During college orientation week, you were obsessed with the goal to learn how to navigate through campus without getting lost several times a day. Everything was simply too overwhelming. The excitement, anxiety, and the fact that you were seeing too many new faces didn’t help much.
There is another problem: among all those things you didn’t manage to remember, there were things your guides didn’t even mention. That’s what we’re here for. Here are 10 life-saving tips you didn’t get at college orientation:
- Give yourself some time to make real friends Are you looking around feeling like you’re completely alone in the crowd? That happens to most freshmen. Don’t worry; you won’t be left alone throughout your years at campus. The right friends will come at the right time. At this point, it’s important to make connections without expecting too much from the people you meet. It will take some time before you find your real friends, who are going through the same struggles.
- You need to learn how to budget! Books, meals, beers, more books… you’ll have plenty of expenses, but a limited budget to deal with. Keep track of every dollar you spend. College will teach you how to be responsible with the way you spend your money.
- Organizations and clubs are great! If you’re looking for people with similar interests, then join a club or organization. This is one of the best ways to make real friends.
- Mind your own emotional and mental health You just left your home and the school where everyone used to know everyone. You’re in the middle of a crowd with faces you don’t recognize, and your teachers won’t wait too long before assigning the first papers. If you’re like most other freshmen, you already started doubting yourself. You’ll need to meditate, take some walks, and do your best to stay happy!
- Sleep, eat well, and exercise If you want to preserve your sanity throughout college, you’ll have to give priority to your health. Socializing and studying can come after that on your list.
- It takes time before you start understanding your teachers, but you’ll get used to them Some college professors like to use eloquent language and slang that’s specific for their profession. It will take a lot of effort for you to understand them. However, it’s important not to skip classes. You need to pay attention to every single word if you want to make your studies easier. You’ll start understanding their way of expression after some time. Moreover, you’ll improve your own vocabulary thanks to their lectures.
- Work on your writing skills! Your guides probably forgot to mention that you’ll all professors will require term papers, research papers, essays, reports, and several other types of academic content for their courses. Thus, it’s important to start working on your writing skills as soon as possible.
- Know how to protect your privacy! Living with roommates is not easy. They will go through your stuff, they will eat your food, and they won’t let you spend much time alone. You will need a strong character. When you notice they have crossed the line, you’ll need to have a serious talk.
- If you’re having doubts about your major, it’s okay to switch It’s also okay to drop some classes if you’re overwhelmed by the requirements or you simply don’t like what they are teaching. It’s always better to acknowledge your limitations than to keep studying something you don’t even like.
- Sometimes you’ll fail. That’s okay! No student is perfect. You won’t always achieve perfect scores on exams, you won’t complete all papers on time, you won’t manage to attend every single class, and you won’t know all the answers. You’re human after all. As long as you can put yourself back together, you’ll be fine.
Orientation week is a necessary part of your adaptation, but the guides don’t tell you everything you need to know. Hopefully, the 10 tips above will help you get a better perspective of a college freshman’s reality.