5 Tips for Students Starting College This Fall

Aug 20, 2020 by

You’re about to be a first-year college student. This new chapter comes with many opportunities. As a result, it’s essential to prepare yourself correctly. You may feel a bit overwhelmed as you navigate classes, activities and other responsibilities. A few suggestions can ensure your experience isn’t anything less than memorable.

Here are a few tips to help you succeed as a college student.

1. Prepare Before Classes Start

You’ve likely already created a class schedule. It’s essential to familiarize yourself with each course so that you’re ready for your first day. Whether you have online or in-person classes, you should look at each available syllabus. This information can tell you about your coursework. You may need to download a specific program — and you don’t want to fall behind because you didn’t look ahead.

You should also stock up on standard school supplies. Items like notebooks, binders, pencils and highlighters are necessary. Be sure to consider your specific course load. For example, you may need a special calculator for your math class. Don’t forget to read about your college’s coronavirus measures, either. You’ll want to ensure you have face masks and hand sanitizer for in-person lectures.

2. Establish a Set Daily Routine

You’ll quickly notice that college isn’t like high school. It’s up to you to handle a varied weekly schedule alongside your homework, tests and essays. That’s a lot more responsibility on your end. With online classes, it’s even more important to hold yourself accountable. It’s true that college comes with independence and freedom — but you need to use those perks wisely.

A routine can help you manage your work. After your first week, you’ll be able to gauge how each day feels. You can then build a specific schedule that considers your course load, as well as your job and activities. For instance, you could wake up early to eat breakfast and work out before your first class. A structured routine usually serves as a healthy way to avoid stress as you adjust to a new lifestyle.

3. Research Potential Majors

It’s okay if you don’t have your future planned beyond school. You have time to explore different studies throughout your first year. Use every class as a way to assess your interests. There are various majors to consider, so it’s necessary to look into more than one. Did you want to pursue business? Schedule an appointment with an advisor to review your options. You may find that you like history better.

If you want to graduate on time, it’s smart to choose a major before your second year. This way, you’ll be able to take each required class to complete your degree. In any case, you should use your first semester to adjust to school and think about majors. Your university likely offers studies you’ve never considered. Take your time to research different paths so that you make a beneficial decision.

4. Look Into Financial Options

It’s no secret that coronavirus has put a financial strain on several families. Fortunately, it’s possible to decrease your tuition costs. You should act sooner rather than later so that you can capitalize on various methods. Whether you want to pursue financial aid or apply for scholarships, it’s smart to have a plan. Do your best to think about your needs specifically. Then, you can put together a plan.

You should approach your college first to see what they offer. They may allow discounts if you plan to take your classes online. In any case, you’ll want to reach out to ensure you cover your bases. It’s also important to consider a job. If you can work safely, you should look around for opportunities. It’s a tricky situation for many new and returning college students. Be as proactive as possible.

5. Strive to Make Connections

The connections you make as a student can impact your life. Your professors could open doors for you to pursue a career. Your classmates and roommates may be friends you keep forever. It’s important to bond with these individuals so that you can set yourself up for success. Your college experience should help mold you as a person and employee.

Don’t hold yourself back. Ask questions and make comments when you have them. Attend your professor’s office hours to better prepare for tests. You should make a concerted effort to build relationships with potential friends. A virtual study session can allow you to bond. It’s easy to feel shy when you start a new experience like college. As long as you’re yourself, you’ll thrive.

Use These Tricks to Succeed as a First-Year Student

These suggestions can help you start college without any hiccups. From school supplies to financial aid to new friends, it’s crucial to prepare yourself before your first day. Try these tips and tricks to ensure you’re ready for this new adventure.

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