New Beginnings

August means its times to soak up the last days of freedom and start thinking of school, especially for the young adults who are about to become college freshmen. For many, this will be their first time living away from home. Even for those who commute, it will be a transition.

Here is some advice for new college students:

Prepare Yourself for Dorm Life:

For those living on campus, your dorm room will be your new home. Make the space your own. Bring some familiar things with you, but also leave some room to grow. Just remember to not overwhelm your roommate. Respect their right to personalize their space. Most dorms have you draw up roommate contracts that determine how to settle disagreements and how to use space. Take this seriously. You might get along great during the first week, but things can deteriorate fast once the stress of midterms and finals hits.  Finally, prepare yourself for the communal shower. Get a study caddy to hold all your hygiene supplies and a comfortable pair of shower flip-flops.

Stay Healthy:

Everyone has heard of the freshman fifteen, but not everyone has to suffer from it. Most colleges give you a wider array of dining choices than your average high school. It can be tempting to grab the burgers and pizza every day, but fruits and veggies are important. Without a proper diet, you won’t have the physical or mental energy needed to get through your day. Exercise is also important. Many schools offer access to their fitness facilities as part of tuition, but if that isn’t an option doing a few quick laps around the campus is a great way to keep moving.

Take Classes Seriously:

Classes are the most important part of college life, so make sure you set yourself up for success. Keep your habits in mind when you plan your classes. If you don’t function well in the morning, try to take afternoon and evening classes. You won’t always have a choice, especially in your first semester, but every little bit helps. Once you get started on your classes, make sure you do the work. Read your assigned texts and take notes during lectures. Learning as you go is more beneficial than cramming in study sessions at the last minute. Never leave big assignments for the last minute. Also, get to know your professors and what they expect from you. Being able to write a paper to suit an instructor’s preferences can help boost your grade.

Don’t Forget to Have Fun:

The first year can be rough for those not used to being away from home, but getting engaged is the best way to beat homesickness. If you pay attention, it is easy to find something to suit your interests. Movie nights, running clubs, and even the occasional foam pit. Events and clubs are a great way to get yourself involved in campus life and make new friends. If you are having trouble finding information, ask your RA.

Library Resources:

The Naked Roommate: and 107 Other Issues You Might Run into in College

Cohen, Harlan (378.198 COH)

Dream Differently: Candid Advice for America's Students

Bertram, Dr. Vince M. (378.198 BER)

College 101: a Girl's Guide to Freshman Year

Zeilinger, Julie (378.198 ZEI)

Stuff every College Student Should Know

Thornburgh, Blair (378.198 THO)

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