Surviving but Thriving in Your First Semester in College

College can be intimidating and confusing for anyone, and your first semester will definitely be filled with anxiety and unease. Your success in high school won’t provide much clarification on how you can move your way through college. Regardless of how much how-to videos you watch or articles you read, you will go into your first semester in college with many questions and not a lot of people to ask about it. Some people would even suggest it will be better if you experience it all firsthand, and there is no doubt about that. Moreover, it’s vital to know and do whatever you can to be on your feet in the first semester.

You will start off in college with a clean slate, and it will be the first time you will be independent of your parents. You will be faced with numerous questions and decisions which you have to answer on your own, and often times those decisions will resonate throughout your whole college experience. It matters that you are equipped with enough information to be able to make well-versed decisions. There are only a few things we can tell you to help you be on your A-game in your first semester in college, and it’s very simple and easy to follow. The rest is up to you to do. Help yourself with these tips to survive and thrive in your first semester in college.

How to Survive Your First Semester in College

  • Go to orientations and campus tours. 

Be familiar with your college campus as much as possible. By doing so, you will be able to navigate yourself around the campus with ease and avoid the risk of being lost and late for your classes. It is also worth mentioning to look for the campus library and other study rooms because you will find them to be the most convenient place for you to stay and earn resources for a paper you might need to write. Aside from the library, you may also use this opportunity to find the best spots to study peacefully.

  • Get to know your roommates and classmates. 

Create a support and study group with the people you will be spending the next four years with: friends, roommates, and classmates. You will go through a lot of stress and a roller coaster of emotions throughout the majority of your college experience, so be open to bonds and relationships in your first few weeks. Get to know the people around you to try and get a sense of who you will mostly spend time with. Help each other with answers and advice you all might have about classes, professors, and extra-curricular activities.  

  • Be organized. 

Time is always of the essence when you are in college. Ideally, tech giants should start manufacturing more college time management apps and always place them atop the ever-changing list of best apps for college studentsCollege professors will expect you to be on top of your schedule and tasks once you receive the course outlines. Be familiar with your classes through the given syllabi, and make sure you have a clear schedule to finish all the studying and papers before every deadline. Avoid cramming all your work in the last few days – it will often lead to a substandard or even a depraved paper. Study and work on your course curriculum when it’s finally released to the class; this will give you room to work on what’s necessary and important with more luxury. Not to mention, this way it’s more likely to get a high grade. 

  • Get to know your academic adviser and professors. 

Your academic adviser is the person you look for when you have any issues with the course and class schedules. Professors have office hours solely for meeting with students who are dealing with college problems, so take advantage of that time to discuss with professors anything you have in mind. Your relationship and friendship with professors and academic advisers will shape how you go about the rest of your college experience. They can be your go-to person if you need help. Depending on how nice they are, they will be more than happy to help you.

  • Attend classes and aim for good grades. 

It will be tempting to sleep in and skip classes, especially if you spent all night writing term papers and projects or simply studying for an exam. But, to be an effective student, being in class and listening to your professor is better than self-studying. This way you will get a grasp of what you can expect in class as explained by your professor. That said, avoid overworking yourself. Avoid going to a class burnt out and stressed because it will mess with your focus. You want to be free from other thoughts and somewhat relaxed when you attend a class, so you can effortlessly absorb whatever information your professor is discussing. 

Overall, The first semester can be measured as a time for you to adjust and test the waters of college before you get entirely comfortable. It will be helpful to explore what habits and behaviors will work for you and what will not, and then stick with it as long as you can. Be open to changes and be flexible – nothing is constant in college, so always be prepared and adapt to changes until the day of your much-awaited graduation.

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