Tips on Surviving Your First Semester of College

How did I survive my first semester at college? A lot of hard work, a lot of determination, and a lot of planning. Oh, and a lot of fun. Entering into your first year of college can be an extremely stressful and wonderful part of your life. A couple very important tips to keep in mind that I wish someone told me are:

  1. Honeymoon phase:

    You will most likely go through a honeymoon phase the first couple weeks of school. You will think your school is the best place in the world and it is restoring your faith in humanity. However, once the work kicks in and events from orientation week slow down you might change your mind. The most important thing to remember is to stay realistic, yes college is amazing and fun but also a lot of hard work and it is important to balance both.

  2. Be yourself:

    I cannot stress this enough. Everyone comes to college with different intentions. Some may be very comfortable being themselves, some may want to start new and completely change who they are. To make sure you are attracting the right friends, make sure to be true to who you are, your wants, needs, interests, and you will find the right people.

  3. Know how to balance work and play

    In college you are either going to live with your friends or near your friends. A big part of being successful is knowing when to allocate your time to school or social. Especially if you live in a city, there are many distractions outside of your campus that can be big distractions but also wonderful playgrounds such as restaurants, clubs, athletic facilities, and museums. This may take time so be patient with yourself, but learn to say no.

  4. It’s a bad day, not a bad college experience

    It is completely normal to have a bad day. You are human and whether something went wrong in your personal life or your academic life you are allowed to be upset. A mistake I made was attributing my bad moods to the school if they were actually from my personal life. It is important to make a distinction between which is which so you can effectively fix the problem.

  5. Ignore social media

    When I say ignore social media I don’t mean delete it forever. Just be careful to keep in mind that many things on social media are not real. People portray the best 15 seconds of their day and it could look like they are having the time of their lives when in reality they might be struggling more than you know. Everyone has their days, nobody is 100% happy all the time and if it seems they are, they’re lying.

  6. Have fun

    I am sure you have heard this time and time again, but don’t forget to have fun. Going out with friends, trying new things, or doing stuff that makes you happy such as reading a book or listening to your favorite playlist. Personally, a good dance party is always a good stress relief when I am studying, and incorporates a 15-minute break with friends.

College is an extremely unique time in your life, you will never encounter a type of living like this again. However, life is about moving upward and continuously finding new things that challenge you and staying true to the hobbies you love. If I knew the tips I listed above then I might have had a more kickass first semester, but school is for learning, both academically and socially. Don’t put pressure on yourself to have the best four years of your life, just stay true to who you are and do things that make you happy. Day by day, it’s as simple as that!