When you finally join college, a mixed feeling of excitement and uncertainty weighs on you as a confused first-year student. High school life is the past now, and you have to face a brand-new experience and survive. Research proves that “young people engage with the various contexts of their life in active ways so that events happening … are likely to affect other contexts.” But the good news is that the faster you settle down in your alma mater, the smoother the process will be for you. Read on to see how you can adjust to college painlessly!
- You’re not alone. The truth is that everyone is in the same boat. Just look around, and you will see young people having not the slightest idea of what is going on and what they’re doing there. It will take some time until you feel like you belong to where you are now.
- Don’t hesitate to seek help. Approaching your professor for guidance, looking for paper writers for hire, and using college resources like workshops and counseling centers are a must for a smooth transition from high school to college. If there’s something in the academic process that you aren’t sure about or don’t know, the chances are there is someone out there ready to help. Don’t hesitate to ask senior students you see around campus to provide the answers you need.
- Get involved in on-campus life. Luckily, college is not only about classes, essays, tests, and exams. It’s an exciting time to make new friends, fall in love, hang out with friends until dawn, explore your interests, discover new passions, and simply get the best out of this life. There are tons of art, sports, and other clubs that you can potentially get involved in. Whether you are into writing, cinema, communications, theatre, animal enrichment, or any other passion, you will surely find clubs or organizations related to your hobby or interests. The more you get involved in college life, the more you will feel part of this micro-universe.
- Be present at ALL first classes. When you’re just at the start of your college journey, all first classes are highly important. This is where you meet your college mates and professors who will be teaching you this and maybe next semester(s) too. There’s no doubt you can be present online and offline due to advanced technology; however, attending classes to study in the class will provide you with a better understanding of how the system works and the people around you. College instructors know very well that all is new for you. With that in mind, they organize the first classes so that you get a solid basis for your further studies. The lecturers tend to introduce every course and discipline at the very beginning, so if you make sure to attend classes, you won’t miss any important elements of the learning process.
- Get to know classmates and tutors. After all, they are the people you will have to interact with every single day. Moreover, they will be your number one source of information, news, support, and well, some fun. Don’t hesitate to initiate communication with everyone; you will build a solid network sooner than you know. You’re going to share your dorm life with a roomie, so make sure to support them whenever they’re in need of a shoulder to cry on. You will thank yourself later.
- Stay organized. Excellent organization skills are a must whether you’re a college student or an office employee. Use apps if your organizational skills leave a lot to be desired, and you will soon take your skills to the next level. If possible, make sure to use a checklist in order to see if you cope with the whole scope of tasks. Good organization skills start from the place you live in. Ensure to make your dorm room clean and neat since a dirty room will make you feel stressed starting from the very first day.
- Get a part-time job. Working part-time as a first-year student is crucial for financial independence. It’s your job that will provide you with some bucks you need to cover personal expenses and educational materials. Besides, managing a part-time job alongside academics will help you become more responsible when it comes to money. Plus, networking opportunities that you get at work will help you to adjust to your new reality far from home.
- Learn to say NO. Yes, yes, we know that this may be one of the most challenging skills to master. You’re in a new environment, being an adult now. However, saying YES to everyone shouldn’t be your habit. If you do so, you will find yourself in trouble sooner than you know. Make sure to help others when they’re in need but not at the cost of your own well-being since your time management, academics, and mental health will suffer as a result.
- Don’t go home every weekend. If your college is close to your home, you have probably planned to be home every Saturday as a first-year student feeling homesickness stronger than ever before. Don’t. The point is that going home whenever you have such an opportunity will prevent you from socializing with other undergrads and (finally!) getting comfortable on campus.
- Study hard. There’s no doubt that you have heard that from your mom. But the reality is that working hard in a class will help you actually enjoy your college life. The more you put into your studies today, the more benefits you will reap tomorrow!
All in all, the first time in college is a stressful and challenging period of life. It’s the time when you make mistakes and learn from them. You meet new people and network like never before. You encounter barriers and overcome them using the tips given above. They have been proven to help dozens of undergrads to settle down and enjoy the best years of their life. Sooner than you know, having a hard time adjusting will be far in the past.