How Can I Survive My First Year of College?

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Answered by: Chanel, An Expert in the Surviving Your First Year Category
Congratulations! You have successfully gotten into the college of your choice. That's an amazing achievement and you should be proud of yourself. However, you may now be asking yourself "how do I survive my first year of college?". Many students run into this problem because they may have thought through how to get into college, but not what to do once they've gotten there. Don't worry, the transition can be fun and relatively painless, as long as you keep a few things in mind.

1) Get to Know the People in Your Residence

If you are living in the dorms, the best thing you can do is get to know your roommate and/or the other people living there. These people will become your stand-in family for the rest of the year and you don't want to be surrounded by strangers during your college experience. Getting to know people can help you feel less lonely during your first year.

Another added perk is that if a group of fellow dorm students are being too loud, you can (nicely) ask them to turn the volume down without causing a scene. Being friends with people stops them from feeling defensive about your request for sleep. This can be especially vital the night before a big exam.

You should also try to go to any events that your dorm organizes. It's a great way to get to know people, and often there is free food. Aside from that, your RA probably put a good deal of effort into it and it's always disappointing for them when no one shows up. Remember, these events can create an inviting atmosphere that can help you get through the transition phase of being away from home.

2) Balance Work and Play

With so many new things, it can become very easy for a person to work too hard (or play too hard). The best thing to do is to set up a schedule. Many colleges suggest the amount of time you should study outside of class should be equal to the time you spend in class. So if you have 3 hours in one class a week, you should study for 3 hours a week outside of said class.

It also becomes very easy to do all of your studying at night. You should avoid this at all costs. Not only are you more tired, you also miss chances to go out or hang out with your friends. If you do your studying during the day, it leaves the rest of the evening free for you to do what you enjoy. Having a social life stops you from becoming overwhelmed or lonely.

On a related note, try to join some extracurricular clubs. Just like in high school, these can be the difference between being excited for school and feeling like all of your work is monotonous. You'll get to meet students in other years and in other programs, which is one of the best experiences of university. Not only that, but after you graduate you can include these memberships on a resume.

3) Eat Healthy When You Can

Everyone talks about the Freshman 15 as if it's the worst thing that can come out of eating poorly. The truth of the matter is that your gaining weight isn't a huge deal. What eating poorly can do is affect your studies and your mental health. Without proper nutrition, you can become sluggish and tired, making it hard to get out of bed and do things. This makes going to class and maintaining a social life very hard. Both are vital for your mental health and your future.

If you follow these three mentalities, you'll be able to make that transition into college life easily. College can be a difficult experience, but it can also be an extremely rewarding one. Use this time to study, make new friends, and take advantages of opportunities you wouldn't otherwise have in your first year of college.

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