Did you know that statistics show that only 46% of those who enter college fail to graduate within six years? This makes the beginning weeks and months at college critical for all new students. Those first few months will most likely impact the next four years.
After graduation from high school, thoughts turn toward the future and for most it’s college. It’s the first step toward independence and living away from your parents. College students transition from someone dictating their every move to the freedom of making their own decisions. It’s not easy to ease into college, however; expect some bumps in the road and some rerouting along the way.
Here are ten tips that should help you with the transition:
1. Don’t skip orientation.
Orientation plays a key role in your first few weeks of college. When you attend this new student event, you will meet your advisors, plan your schedule and participate in group activities with other incoming freshmen. Skipping orientation is like skipping the first day of school or work. This one freshman activity can make all the difference in your adjustment to college life.
2. Make new friends.
The friendships you make will enhance your college experience. The first few weeks and months are the easiest time to make new friends. Start with your roommate, your dorm mates, and then your classmates. College is not the place to retreat into your room and study alone. It’s your opportunity to branch out, meet new people and begin new relationships. Leave your friends at home back at home. You are starting a new life with new friends.
3. Get and stay organized.
Your parents won’t be there reminding you to study for a test, do your homework or go to class. Keep a calendar, set alarms, make to-do lists, schedule study time, and keep track of all your deadlines. Organization helps deter those last minute panic attacks before a test or a term paper due date.
4. Be serious about academics.
This is college. Excellent high school students often struggle. The classes can be more challenging and the professors less understanding. College is a serious business. Without constant nagging from your parents, it’s tempting to let the studying slide and skip class. If you find you are struggling, get help immediately from on-campus tutoring services, a professor or a friend. Ignoring the problem will only make things worse and once your grades spiral, it’s hard to recover.
5. Call your family.
Every new college student gets homesick. Make time to call your family. Set aside a time each week to talk with them and voice your struggles. It will curtail the homesickness and ease your parents’ inevitable tendency to worry.
6. Maintain balance.
College offers you an opportunity to experience life in social settings. Don’t be a recluse, but don’t be a party animal either. Tipping the balance in either direction can affect your overall college experience. Maintain a balance between focusing on academics and having fun.
7. Do your laundry.
Don’t laugh. Laundry tends to pile up quickly. Having clean laundry will help your overall outlook and promotes a feeling of accomplishment. Your parents will appreciate the fact that you don’t come home with piles of dirty laundry during breaks.
8. Clip coupons.
Every college student pinches pennies. Finances can be tight and saving every penny keeps your mind off your finances and on your academics. Use student discounts, local coupons and online coupons when purchasing everything from groceries to student travel to entertainment tickets. A dollar here, 15% there, and “buy one-get one free” offers will help you stretch your college budget.
9. Get involved.
Don’t stay in your room with your nose buried in your books. Get involved in something that interests you on campus. Join an organization or a club. You will make new friends, learn to work together as a team, and stay connected with your school.
10. Take care of yourself.
Late night study sessions, cramming for tests, and fast food make it easy to neglect your body. This type of behavior compromises your immune system. This is why most college students get sick during the first few weeks of college. Sleep helps your body recharge and a balanced diet will help your brain function at its best.
The last for years of your life have been spent preparing for college. Now it’s time to look toward the future and plan for the next steps. With these tips it should be easier to make the transition and ease into college.