In School Life, Teens

The First Year of College Life — A New Chapter

College Life

Ready for College Life?

You’re beginning a new chapter in your life and are heading off to college. You may be wondering what is college really like. Life of a college student is a unique and different experience for everyone. You may have decided to stay at home and commute to campus or live on campus. Whatever your decision is, your freshmen year will be an experience that will make an impression on you. Without hesitation, though, the biggest adjustment will be for the freshman in college who is living away from home. Reading a few articles about college, your colleges blog and forum will make for an easier transition.

Things College Students Need To Do

It can be overwhelming with everything you need to do before leaving for college. College Life suggests these are things every college student needs to do to make the process easier.

  • Connect with your roommate– Connecting with your roommate before the first day will undo any anxiety and awkwardness. It’s a great way of getting to know each other and for figuring out whose bringing what.
  • Have everything you need ready to go– Knowing what to take is just as important as knowing what not to take. The college may send you a list of the essentials what you will need for your dorm, supplies, etc. There are many college articles available to give you a list of the basic necessities.
  • Know your financial aid situation– Make sure that you understand what you need to do while you’re in school and your finances are in order. You don’t want your education interrupted due to financial issues. The U.S. Department of Education offers valuable information to aid you.
  • Create and understand your budget– You will need to know how much money you will be able to spend for certain items. Will you need an on-campus job to help with expenses?
  • Make sure you stay healthy– Make healthy choices and choose the right meal plan. You don’t want to miss a midterm because of a cold.
  • Become familiar with the college lingo– Colleges have their own academic and residential language filled with acronyms. Try to familiarize yourself with them before arriving.
  • Make the most out of orientation– Attend orientation! It will give you valuable information that will get you through the first week and make a difference during your college time.
  • Keep in touch with people back home– Talk to your friends and family about how to keep in touch before you leave. It’s a good idea to know how to manage these long distance relationships.
  • Have time management systems in place– Knowing how to manage your time is one of the biggest challenges for a student. Set up a system to help you manage time and stress.
  • Know how to keep you and your belongings safe– You don’t want to have to be worried about a situation that could be prevented such as losing your computer or forgetting to lock your door and your belongings being stolen. Be conscientious.

What Is College Life Like?

The first year of college will be filled with some apprehension, anticipation, and new discoveries. For most new incoming freshmen experiencing the college student life is very important to them. They feel like they are free from the constraints of their parents and for the first time can do whatever they want to. Your freshman year of college is when you begin to gain your own independence. Keep in mind though, with independence comes more responsibility — you’re growing up and becoming more mature.

While you may be your own boss, to some extent, be careful. Life in college is where you will learn your limitations, how much can you study, drink, and manifest. Most freshmen don’t know how to handle their new found freedom and louse up the first semester of college, so make sure you get off on the right foot. Make friends, go to lecturers, do your homework, and don’t be lazy. Take advantage of this amazing opportunity and make the most of your time in college.

The College Schedule

As freshmen you aren’t used to a typical college schedule where you may have only one or two classes on some days, none on others and deadlines that are weeks or months away. While the workload is enormous so can free-time making it easy for you to procrastinate. It may take you a semester or two to learn the fine art of knowing how much and when to do work.

A college schedule is filled with a more intense and heavier workload than you ever experienced in high school. The main challenges of college work are the large amounts of reading, short deadlines, and an enormous amount of writing. It’s only natural for you to feel frustrated and in doubt on those long endless nights of studying. You may feel lonely as you’ll be away from the comforts and support of your friends and family. Don’t give up, hang in there, these low periods will pass and things will look brighter in the morning.

How To Be More Social In College

Depending on the college you attend can make a big difference in a college student’s social life. Some places are known for partying 24/7 and others have strict rules about socializing and have serious consequences if caught drinking on campus. Some colleges have an intense scholastic semblance where students will refrain from partying until the weekend. In any case, it’s important for a student to have a college social life.

It can be challenging to meet new people in college. There are plenty of students but it can be difficult to make personal connections in a crowd. If you’re not sure how to meet people or where to begin consider these several options:

  • Join a club
  • Join an intramural sports team
  • Become a volunteer — on or — off campus
  • Get an on – campus job
  • Work for the newspaper
  • Work for the yearbook

Any one of these will introduce you to students who share your same interests. Be yourself and you’ll meet a lot of new people and make many new friends. You may find this hard to believe, but the friends you meet in college will be among the most fulfilling and long-term friendships of your life. It’s exciting to learn how wonderfully different college relationships can be.

Experiencing College

Make the most out of your college experience. These are undeniably going to be the best years of your life, embrace it and take advantage of everything it has to offer. The college experience will prepare and give you the tools for the reality of post college life. Don’t take the experience for granted. Explore your passions and interests, do a lot everything as long as it’s safe and legal. No place else in life will you have the opportunity to be around so many diverse people with such different and similar interests at the same time. Before you know it, it has passed you by and you will never be able to go back to that chapter in your life.

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