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How To Survive Your First Month of College

The first month of college can be a daunting experience. Adjusting to the new environment and meeting new people can be both exciting and nerve-racking. Before coming to Georgia, I was extremely nervous about moving in to Oxford. I was moving from a tiny island in the Pacific to a big state in the US! I had a rough time transitioning during my first month, but I’m doing perfectly fine now after settling in. Here are a few tips to help you survive your first month of college:  

1. Do your laundry on a random day

In college, people can be very comfortable leaving their clothes in the washer or dryer for HOURS. It can be frustrating having to wait for an open washer or dryer, especially if you’re running out of jeans or leggings to wear in the next couple of days. Personally, I do my laundry every Tuesday morning or Thursday afternoon when almost everyone in my hall is in class. It’s great having all the washers and dryers to yourself. You get to put in as many loads as you want without worrying about others taking your clothes out of the machines! 

2. Leave your dorm and meet new people! 

During my first three weeks, I made the mistake of never leaving my dorm after finishing my classes for the day. I’d finish a class at 4 or 5 pm, and head straight to my dorm to study and relax. It became a routine every single week until I became severely homesick and stressed. Thankfully, I have an amazing roommate who pushes me to leave my comfort zone (aka my dorm) from time to time. Whenever you have the time, just leave your dorm and go find new people to talk to! Attend interesting meetings, form study groups, or sit with someone new at LILS to put yourself out there. 

3. Manage your time 

I know this may seem like a cliché, but it is totally true! At Oxford, you’ll have a mixture of easy and difficult classes. On some weeks, you’ll be in complete control of your life. You’ll have time to socialize, sleep in, or even visit Atlanta. But on other weeks, you’ll be thrown into a frenzy of writing papers, attending meetings, studying for exams or quizzes, and completing projects for various classes. I’ve had those tough weeks here and there, and it’s only been the first month. During those weeks, I’ve managed to stay calm and organized by writing everything down in my planner and following a schedule. It helps to have your own planner or a calendar on your wall to plan things out. 

4. Find an outlet to de-stress yourself 

College is an exciting time to explore new interests and to seize new opportunities. It can be filled with fun experiences, but sometimes, the craziness of college can get to you. It’s important to know that there are others who may be going through the same things as you: homesickness, depression, anxiety, frustration, stress, loneliness, isolation. Don’t let the stress of college get to you; Find an outlet to help you get rid of that stress. Talk to a close friend, call your parents, set up an appointment at Student Health Services, join a social club, listen to music, exercise, or read a book. Choose an outlet that works for you, and go with it! 

My outlet is reading a good book or listening to music here before class! 

Photo creds go to: Jackie Doctor

Jackie Doctor

Oxford Emory

My name is Jackie Doctor, and I'm a sophomore at the Oxford College of Emory University. I'm an Anthropology and Biology major on a pre-med track. I'm interested in pursuing a profession in Allied Health. I'm a huge fan of Game of Thrones, Parks and Rec, and Bob's Burgers, and I read, write, and play the ukelele in my spare time. 
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