How to survive your first year of college

College is often one of the most exciting times in a teenager’s life. After all, you get to leave the nest and live independently. Here’s how to survive your first year.

As exciting as it may be, going away to college can also be the most daunting, especially when you think about uprooting yourself and meeting new people. 

Aside from the geographical changes that you’ll have to go through, you’ll also need to prepare yourself mentally for the schoolwork that you should complete. As you’ll find out soon enough, college is nothing like high school. You will need to step up your study game and develop healthy habits if you want to succeed in university. 

Here are some tips on how to survive your first year of college.

1) Be prepared 

Ending your freshman year well doesn’t happen overnight. You have to make the right decisions and plan out your academic career at the beginning. It would even entail having to prepare while you’re still in high school. 

First, you should be mindful of your grades to get into your college of choice. Of course, you should equip yourself with the necessary knowledge and skills that serve as the groundwork for more complex courses in college. 

You should also consider your accommodations and other logistics-related factors. You must decide whether to live in-campus or opt for housing nearby. If you’re planning to enroll in Brigham Young University – Idaho, you can check out American Avenue for BYU-I approved apartment and townhomes. 

2) Have the right mindset 

Another factor in preparing for college is your mindset. As mentioned above, going to university gives you more freedom of choice. However, you must also remember that you’ll be fully accountable for your academic career. Don’t expect to be coddled or spoon-fed with information. You should already know how to do your research and figure things out for yourself. 

This can be overwhelming to digest. On the other hand, you can view it as an opportunity to achieve greater things than when you were in high school. Be ready to face academic and even personal challenges as you navigate through university. Think of these situations as part of the process of refining you and make you ready for the real world after college. 

3) Attend all orientations 

Always join the orientations that are created for incoming first-year students. These tours and conferences are designed to make your transition a bit easier.

This is particularly valuable if you’re thinking about going to a university far from home since these orientations can teach you how to go around the campus as well as the rules and regulations of the institution. 

4) Create a study plan 

There are two things that you need to master before college. The first is time management, while the other one is developing effective study habits. These skills can help you succeed during your first year as well as the succeeding years in university. 

Your should customize your study plan to better fit your needs, preferences, and academic goals. That’s why you should take time to do some introspection before creating a schedule and implementing strategies. 

These are the steps involved in making a study plan: 

  • Determine your learning style – You have to be objective with your strengths and weaknesses, particularly when it comes to studying, so that you can make the necessary adjustments to your study plan. 
  • Identify your objectives – While your overarching goal is to pass all the course requirements for your first year in college, you must write down the steps that you need to take to accomplish it. This can include reading the required books as well as submitting homework and projects on time. 
  • Set time for studying – You need to commit to a specific time for studying. You should also follow through with the schedule even during the days when you don’t feel like it. This is a crucial step in ensuring your academic success. 
  • Have a dedicated study space – Aside from having a study schedule, you must also find a conducive space where you can read your books and notes in peace. It should be free from distractions so that you can concentrate on the things that you have to do for the day. 
  • Find a study buddy – Being accountable to someone for the nitty-gritty of your studies can help you a lot, especially during those days when you don’t feel like doing your projects or picking up a book. They should also relatively have the same goals as you, academic-wise, for both of you to click. 
  • Don’t neglect sleep – Sleep is crucial to keeping your brain functioning optimally. You should prioritize it, particularly the night before major exams, so that you can be clear-headed and ready to take on the next day with full vigor and alertness. 

5) Learn basic life skills

Cooking is one of the basic life skills that you should acquire before heading to college. The food that you consume plays a significant role in your cognitive abilities. Avoid eating too much junk food as these don’t provide you with the right nutrition. 

Another thing that you should master is housekeeping. You don’t want to live in a pig’s sty for the entire year. Knowing this, you must learn how to perform household chores properly, like doing the laundry, sweeping the floors, and picking up after yourself. 

6) Make time for exercise 

Cognition and physical health are interconnected. If your body isn’t performing at maximum potential, chances are, your brain will suffer as well. Incorporate exercise in your daily routine to ensure that you stay fit and healthy, physically, and mentally. 

7) Interact with other people 

College is your chance to get out of your shell and meet new people. Don’t let your internal fears prevent you from finding potential friends who can support your journey through university. Don’t lock yourself in your room or house. Instead, stay in public areas, like the library and lounge spaces, to increase the chances of gaining new acquaintances. 

Ready for your first year of college? 

Going to college and completing your first year doesn’t have to be a stressful event. You just have to be prepared, physically, mentally, and emotionally. Attend the orientations so that you know what to expect. Create a detailed study plan for your academic goals. 

Learn basic life skills, like cooking, so that you can still get the right nutrition to boost your cognitive abilities. Make time for exercise as well and socialize with other people who might become your close friends.