Starting your university career can be one of the most exciting times of your life. However, it can also be nerve-wracking, especially if you are attending far away from home. Here are some tips for new students to make the transition easier.
Although you may think of a dormitory room as a bedroom-sized place, remember that you will probably be sharing it with another person. Think half of a bedroom, then eliminate a few things.
Move in as Soon as Possible
If you move in to your dorm room the evening before classes start, you will not feel rested or prepared. Give yourself as much time as you can to get used to your new quarters, learn your way around the campus, and settle in.
Whether it is skipping class, forgetting assignments, or getting behind on reading material, losing ground on your studies can create a large amount of stress. In the end, you will have to put forth more effort to catch up than you would to keep up. Go to class, read what is assigned (read ahead if you can), and get assignments done on time. Get additional help if you need.
It is a lot easier to keep up with your studies if you have a plan. Some things you may need are:
• Day planner. Make sure you have room to write assignments and due dates and a place to secure copies of the outline or syllabus for each course.
• Post-it notes. Use these for flexible activities, such as exercise time or shopping, and move them around as needed.
• Emergency phone numbers. Besides the obvious, these should include all professors, teacher’s aids, tutoring centers, and the library.
Check In with Professors
Whenever possible, check with your course instructors for progress. That way if you are lagging in any area you can work a little to overcome this. Wait until examination time and you will be cramming–and worrying–instead.
Pat Yourself on the Back
If you are doing well and keeping up, always give yourself a reward. Choose a favorite activity or go out with some friends as an incentive to continue your hard work. Beware of food rewards–students can put on ten pounds in just a couple months if they are not careful.
These tried-and-true ways of making the transition into student life easier are only the beginning. No doubt you will find others methods to fit your needs as you progress through your first semester.