Going away to college is one of the most exciting times in a young person's life, but it can also be overwhelming and stressful. Don't let the nerves get to you early. Here are seven things you should know before starting your first semester.
Get to Know the Campus
You don't want to be late on your first day of class, so learn the layout of campus before school starts. If you're going to be walking around at night, find safe paths in well lit areas that will get you back to your dorm safely. If it is going to be a new town for you, get to know the local supermarkets and the nearest parks and libraries. If you know the hang-outs early on, you'll have a good idea of where to make friends.
Budget Your Time
After the structured world of high school, creating your own schedule might seem intimidating, so be sure to give yourself ample time to study and prepare assignments. You don't want to burn out either, so be sure to schedule in time for relaxing and socializing.
Save Money on Books
Textbooks cost a lot of money, and you'll probably find better deals online than in the bookstore. You might be able to borrow some from classmates or the library. If the bookstore won't buy your books back at the end of the semester, many online retailers will take them.
Get to Know Your Professors
Don't be afraid to ask questions and take advantage of office hours. If a professor knows your name and sees that you're engaged in class, they'll be more likely to help you when you need it. Building relationships with teachers can also help you find an internship or job in the future.
You're going to be taking a lot of notes, so find a system that works for you. Explore different note taking and studying strategies, and see whether using index cards, highlighters, and sticky notes can help you remember information as the classes get going.
Be Smart About Alcohol
As a college student, you're probably going to have the option and opportunity of drinking. If you choose to join in, know how much alcohol you can handle, and drink with people you trust. Should you or a friend get into trouble, you should know the right places to call. DUI lawyers Fischer & Putzi say that it is a good idea to keep a cab company number on you if you should ever get stranded while drinking and you aren't tempted to drive yourself.
Be Prepared for Having a Roommate
Whether your rooming with someone you know, or a complete stranger, you're going to have to learn how to share space and resolve conflicts like adults. Be willing to make compromises and learn how to keep track of your own things.
Although you're going to be doing a lot of hard work, college can be a fun experience. Just remember that it takes some time to adapt to a new environment, and not to get frustrated when things don't work out right away.
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