First Year Advice from One College Student to Another

Posted: July 13, 2018 | Author: Southern Utah University | Read Time: 4 minutes

SUU Paint the town redCollege is right around the corner, and soon you be spending time in the library, going to football games and taking spontaneous trips all around southern Utah. Now it might seem like a giant scary transition to go from home life to campus life, but don’t worry - we have your back!

Here are nine tips to help you survive your first year of college. 

Less is Always More: You may think to yourself, “I have to bring my whole life with me when I move to college.” Resist this urge! Lay out everything you think you must have to survive in your college apartment then divide it in half. Odds are your living space will not have a walk-in closet. You’re going to be getting a lot of t-shirts throughout the school year that will build up by the time the year is over, and believe me moving out is going to be a bigger pain than you think. Therefore, the less you bring the easier life will be at the end of the term.

Don’t Buy, Wait: It is never a bad thing to be prepared, but you may want to hold off on buying your textbook for Intro to Histology until you attend the first day of class. Your professor might change the text at the last minute, OR you might decide that Intro to Histology is. not. for. you. Waiting till the first day will ensure that you are not spending extra money on books, you don’t need or spending time trying to return them.

Stand Out: Getting dressed for class does not make you seem like an overachiever; it makes you look prepared and ready to take on the day. Seriously. Your professors and peers will notice if you show up looking put together at you 8am class more than if you look like you just rolled out of bed.

Be Awkward: It's okay to feel awkward when you're starting a new class, going to an event or pretty much doing anything social. Other people are feeling awkward too. You're not the only one who wants to meet new people and make friends. So when you're meeting people it's okay to feel a little weird about it. You've been hanging out with the same people for a few years, you're not used to making new friends, and that's okay.

Discover Yourself: It seems like almost everyone will ask you “what’s your major?” or “what do you want to do with your life” Don’t feel embarrassed or get down on if you don’t know. Take pride in the fact that you are here to explore different areas of studies to find out what is right for you. You’ll find that you are not alone either, most people don’t know. Try out that intro to psychology course, sit in on a few business marketing lectures and discover what you want to do in life.

Keep a Budget: There are many costs associated with becoming a full time college student, and while you may be aware of the upfront costs of college, there are many hidden costs too. Consider how much money you spend on extracurricular activities. It’s fun to go out with friends and do things, but at the end of the month you may be shocked at how much you’ve spent if you don’t keep a budget. If you know beforehand what you can realistically be spending each month you’ll be prepared to make smart decisions about the way you spend your money.

Take Advantage of Deals: At SUU, you can buy a "starving student card" for $25 and it has TONS of coupons on it. It's fantastic. There are coupons for food, movies, bowling etc. Also in the mail, those annoying ads you get can actually help you save money on groceries, there's usually a pizza coupon that comes, Article Circle and Arby's usually send out a page of coupons. Don't throw these away, they are fantastic!

Find a Balance: There will most certainly be many pressures as a new college student that can cause great stress. Between completing your education, making friends, building your resume, and many more, you need to find time to relieve stress and find balance in your life. Find time every day to relieve this stress by exercising regularly, eating correctly, and getting plenty of sleep. Maintaining balance during college can go a long way in ensuring you do well and don’t “burn out” in certain aspects of your life.

Enjoy the Experience: College is going to be an incredible experience full of challenges, adventures and new beginnings. Don’t overthink it, savor your time at college from the highs to the lows because before you know it, it’ll be time to graduate!

Get ready to have the adventure of a lifetime. College days only come around once so make the most of it! Welcome to T-Bird Nation!

This article was published more than 5 years ago and might contain outdated information or broken links. As a result, its accuracy cannot be guaranteed.

Tags: Student Blog High School

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