10 Tips To Survive Your First Week Of College

Leia Yun

The first week of college is exciting, an adventure filled with new friends, new experiences, and new possibilities. To make the most of this special time, here are some valuable tips that will help you navigate your first week with confidence and enthusiasm. From managing your time effectively to forming meaningful connections, these tips will empower you to kickstart your college journey. So get ready to dive in, have fun, and make your first week of college truly remarkable.

Tip 1. Make a Budget

During your first week of college, there are a lot of expenses to consider, including academic supplies, textbooks, meals, transportation, and room decorations. To avoid overspending, it is crucial to establish a budget and keep track of your money. I personally used Notion for budgeting, but there are various tools available such as spreadsheets, mobile apps, or pen and paper. Prioritizing your purchases and being mindful of your spending will help you make the most of your financial resources during your first week of college. 

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Tip 2. Get a Campus Map

On campus, especially for a big university, it is really easy for new students to get lost and waste time. To avoid potential tardiness, you need to familiarize yourself with the campus layout, and a campus map will help you do so. Also, it can be beneficial to try to walk your classes before the first day of school. I learned this the hard way when I got confused and ended up in the wrong classroom on my first day. So, I encourage you to find your classes and important buildings using your campus map and start your college journey on the right foot.

Tip 3. Create a Warm Atmosphere in Your Dorm Room

As most colleges require freshmen to reside in dormitories, it can be a very new and daunting experience for many students who have never lived in a dorm before. The transition from a cozy space to an empty and unfamiliar dorm room can contribute to feelings of homesickness. So, I recommend you invest time in designing and decorating your dorm room to make it feel like home. Consider bringing items from home that hold sentimental value, such as photos, posters, or cherished possessions. By infusing your personal touches and creating a cozy atmosphere, you can create a space that brings you comfort and relaxation, easing the transition into college life. 

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Tip 4. Get Out There and Break the Ice

Making new friends is often a top concern for many freshmen. As a very shy and introverted person, it was challenging for me as well to start a conversation and socialize with new people. But, I soon realized that approaching strangers isn’t as difficult as it seems, especially when everyone is in the same position as a freshman, eager to make friends. They are likely just as open to meeting new people as you are, and some may even be waiting for someone to approach them. So, take a deep breath and try saying hi to the people sitting next to you in class. This leads you to set the foundation for potential friendships.

Tip 5. Make connections in your classes

Especially in a large lecture without any group project or recitation, you may not feel the need to seek out friends within the classroom as you already have a group of friends outside of the classroom. But, as the semester progresses and exams and assignments approach, you may begin to realize the desperate necessity of having a friend or two in each class. Having classmates you can rely on for study sessions, clarifying doubts, or discussing course materials can greatly enhance your learning experience and academic performance. You never know when you might need that extra support or collaboration to succeed in your coursework.

Tip 6. Attend Welcome Events

During your first week of college, there will be various welcome events specifically designed for freshmen. It can differ from each college but they usually have orientation sessions, game nights, campus tours, and dorm parties. They offer valuable opportunities for freshmen to smoothly adjust to the new life, getting essential knowledge about academic requirements and campus resources. Also, the socializing events create a welcoming environment where you can connect with fellow freshmen and establish friendships. 

Tip 7. Read Your Syllabus To Master Course Requirements and Due Dates

To excel in your college courses, it’s essential to know the specific requirements and due dates for classes. Also, some classes may require you to bring specific items on the first day of class, so it is crucial to read the syllabus and pay attention to the email inbox. By reading the syllabus thoroughly, you can be organized by planning ahead a study schedule and setting reminders for important dates. It is the first step to achieving academic success in college as you’ll stay on track and manage your time effectively.

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Tip 8. Get Enough Sleep and Set a Sleep Routine

In the midst of a busy first week of college filled with socializing, talking with roommates, family calls, and familiarizing yourself with the new environment, it’s easy to prioritize everything else over getting enough sleep. However, it’s crucial to recognize the importance of sufficient sleep for your overall well-being and academic success throughout the semester as it can enhance your productivity and overall health. By making sleep a priority, you’ll have the energy, focus, and resilience needed to navigate college life effectively.

Tip 9. Find a Study Spot

It is beneficial to establish a strong study routine in the first week of college, and finding a suitable study spot will be the first step in starting productive study habits that can carry you throughout the semester. By exploring different options such as the library, dorm lounges, or nearby cafes, you can discover a dedicated space that allows you to concentrate and engage in productive study habits. Especially for the busy first week, having a quiet place for yourself will give you a peaceful and refreshing time that you can focus on your own work.

Tip 10. Embrace the Overwhelming Moments

Transitioning to college comes with new challenges, such as adjusting to a new environment and managing academic demands. It’s important to remember that feeling overwhelmed is a common experience for all freshmen. What I learned from my freshman year is that these feelings are normal and part of the adjustment process. Embrace the journey and its growth, remembering that adjusting takes time. By approaching overwhelming moments with resilience and understanding, you’ll emerge stronger and better equipped for the rest of your college journey.

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It is one of the craziest weeks in your freshman year. But, don’t let little things get in the way of fun and overwhelm you. Take a deep breath and remember that it’s all part of the fun. As you dive into this unforgettable journey, it is important to try to go out there, seize the moment, and make memories that will last a lifetime. Cheers to an amazing first week!

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