and want to pursue them. Join groups and organizations in school to support your interests. Take extra classes and gain all of the experience you can during your time in college.

College is a time like no other. It can be very stressful or a smooth transition; it all depends on how you approach this new time in your life. Being aware of why you are there and what you want out of it can keep you on the right track for a bright future and a great time in college.

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