The Student Survival Guide: Everything You Need To Know About Starting College

Posted on Oct 19 2014 - 7:51am by Editorial Staff

Starting college is like starting a whole new chapter in your life. For many of you, moving away to college will be the first time you have lived away from home. That means that not only do you have to get your head around the college syllabus, you also have to adapt to living away from your family. If you talk to anybody who has been to college, they will tell you that your student years are the best years of your life. They are right. When you’re a student, you can experiment and find out who you are without your family. There is a lot to learn at college, and much of the learning takes place outside of the classroom. Here is a student survival kit to get you through your college career.

Leaving for college and saying goodbye

Leaving for college is an emotional time. If it is the first time that you are leaving home, you will find the period stressful. Take the time to say goodbye to the people who matter the most. You might not see them for a few months and saying goodbye will make the transition easy on everyone. You should make sure that you stock up on essential student items before you leave. Doing so will mean that you have some home comforts when you move into your dorm.

Meeting new people and making friends

When you start college, you won’t know anybody. Many young people find the idea of socializing with new people hard. Remember, nobody knows anyone when you first move to college. You won’t like everybody that you meet, and you shouldn’t expect to. Instead, take the time to get to know new people and find out whether you could be friends. Don’t try and force friendships too fast, though, as you will seem needy and desperate. Be yourself, and you should have a tight social circle in no time at all.

Finding your way around campus

Campuses are always difficult to navigate. Your high school may have had two or three separate buildings. When you go to college, the campus will span many buildings in different areas. One thing that shocks most new students is the sheer size of their college. Before you start classes, it is worth taking a walk around your campus and getting to know where the various buildings are. That means that you can find your classes when you start and that you’re not late for your first lessons.

Fresher events and freebies

One of the best things about being a fresher is that you get loads of free stuff. Students are always poor, and so you should take advantage of any freebies you get. Attend freshers’ fairs and events so that you can reap the free rewards on offer. Pick up everything from pens to pizza. You can never have enough of either of those things.

Finding the right equipment for your course

Before you start your course, it is important that you have the right equipment. Most arts-based courses will ask you to have a laptop and some books. If you are doing a technology-based course, though, you may need to invest in special equipment. For example, you may need to buy some business monitors and displays so that you can work on two screens at once. It is worth emailing your tutors before the term begins so that you know of any equipment you need. The last thing you want is to have a nasty shock when everybody else has the right stuff, and you’re lagging behind them.

Reading and completing assignments

One thing that all new college students struggle with is keeping up with the work. Many students tend to leave studying until the last minute. That means that they do nothing for eight months and then try and cram the entire syllabus into a month’s study. Don’t do it. Stay on top of your reading from the start of the term. Doing a bit of work each day is easier than trying to study everything in a short period. When you have assignments, start them earlier than you think you should. Giving yourself a little more time than you think you need will help if you need to make any last minute changes.

Dealing with homesickness

When you move away from your family, you might find that you suffer from homesickness. The worst thing you can do when you move is go home every weekend. Doing so will mean that you feel as though you never left home. You need to give yourself time to settle into your new environment when you first move away from home. It is not advisable to go home until Christmas. That gives you three solid months to get used to college life. Call home as much as you want, but try and stay at college rather than running home all the time.

Establishing a routine

When you’re a student, it is easy to pick up bad habits. Staying in bed until 3pm and working throughout the night might work for a short period, but it will tire you out in the long run. Take the time to establish a working routine for yourself. You don’t need to work nine to five every day, but you should set yourself some working hours. Your brain is most-active during the day. That means that when you study in the daytime, you will get the best out of your brain.

Making the most of your student accommodation

Student accommodation is small and basic. When you first move into your dorm, it may shock you that it’s so tiny. Don’t panic. There are plenty of things you can do to make your dorm feel more like home. Decorate your room with a mood board or some bright posters to make the space look unique to you. It is also worth getting some comfortable soft furnishings, such as drapes and blankets. These small changes to your dorm will mean that you feel more comfortable in your room.

Considering an Online Education

Because of the time that it takes to adapt to on-campus life, as well as the expenses involved with attending university, an increasing number of students are now choosing to take their courses online. Online courses are just as challenging as their traditional counterparts are, except you do not have to attend any lectures or spend your time commuting to the university campus. Through your online portal, you will have a number of educational resources at your disposal, including a renowned faculty that is available to help you every step of the way.

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Editorial Staff at I2Mag is a team of subject experts.