As much as you can be excited to go to college, it’s also an intimidating experience for many. After all, you are a young adult who has only very recently graduated high school and might not have any idea of how to live alone.
How things turn out in the first year of college can significantly impact the rest of your time there, not to mention your life ahead. And it is nearly impossible to avoid the negative experiences altogether.
So, here we have prepared a few tips that can help you navigate your first year of college and stay positive.
1. Get Academic Help if Needed
The study load in college is going to be much more than what you were used to in high school. As such, you might find yourself struggling to keep up with the deadlines. However, many students fail to realize that there is help out there that you can easily access if needed.
For instance, there are academic platforms where you can find samples of college essays to use as reference. One useful tip is to get professional paper writing help by WritePaper, where you can discuss your paper with an expert who is thorough in your area of study. Ove time. You are sure to pick up a few tricks from these seasoned pros, and your paper will reflect high quality.
2. Get Organized
The earlier you get your study schedule organized, the easier it would be to find time for other activities. It would not hurt to keep a to-do list and a planner. These days, you can even find mobile apps that let you do most of the organizing, including keeping track of your assignments.
Before the classes start, you should also develop a note-taking strategy and stick to it. It is important that you keep your notes organized. You never know when you might have to refresh your knowledge for a grade or recall a book that your professor recommended in the last semester.
3. Reach Out to Others
Remember, all the other students in your class are in the same boat. They are also looking to meet new people, build friendships, and make their college experiences as memorable as they can.
And as such, you do not have to hesitate to reach out to others. You could offer to help a classmate study or suggest that you do an assignment together to avoid the burden of doing everything on your own.
You can branch out to a different group of acquaintances in other classes. Colleges have all kinds of people, and you will be able to find people you relate to. If you do not succeed on the first try, do not be disappointed and give up. It is just a matter of time before you find others in your wavelength.
4. Stay From Emotional Draining People
While it is important to build relationships, you should also never let a friendship affect your mental health. Unfortunately, you might run into people who can have a bad effect on you. Do not waste your time trying to make yourself more appealing to these people. You do not even have to feel guilty about cutting off such people.
Remember that college is not only about partying, so if you aren’t a party person, there is no need to adapt yourself. You cannot pretend to be someone you are not for the entire course of the college. Remaining yourself is the best way to earn respect from others.
5. Join a Club or Two
Everybody has interests outside of academics. In college, you will find at least one person who shares the same likes (or dislikes, for that matter). These days, campuses are flooding with clubs, society, and student bodies. Getting involved in these will help you be more socially active, especially in your first year.
Some clubs are indeed hard to get into. But in such cases, you might also find another one with students sharing the same interest, just not as fancy as the ‘official’ one. If you can’t find what you like, you and your friends can even consider starting one by yourselves. And these do not look bad on your resume either.
6. Speak Up in Classes
Most professors adopt the Socratic teaching method these days, where the lectures are more interactive. Even if you are hesitant to speak up, you should take advantage of opportunities to ask questions and engage with the class. Remember, this is what you are in college for, and no opinions are wrong.
Moreover, some colleges also grade students based on their performance in college. So sitting quietly at the back of the room will not get you any points.
7. Stay in Touch with Family and Friends
Once you start college, you will gradually start growing apart from your high school friends unless you make an effort to stay in touch with them. It is easy to forget to call your family, especially after you have had a tiring day. However, your friends and family back home are your support system, and they can help ease the transition to a new world.
After all, they know you better than anyone else, so they can pick up on how you are feeling or what you are going through, even when you think that they don’t understand.
Most of us begin college worrying about what others will think about us. But college is where you figure out yourself, and yet again, remember that your classmates are also trying to make a good impression.
In other words, you should avoid being hard on yourself at all times. Make it a point to take things easy now and again. Keep your textbooks away for a day, and go out and do something you like. If not, you will find yourself burnt out.
9. Get Out of the College Campus
You might feel it’s not a good idea to avoid going outside campus, although it’s likely for good intentions. However, staying within the campus can also feel confining after a while. You should also go outside and explore the town.
You can take runs in the morning, walk, ride a bike, or use public transportation to find new areas and interesting places. This will undeniably be a good break out of the rut.
10. Take Care of Yourself
Without your parents cooking your meals, you might be on a new turf when it comes to eating well. When you rely on fast food, it is easy to lose track of how much you are eating. Without a healthy diet, you might find yourself tired, unable to focus or face other challenges.
It is crucial that you add sleep, exercise, and a good diet to your priorities when in college. Bear in mind that you are responsible for taking care of yourself. You might need to put some effort into it. Still, college need not be daunting at all if you look at it as a new opportunity to learn, explore, and figure yourself out – just like everyone else.