Tips for First Year of College

First off, change in general is overwhelming and terrifying. For most people anyways. I am one of those people who see change approaching and automatically break into a sweat and think about everything that is going to be different.

Starting college is a huge change. You go from being in one building filled with the same people you’ve probably known majority of your whole life, having classes with familiar faces, and having to raise your hand to go to the bathroom to traveling to different buildings for each class, not knowing anyone, and having much more freedom.

Because this is such a huge change and can definitely be overwhelming, I just wanted to give some tips on what to expect for your first year.

  1. Do not be afraid of anyone. Everyone is a little lost and a little confused as to what they’re doing. If you don’t know where your class is, ask someone – even if it’s a random stranger walking. If you don’t understand an assignment, ask a classmate – even if you don’t know their name and have never spoken to them before. Nobody is going to make fun of you.
  2. Go to class.  Since you do have a tremendous amount of freedom, you’ll be tempted to skip class. Especially if the professor doesn’t take attendance. But chances are, you’ll probably miss an important lecture. Just go. You’re paying all of that money to get an education, so the least you can do is show up.
  3. Explore your options. Get involved. The more involved you are in your school, the more welcome you will feel. Branch out and try something new. Join a club you’ve always wanted to be apart of but never had the opportunity to in high school. Colleges literally have a club for almost anything. And if they don’t, start one!
  4. Talk to people. Get to know your classmates. You’ll be spending a whole semester with them so you might as well. Here’s some basic questions to get you started:
    1. Whats your major?
    2. What year are you?
    3. Are you from [wherever your campus is located]?
    4. Do you commute or dorm? If they dorm, ask where!

These are just some starter questions that can get you talking and you can lead into other things to talk about!

5. Get an organizer. Write down your assignments, due dates, tests, and quizzes. This will help you stay organized and on top of things. Remember, you are the sole person in charge on submitting things on time and being prepared.

6. Just be yourself. Have an open mind. In high school, we feel obligated to fit in with our peers. In college, nobody really cares because everyone is busy minding their own business and taking care of their own things. College is a great place to figure out who you want to be, what your morals are, and what you want to do with the rest of your life. There are going to be people with different views or values as you. That’s okay. Accept it, respect it, and carry on.

All of this being said, there are probably a million other things I could say to you. But just take these few tips in mind when entering that classroom on the first day. Don’t be scared and don’t be overwhelmed. Take it class by class, day by day.

Let me know if any of these help you, how your first day of classes go, or what other tips you might have in the comments!!

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