10 Tips For a Freshman in Their First Weeks of College

1. Walk through your schedule before the first day of classes

You don’t want to spend the first morning of college running from building to building because you can’t find your class. Visualize the routes you need to walk and then make sure you know all your buildings. If you have time, even walk into the buildings and find your classroom. It’s just one less thing to stress about during your first week.

2. Make your syllabus your best friend

Your professor will most likely hand out the syllabus on the first day, and then it’s up to you to get your assignments done and remember your exam dates. A lot of professors won’t mention certain items on the syllabus and will expect you to be on top of things and know when certain homework is due. Make sure you read through all of your syllabi in order to understand your professor’s expectations and to get an idea of how your semester will pan out.

3. Get a planner

Balancing schoolwork, clubs, sports and everything else that college brings can be overwhelming at times, especially during your first week. Get a planner or download a planner app and keep all your dates and assignments in one place. It would even be helpful to transfer dates from your syllabi into your planner so you can map out your semester and plan accordingly.

4. Knock on your neighbor’s door and say hi

Half of the difficult transition to college is about making friends. Just remember; everyone is in the same position as you! Introduce yourself to people in your residence hall, classes and clubs. Ask to get lunch or dinner and just be yourself!

5. Don’t slack off, especially during the first few weeks of class

It’s very easy to fall into a procrastination mode and push off assignments and readings that you believe you can catch up on later. This is a dangerous trap to fall into! It’s super important to stay on top of your work so that if something comes up, you aren’t caught off guard. Most professors will move pretty quickly through the material and you want to make sure you are able to participate in class and be prepared for your exams.

6. Go to a meeting for a club that sounds interesting

Take advantage of the activity fair within the first few weeks of school or the flyers you see everywhere advertising tons of different clubs around campus. Don’t be afraid to try something new! Joining clubs is one of the easiest ways of making friends and meeting upperclassmen. Plus, most clubs will offer some sort of free food at one point or another.

7. Exchange numbers with people in your classes

Especially if you go to big schools, you won’t necessarily see the people in your classes around campus. Make sure you form connections with them in the first few days of class and exchange numbers so that you can study together and have someone to ask questions about the material with! Everyone needs a little help sometimes, and it will make your class experience better if you get to know your classmates.

8. Call home

During the first few weeks of college, you will inevitably feel homesick at one point or another, and that is perfectly okay. Just know that it will get better. Make sure to talk to your family and your high school friends, many of whom are going through the exact same transition as you!

9. Ask for help if you need it

Moving away from home, taking new classes, meeting new people – it can all become a little overwhelming. If you feel like you need to talk to someone, visit your school’s health counseling services. If you are struggling in a class, go to your professor’s office hours. They are there to help you and aid you during this transition period.

10. Relax

You’ve made it to college! Take a deep breath – these next few years are going to be some of the best of your life. Do not put too much pressure on yourself to have everything figured out just yet; college is an amazing opportunity to meet new people and explore new interests!