How to Survive Your First Semester at College

Monday, February 02, 2015
Woman Notebook Working Girl

Some General Tips for Success:

  • Be yourself
  • Dress comfortably
  • Early is on time
  • Have a great pair of tennis shoes
  • Get a wallet/pocket purse for your school ID and room key (these can be found at University store)
  • Plan each day accordingly
  • Plan each week accordingly
  • Take the first few weeks for trial and error before making a daily routine schedule
  • Create your schedule so you can study at a time when you learn best
  • If you’re religious, visit on-campus programs and groups.
  • Go beyond your comfort zone
  • Learn bus schedule for on and off campus
  • Be kind, but don’t let anyone take advantage of you
  • Travel in groups
  • Don’t conform--rather be a leader
  • Trust your gut when making decisions
  • Don’t be quick to judge
  • Keep an open mind (this will be a time to adapt to new ways of life)

Tips for the Classroom:

  • Keep your syllabus handy throughout the semester for information on each class (days/times of class, professor email, office number, office hours, important dates for assignments, tests, and quizzes, and criteria and requirements for course)
  • Have a calendar book to write important dates and events
  • See what types of extra-curricular activities interest you, and which ones will fit into your schedule (key is to balance school work and extra-curricular activities)
  • Form study groups with people in your classes
  • If you’re stuck ask people in your classes, get a tutor (generally an assistance center is available), internet
  • If your learning techniques don’t match up with your professor, prepare some questions and go to their office hours to get help.  Do not be shy about asking to meet with your professors.

Dorm Life Guide:

  • Monitor what you use over the summer before college starts
  • When packing for college, pack everything you think you need, take a day or two off, then go back through everything and see what you actually need
  • If possible, get to know your roommate before Move-In Day
  • Know what appliances are and are not permitted in the dorm before Move-In Day

Must-Knows for Dining:

  • Don’t feel obligated to eat as much as possible due to buffet style foods
  • Learn your meal plan, dining times, track number of meals left throughout the week

Wellness Tips:

  • Check out times for the gym/pool (aim for 3 to 5 times a week), and/or visit programs (zumba, yoga) or play recreational sports with friends
  • Take vitamins and supplements as needed
  • Keep hands clean
  • Stay rested
  • If you’re tired, take a 20-30 minute power nap
  • Find a healthy outlet for when you become stressed out (music, gym, movies, art)

Planning for Classes:

  • Check University book store for title and ISBN number for books that are listed online for your courses
  • When planning classes for the next semester, balance core courses with general education courses

Finally: Have a wonderful first semester!