It’s exciting, and it’s scary, going off to college for the first time. You should just know that students have been doing it successfully for ages so it is doable. But, it is not always smooth, so here are some helpful tips for making your transition into your first year of college easier.
Know what is expected of you academically. The rule of thumb is that for every hour of classes you will need to plan 2 hours of study per week. Studying includes reading, homework, and preparing for tests or projects or papers. For math classes, it is suggested that 3 hours of study should be planned for every hour of class. Now figure out how much study time you need based on your class schedule and set aside that study time each week day by day. Make it be an important and non-negotiable time slot and use that time wisely. The more you study the better your grades will be. Caution: Don’t’ be fooled by the first 2 weeks of classes which are usually slower paced and may not require the time you will need for the whole semester.
Participate in college life. You may be tempted to go home every weekend or often, but don’t. The more you stay on campus, especially at first, the better you will adjust. You will set your own routines, get to know the campus and feel more comfortable, and connect with people and activities being there. It is best to start to be involved on campus early. Try new things, even if you think you won’t like it—you can be surprised. Also attend the mixers and tours offered in the early days. They may seem rinky-dink, but they work to help you meet people.
Get help you need early. Don’t be afraid to ask. Help is there because students use it all the time. If you are having difficulty adjusting socially or emotionally, use the campus counseling center. They know what you are going through, and you are not alone. If you are having trouble understanding a class, ask the professor and seek out tutoring help or a study group.