How to Make the Most of Your First Year of College

  1. Participate in orientation since it’s the perfect opportunity to get to know other first-year students.
  2. Be ready to feel a bit overwhelmed with the experience but remember that others are feeling the same way. Best piece of advice? Be prepared.
  3. Get to know your Resident Assistant (RA) since they can be a great resource for any questions you might have.
  4. When in your room, keep your door open as much as possible. Make others on your floor feel welcome to visit you.
  5. Show up to class, especially during the first week! It’s the best place to learn what’s expected of you in the course, meet other people, and when assignments and tests are due.
  6. Get to know your roommate and those who live on your floor by learning about their hometown, what activities they were part of in high school, and their family and friends.
  7. Buy your textbooks and read them. You’re paying a lot of money for your education so make the most of it.
  8. Work hard to get good grades. What you learn will help you in your future career.
  9. Learn about your professors’ office hours and the best way to contact them, if needed.
  10. Find out who your academic advisor is and get to know them. They can help you with any course-related questions.
  11. Buy a planner that you feel works well for you and use it.
  12. Find an ideal place to study.
  13. If you’re having trouble with a course, get help from a professor or tutor as soon as possible so you can stay on track.
  14. Take a class about a topic you’re curious about.
  15. Get involved by joining at least one organization, but remember you’ll need to keep your involvement in balance with your academics.
  16. Eat in the cafeteria as much as possible. You’re already paying for it, you may as well get your money’s worth.
  17. Spend a day exploring your new campus. It will make it feel more like home.
  18. Explore the town where your college is located. You’ll find lots of college towns offer benefits or discounts for students.
  19. If you’re feeling homesick, remember that calling your parents is okay. You can also reach out to your RA, or other floormates. You probably aren’t the only one who misses home. .
  20. Attend a sporting or campus event at least once a semester.
  21. Learn to do laundry well. And remember to wash your bedsheets occasionally.
  22. Take advantage of free or discounted events. As a student, you may have lots to choose from.
  23. Find ways to stay fit and active. Get outside or go to the gym.
  24. Volunteer in a way that means something to you.
  25. Consider work study or finding a part-time job to give yourself some extra spending money.
  26. Look for ways to save money and calories by drinking coffee instead of a latte, cappuccino, or espresso.

Remember—you’ve worked hard in high school but now it’s time to focus on being successful in college. Utilize your new network of professors and friends to help you learn as much as you can and get the most out of your college experience!

{ Return to Inside College Admissions for more posts. }

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