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What are some things I should do when I start college?

I feel like I need to know a few things to help me get started

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Doc’s Answer

Starting college is an exhilarating chapter in life, filled with moments of growth, learning, and self-discovery. Remember to manage your time wisely, seek support and build relationships, embrace failure, prioritize physical and mental health, and explore your passions fearlessly. Armed with these insights, you’re better prepared to make the most of your college years and create unforgettable memories that will shape your future endeavors.
• GO TO ORIENTATIONS — Do you really need to go on yet another campus tour? Yes. The faster you learn your way around campus — and around all the red tape — the more at ease you’ll feel, and the better prepared you’ll be when issues arise.
• GO TO CLASSES — Obvious, right? Maybe, but sleeping in and skipping that 8 am class will be tempting at times. Avoid the temptation. Besides 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, etc.
• MEET WITH YOUR PROFESSORS — I can assure you there are only upsides to getting to know your professors, especially if later in the semester you run into some snags. Professors schedule office hours for the sole purpose of meeting with students — take advantage of that time.
• GET TO KNOW YOUR ADVISOR — This is the person who will help you with course conflicts, adding or dropping courses, scheduling of classes for future semesters, deciding on majors and minors. This person is a key resource for you — and should be the person you turn to with any academic issues or conflicts. And don’t be afraid of requesting another adviser if you don’t click with the one first assigned to you.
• NOT A MAJOR RUSH — It doesn’t matter if it seems as though everyone else seems to know what they’re doing with their lives — believe me, 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.
• GET INVOLVED ON CAMPUS — A big problem for a lot of new students is a combination of homesickness and a feeling of not quite belonging. A solution? Consider joining a select group (and be careful not to go overboard) — student organizations, clubs, sororities or fraternities, or sports teams. You’ll make new friends, learn new skills, and feel more connected to your school.
Thank you comment icon Thank you Michelle for your never-ending positivity. Doc Frick
Thank you comment icon Thank You Megan. Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much. Doc Frick
Thank you comment icon Thank You Paula. Doc Frick
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Paula’s Answer

Hey Nabeel! Here are some things I wish I knew back when I started college:
* STUDY GROUPS! There are a lot of people on the same boat as you in terms of still getting their bearings. Get together with people from your classes and suggest a study group. This is where you will find people to help you out, to give tips, to recommend study material, they can act as an accountability partner and keep you honest.
* If you are going to college away from home, keep in mind that you will need much more DISCIPLINE to stay on top of assignments and tests. Create a system that works for you (alarms, digital schedules, planner) and stay on top of things. A very common mistake of freshers is not being able to handle life + school without their family besides them. It is hard, but you can do it.
* Keep an OPEN MIND. You will meet from all over, with different mindsets and backgrounds from you and you will have to learn to accept these differences or you will ostracize yourself. Everyone finds out when they go to college that they have been living in a little bubble and that the world is MUCH bigger than they imagined.
* Find yourself a SUPPORT SYSTEM! It can be your family, friends, colleagues from classes, advisors, neighbors, dorm mates... Eventually you will need it, trust me.

Good luck and stay positive! You got this!
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Alana’s Answer

Hello Everyone,
You guys all gave great answers. I think I can provide a more almost perfectly since I am still in college as a junior. Here are some things I would suggest when you start college.

1. Plan your days: You will have projects, meetingings, deadlines, test, exams, quizzes, homework so in order to be on top of it, start learning how to efficiently plan your days- this also helps with time management.

2. Start accepting failure: Yes, I know, it sucks! You didn't get that job or that scholarship was not awarded to you and that's ok! Understand that you might have an bit of a "reality check" in college because in high school your identity is mostly tied to your academic/sports achievements and success so when you go to college and you aren't doing as well, do not get discouraged! Struggle and failures are apart of the journey.

