Congratulations! Starting college is a huge step for your future. You’ll meet completely new people, learn your way around a new place, and even find out a lot of new things about yourself. All of these new things can seem overwhelming, but with these tips, it’ll be smooth sailing through your first two semesters!
It’s best practice to wait until your first class to buy your textbooks. Many times the textbooks listed under course descriptions may not actually be required. Wait for the professor to directly tell you that a text is required for the class. Then, look out for used and rental versions of the book you need to save as much money as possible! Be sure to check all your options when finding the best price. These include Chegg, Amazon, and Student2Student. Your on-campus bookstore might also be an option, but many times they are either sold out, or more pricey than other sellers.
Taking Advantage of Resources
- Go to office hours!
Office hours are there for your benefit. It’s your professor’s job to answer your questions and offer support on class materials. Make use of their expertise and knowledge! It’s a rare privilege to have access to such well-educated people. Plus, if you don’t go to office hours, your professor is probably just sitting in his or her office waiting for someone to come in. Pro-tip: Before writing your essay, bounce your ideas around at office hours. This will help your mind get going and put you on the right track to show the professor what they want to see in your work.
- Use the help centers and tutors!
Many colleges and universities offer extra resources for help with things such as writing, math, and science. If you are struggling with a certain class or having trouble getting your writing up to a college level, check Asking for help is the first step. The only mistake you can make is not asking for or seeking out help.
- Career Center
More than likely, your goal at the end of college is to get a job. Your school would love to see that too! That’s why they likely offer you professional support at the career center. Whether you’re looking for your first internship in college or you’re starting the search for a full-time job, the career center can help you edit your resume, write cover letters, and give you tips on where to find the type of jobs you are looking for.
- Don’t panic.
We know the feeling of when you’ve left an assignment to the last minute and you still have other assignments weighing down on you. The last thing you want to do is panic. We know it feels like a C is the end of the world, but you have to remember that it’s not. This type of panic stems from the fact that many of us tie our self worth to our grades and school performance. But we can’t reduce ourselves to a number. Remember that you have much more worth than your GPA. Think about your friends, family, extracurriculars, etc.
- Remember to take care of yourself!
When you’re bombarded by midterms and finals, papers and projects all at the same time, it can be difficult to remember the simple things. One good way to solve this is to extend your checklist to include daily necessities like eating, showering, and getting enough sleep. You should also schedule in homework breaks to avoid burnout. The A is not worth forgetting to eat all day and only sleeping three hours.
- Remember to have fun.
College is a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in your curiosity, find your way, and meet different types of people. If you let your four years pass you by in stress and studying, you might miss out on some amazing friendships and memories.