10 Tips for Surviving Your First Year in College

Attending college might be portrayed as classes and partying, but the truth is that your first year means living on your own. These ten tips will help you survive your first year in college successfully.

First of all, go to class. It sounds simple, but it’s easy to get distracted or to think you don’t need to go. Attendance helps your grade, and when the professor learns to recognize that you attend regularly, he or she might be more inclined to let it slip when you finally miss a day.

Secondly, be honest with your roommate. Your first year in college will involve living with one or more new people, and being honest will end up paying off when finals roll around. If you state early on that you’re a night owl, you won’t have to deal with complaints that you’re up too late.

Next, be sociable but responsible. There will be lots of events, academic and social, and you’ll get to interact with many people. Making responsible choices means you won’t earn yourself a reputation that will follow you for the rest of your time at college.

Also, understand the importance of studying. Some classes may be easy, but others will require extra time and effort. Setting aside time daily to study areas that need improvement will help you do better in class and prepare you for the rest of your academic career.

A fifth tip for surviving your first year in college is to keep a planner. Usually professors will issue a syllabus, but it is common for them to change assignments and due dates. Even if you have an excellent memory, mapping out your assignments in writing will improve your time management.

Next, ask lots of questions. This goes for classroom situations and when you have general questions about college life. Remember, nearly everyone around you has gotten lost or confused before, so there’s no reason to shy away from asking for help when it’s needed.

Tip number seven is to set a sleep schedule. You could have class early in the morning one day, and then the late afternoon the next. While the temptation might exist to stay up late or nap, you’ll perform better if you have a fairly regular sleep schedule. Professors will certainly notice if you sleep in class!

Next, make smart choices about your diet. Dining halls, cafeterias, restaurants, and delivery are all options, but pizza and soda every night will wreak havoc on your body. It’s fine to indulge now and then, being away from home, but keep yourself in check.

Tip number nine is to know your academic requirements. Many colleges have intense general education programs for incoming students, so staying on top of these and thinking ahead about your schedule will help you during registration.

Finally, be prepared to experience new things. Even if you’re going to a local college, you will be exposed to new ideas and new experiences every day, and keeping a positive outlook is essential.


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