3. Accept Average is ok: This may be a personal experience, but I had to accept that being average is a-ok! When i was in high school i use to be somewhat of an over-achiever and I often didn't really need to study to get great grades but that changed when I went to college. When I came to college I was average, I was getting 100s and 95s on every test I had anymore and I was even in the top 5% anymore! But that is ok!, Im average, which is where I'm supposed to be and being average is enough! Do let you academic achievements or failures define who you are as a person. Your professor has failed exams, doctors and lawyers fail exams, do you won't be the first or last person to not get a high grade on an assignment

4. Evaluate your friends circles more considerable: One thing I had to learn is that everyone is not like me, I don't mean this in a , " I'm better than everyone else and I'm not like them" but rather in a , " I know my intentions for my actions and I know why I do the things I do, but I don't know this others person's intentions, while I could be genuine, they could be disingenuous ." This is to say everyone doesn't think or behave like you, so make sure you are surrounding yourself with supporting and living friends that actually reflect the person you are. My mother once said " Show me your 5 closest friends, and I can tell you who you are..."

5. Academic Duties: Go to class! Reach out to professors! Go to networking events! Go to job fairs, and panel talks! Take advantage of your school's resources, (mostly likely they will be free ! ;). Fulfil your academic duties, you are a student above all else so do not get distracted. It is easy to get distracted and not feel motivated after the "homesickness" phase is about done, you are figuring out yourself, the world and others around at this time as well, so this new found freedom can be a bit "much" so make sure you are doing what NEEDS to be done first, remember why you went to college in the first place, I suggest making a vision board or a checklist to make sure you are grounded and or on task.

6. Be yourself: Do not feel like you need to "perform" a role to fit in. This is a very clique saying but please do be yourself! being authentic and yourself will ensure you will attract the people who are good for you!
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Jerome’s Answer

I wish I would have been braver and put myself out there more.

Join clubs, attend study groups, attend events on campus. Part of the college experience is the relationships you can form. You will find that the network you have and the people you know may have as big an impact on your life as the degree you get.

Other than that, dedicate time on you calendar to studying and HW. It can be easy to slack off.
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Megan’s Answer

I agree with the advice given already!

I will add to set some goals for yourself.

When I went to college I knew that I wanted to be a college athlete, study abroad, and do the Disney College Program. I completed all 3 of my goals and it made my college experience even more enjoyable. It also helped me to keep going when things got tough.

I hope this helps!
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Amanda’s Answer

Hi Nabeel! Doc and everyone gave a great list but one important reminder for me at the start of college was to get out there and socialize. You might not find your ‘forever’ group of friends, but the first semester of college is still a great opportunity to connect with many people and try to build those relationships. It was great for me to remind myself that everybody (!!) is trying to make friends, so don’t be shy in making plans and being forward with introducing yourself!
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Romir’s Answer

As someone who is fresh out of college, I'm excited for you to get started! Here are some tips I would have for myself if I started all over again:

1. In the first few weeks, try to meet as many new people and go to as many events as you can! If you're an introvert this may be difficult to maintain, but do your best to take advantage of all the events the college will have set up for you when you get to campus. Everyone is looking for people to meet as well, so its the perfect time to make new friends!

2. Establish a routine which works for you when classes start. It will take a little bit of adjustment to figure out what works with you, but this can be helpful in making sure you can balance your academic responsibilities with the social aspects and extracurriculars.

3. Look around for clubs or organizations that you're interested in. This can help build a new passion outside of school, and maybe even help you make new friends in the process!

I'll leave it at that as the most important points I have for you, but I'll leave you with one final piece of advice: Embrace the journey of college, the only constant in life is change, so just because things may not always be what you were expecting, all you can do is control what you can control and accept that you're doing your best.
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Paige’s Answer

Best gift I got from my brother when I was headed to college was shower shoes. If you're going to be living in a dorm with shared showers, get yourself some and never be barefoot. There can be some nasty foot bacteria in there!
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Emma’s Answer

Don't forget to utilize office hours. This is your chance to converse with your professors and teaching assistants about any questions you have regarding the coursework. It's also an opportunity to build stronger relationships with them. They could prove to be valuable contacts in the future when you're on the hunt for job opportunities.
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