Settling into college life

College life can be really fun and valuable. However, you may feel lost and disoriented at first, not knowing what to do or how to do it. Randall S Hansen says you don’t need to worry too much. Everyone feels lost at first. But the secret is to make friends, know your way around and then enjoy those college days.

Go to all orientations

Do you really need to go on yet another campus tour?

Yes. The faster you learn your way around campus the more at ease you’ll feel and the better prepared you’ll be when issues arise.

Get to know your roommate

Get to know others in your residence hall or hostel. The people you live with, most of whom are

going through similar experiences and emotions, are your main safety net, not only this year, but for all your years.

Get organised

In high school, the teachers tended to lead you through all the homework and due dates. Buy an organiser, a big wall calendar, whatever it takes for you to know when assignments are due.

Find the ideal place for you to study. It may be your dorm room or a cozy corner of the library, but find a place that works best for you to get your work done.

Go to class

Don’t bunk classes. Learning the material by attending classes, you’ll also receive

vital information from the

professors about what to expect on tests, changes in due dates, et cetera.

Meet your professors. Try to talk to your professors and meet them if necessary and take advantage of that time.

Seek a balance

College life is a mixture of social and academic happenings. Don’t tip the balance too far in either direction.

Get involved

Consider joining a select group and be careful not

to go overboard of student

organisations, clubs or

sports teams.

Strive for good grades

You will have to earn them in college and that means setting some goals for yourself and then making sure you work as hard as you can to achieve them.

Take advantage of the study resources on campus. Colleges have libraries, labs and tutors available make use of them. Another idea: form study groups.

Be good to yourself

Make time for you. Be sure you set aside some time and activities that help you relax and take the stress out of your day or week. Whether it’s enlisting yoga techniques, watching your favourite television shows, or writing in a journal, be good to yourself.

Don’t feel pressured to make a hasty decision about a career or a major. It doesn’t matter if it seems as though everyone else seems to know what they are doing with their lives, they don’t, college is the time for you to really discover who you are, what you enjoy doing, what you’re good at, and what you want to be. It’s not a race, take your time and enjoy exploring your options.

Take responsibility for yourself and your actions. If you make mistakes own up to them and move on. Being an adult means taking responsibility for everything that happens to you.

Don’t procrastinate

Prioritise your life. It may have been easy in high school to wait until the last minute to complete an assignment and still get a good grade, but that kind of stuff will not work for you in college. Give yourself deadlines and stick to them.

Stay healthy

Get enough sleep, take your vitamins, and eat right.

Learn to cope with homesickness. Find a way to deal with those feelings, such as making a phone call or sending some email home.

Keep track of money

If you’ve never had to create a budget, now is the time to do so. Find ways to stretch your money as best you can.