- Join a club
Telling new college students to join a club is a very common piece of advice. You know why? Because it’s a really good piece of advice! It’s a great way to get involved with your school, meet new people, and add to your resume. Check out your school’s clubs and organizations, and find something that sparks your interest. If you can’t decide which one’s right for you, go to a few different meetings! After getting a taste for different student organizations, you can then decide which one(s) is right for you.
- Keep in touch
Most students get homesick at one point or another while away at college. It can feel overwhelming being separated from family and friends so suddenly. It’s important to keep in touch. If you’re homesick, it’s comforting to talk to the people you miss, and to realize that they’re always just a phone call away. Even if you’re not homesick, remember that your loved ones back home probably do miss you. So try to stay in touch with them, while still enjoying every minute of making new friends.
- Connect with a professor
Professors are not like grade school teachers. You’ll find that many will give out their cell phone numbers so you can contact them for help with class, and that some prefer to hold their office hours at the local coffee shop rather than in their assigned room. In short: professors are awesome. Try your best to build a good relationship with at least one of your professors during your freshman year. They are there to help, so don’t worry about bothering them if you have any questions or if you need extra help with classwork. If you make a good connection with a professor, they can recommend you for internships or jobs, help you understand course material better, and be there as a resource for the rest of your college years.
Living on a college campus is great; it’s fun and convenient, and you’re surrounded by your fellow classmates. However, make sure to grab a friend and venture outside of campus from time to time. If you have a favorite local spot that you frequent, explore another part of the area. Whether your college is located in a rural town, or is smack in the middle of city, get acquainted with the region. You might find some cool places that you’ll end up going back to, but in the very least, you might find that a little change of scenery can be extremely refreshing!
- Learn time management
Even if you had strong time management skills in high school, college is an entirely different world. So basically, everyone has to learn or re-learn how to use time effectively in college. You’ll have to figure out a way to balance school assignments, activities, and socializing. It might take some self-discipline, but you should eventually fall into some sort of routine that will allow you to both have fun, and get things done. It’s likely that you’ll pull an allnighter at some point your freshman year, but if you learn good time management skills, it definitely won’t happen too often!
- Discover where you study best
This one is sort of a supplement to the time management goal. It’s vital that you make time for studying, but it’s even better if you make the most of that time. Explore various places throughout campus, and find the spot where you work best. Maybe the quiet section of the library gets you motivated to work efficiently, or maybe bringing your study materials to the coffee shop is more of your thing. Find quiet places around campus, go outside, do whatever you need to do; just make sure to find a place that won’t give you too many distractions while trying to study.
- Go to school-sponsored events
Maybe your college’s comedy troupe is putting on a show, or maybe an interesting guest speaker is coming to give a lecture at your school. At many colleges, you’ll find that there’s always something going on. You should definitely take advantage of things like that. Spend a couple extra hours away from your laptop, and attend some school-sponsored events. When else will you have the opportunity to be exposed to such a variety of different things? By going to events, you’re supporting your classmates and school, and you’ll probably end up having a lot of fun. So at least every once in a while, get out of your dorm room and attend an event!
Photo credit: SJU Undergraduate Admissions