It’s back to school time! Whether it’s your first year or last, here are some helpful tips to make your school year go a little more smoothly.
If possible, try to stay on campus your Freshman year. I still keep in touch with many of my dorm friends. If you keep your door open while you’re there, more people are likely to pop in and say hi. I highly recommend it. Dorm life is a great experience because you learn to be more independent, make many new friends, study with those in your classes, and you’re within walking or biking distance to your classes.
When registering for classes, make sure the days and times work well for you. You can schedule all of your classes on the same days and then have a few days off, or schedule some back to back so that you don’t have to keep going back and forth to your dorm. If you’re not a morning person like me, then schedule them a little later or in the afternoon. If you don’t get your preferred schedule, you can always try to change it.
Definitely get a good size backpack. Depending on how your schedule looks, if you have many classes close together, then get a large backpack. If your classes are spread apart, and you are going to head back to the dorm in between, then a regular size backpack is fine.
I would recommend a planner to keep track of all of your assignments/tests/social calendar. You tend to remember more if your write it down, versus typing it in your cell phone or laptop. College professors won’t remind you about homework/tests as much as grade school teachers. Go through your syllabus and school/club events and write everything down in your planner.
Set your alarm so that you have plenty of time to get ready for your first class. Your cell phone alarm is perfect. Don’t hit that snooze button, even if it tempts you. You wouldn’t want to miss class.
When you get your assignments, get them done within a day or two. It will leave you more time to study and spend time with friends. We all know that pulling all nighters is bad for you, so try not to procrastinate.
While in class, get to know at least one person. Sit near them every time. This really helps when you need a study partner or missed a class due to being sick or out of town. Take really good notes using a pen/pencil and paper/notebook, instead of typing it into your laptop. I promise you that you will retain more information this way. Sit towards the middle or front of the class to help you focus on the professor and lesson.
Join a club or social organization like a sorority/fraternity, religious/ethnic, athletic, or anything that you will fit in well. It’s another great way to meet people who share similar interests. After all, college isn’t only about learning, right?
College years were my favorite, and I hope it will be yours too. Have a wonderful time!