10 Tips for Surviving Your First Year of College

Make an effort to be friends with your roommates. Even though it sounds cliché, having a good relationship with your roommates can make or break your year. Try to develop this relationship early on and even if the two (or more) of you have little in common at least try to be as friendly as you can, it will definitely pay off.

Try to avoid going home on weekends. For kids who commute to school and for kids who decide to go to college far away, they don’t have much of a choice here. However, for kids who may be going to college close to home it may be tempting to go home every weekend. However, weekends are a great time to meet and connect with new people and you may miss out on a lot if you’re constantly going home.

Move on from high school. Obviously keep in touch with your high school friends and make an effort to see them when you get home. However, make sure you don’t let a good high school experience prevent you having a good experience in college. Branch out and try to meet new people and make new friends.

Say hi to your RA. Living in a dorm is obviously a lot different than living at home and a lot of things that are acceptable to do at home may not be allowed in a dorm. Going out of your way to say hi to your RA makes a difference and it may help you out later on.

Your TA is your best friend. For a lot of college courses, your TA is the one that ultimately determines your grade. That being said, go to class discussions and do your best to participate and make friends with your TA. If your TA likes you, they will likely be more lenient when grading assignments.

Try to maintain a consistent sleep schedule. It’s likely that your sleep schedule will be a lot different than it was in high school and a lot of kids will spend a large portion of the day napping. Try to avoid this as it can mess up your sleep schedule and make it harder for you to fall asleep at night.

It is okay to eat alone. Everyone is on a different schedule in college and chances are you will end up eating alone at one point or another. News flash: it’s not a big deal. Everyone eats alone at some point and no one is paying attention.

Don’t have expectations. Every person’s college experience is different and there is no way to truly know what yours will be like until you actually go to college. Therefore, you shouldn’t go to college with unrealistic expectations. The best thing you can do is to go in with an open mind and a positive attitude.

Don’t stress your grades too much. You should try your best in your classes, after all you are in school to get a degree. However, college is a lot harder than high school and you will inevitably face a difficult professor, a harsh TA, or an unforgiving curve. Give yourself credit and as long as you do your best don’t worry about it. Your first year of college is about a lot more than just getting good grades.

Give your school a fair chance. Chances are you aren’t going to love your school the second you get there. It will take time to develop friendships and to find your niche. If your first semester doesn’t go the way you planned, that doesn’t mean you’re at the wrong school. College is a big adjustment and the sooner you realize this the better.

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