5 Tips for Getting Adjusted to College

Getting accepted to the college of your choice is only half the battle. Next, you’ll need to tackle the challenge of getting settled in. The first few weeks on campus will be an adjustment.

You’ll be getting use to a new environment, new people, and new living situation…but, if you do some advanced planning, you can make the transition a lot easier.

Below are 5 things that you can do to make the transition from high school to college a lot less painful.

1. Locate Your Classes Ahead of Time. Once you’ve made it to campus and met with your academic advisor to determine your class schedule, try locating your classes. A lot of your stress and anxiety on your first day of class will be due to the size of campus. Finding your classes can be a daunting process, but if you locate your classes ahead of time, you can save yourself a significant amount of time, frustration, and embarrassment by not getting lost on the first day.

2. Get Your Textbooks & Supplies Early. It’s a good idea to get your textbooks and whatever supplies you think you’ll need early on. A lot of campus bookstores are now offering a textbook rental service. This service allows students to “rent” the textbook for the semester for significantly cheaper than it costs to buy the textbook. However, only a select number of textbooks are available for rental, so the sooner you get to the bookstore, the greater your chances are at being able to take advantage of textbook rental services or at the very least, getting access to used books.

It’s also not a bad idea to grab some general school supplies like pens, pencils, notebooks, and a planner. These basic items can be purchased in advance at your local office supply store for significantly cheaper than the campus bookstore. This way, you’ll be prepared for class and you can avoid the long lines and hefty price tags at the bookstore during the first week of classes.

3. Attend Freshman Activities. Yes, the new freshman BBQ or the ice cream social may seem kind of lame, but these events can be really helpful. Not only do they force you to get out of your dorm room, but you can also meet a ton of people. Believe it or not, attendance is typically pretty high and you can usually get a ton of useful information. So don’t be shy! Get out there and mingle with your new classmates.

4. Take Advantage of Social Networking. With the invention of Facebook, Twitter, and other popular social networking websites, it can be really easy for new college freshman to meet other students before they even step foot on campus. You might even find students who live in your neighborhood or close by that you can meet and make friends with before school starts. If not, then maybe you can arrange to meet up with the people you meet online when you get on campus.

5. Get Involved In Extracurricular Activities. During your first few weeks on campus, take some time to research all of the various clubs and organizations on campus to see what activities you might want to participate in. Once you’ve done your research, make a list of the clubs that interest you the most and try to sit in on a meeting or talk to someone who’s already part of that group.

The transition from high school to college is definitely a life changing event, but it doesn’t have to be a stressful or intimidating one. With the tips outlined above, you can make the transition exciting and fun. Good luck!

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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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