5 Tips for New College Students

Going away to college is both exciting and scary. Mom and dad won’t be there to guide you every step of the way and you’ll be taking on a ton of new responsibilities. You’ll be forced to balance your course work with your part-time job, social life, and extracurricular activities.

You will experience a lot of ups and downs that will shape you into a more responsible and conscientious young adult. As you prepare for this new journey, here are 5 tips that will help you along the way:

Tip #1 – It’s Not Exactly Like TV. College isn’t just about partying and hanging out all the time. Contrary to what is portrayed on TV, you won’t have a ton of free time, your dorm room will likely be pretty small, you might not have a group of friends on the very first day, and you may be a little homesick during the first month or so. Each new college student’s experience will be different.  Understand that it will take some time for you to get adjusted to your new surroundings…and that’s totally normal.

Tip #2 – Being A Grown-Up Is Hard Work. A lot of new college students can’t wait to get out of their parent’s house and on to campus. You’re finally FREE, right? Well, not so fast…freedom comes with a price tag. Not only are you “free,” but now your parents aren’t there to cook you meals, wash your clothes, make sure you get to school on time, or to support you financially.  Learning how to deal with all of these new responsibilities will be challenging at first.

Tip #3 – Procrastination Is Your Enemy. College is NOT high school. You can’t wait until the night before an exam to start studying and expect that you’ll do well. College will require you to put in more time and effort if you want to maintain the grades that you had in high school. If you need help, don’t wait until the last minute. Schedule a meeting with your professor during his or her office hours or create a study group with fellow classmates.

Tip #4 – Time Management Is Key. There will never be enough hours in the day so just get use to it. You’ll never have enough time to do everything that you want to do, so you’ll have to prioritize and manage your schedule accordingly. If time management is not one of your strengths, then try buying a daily planner. Writing things down and numbering them in order of importance will help keep you on track.

Tip #5 – Mom & Dad Aren’t So Bad. It’s common for most new college students to feel a little homesick once they go away to college. As a result, parents tend to become more like friends than enemies. A lot of college students tend to develop stronger relationships with their parents while they’re away at college. It’s amazing what a little independence can do.

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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