College is an exciting and somewhat scary transition for most everyone, and living on campus can be quite the adjustment. Here are 10 things freshman need to know about living on campus that will help you get through your first year.
1. Learn your way around campus before classes start
One super important thing freshman need to learn about living on campus is learning the lay of the land. There’s nothing worse than being 45 minutes late to your first class because you got lost around campus (speaking from experience). Plus, it feels good to know that if someone asks you for directions, you can confidently guide them to their destination.
2. Just because you can not go to class, doesn’t mean you should
You’ll notice quickly that no one is holding your hand, making you go to class. Many professors won’t care if you are in class because wether way they have 200 other students in a lecture. It’s super tempting to skip class, but here’s the thing, you’re paying for it either way. Not going is a waste of money. If you’re too tired in the morning, remember that! You have the opportunity to decide your schedule, if you’re not a morning person, don’t choose an 8am class.
3. Getting involved will help make campus feel more like home
Living on campus can become lonely if you feel like you don’t have a place. One way to feel more comfortable and connected is to get involved. If you like to write, join the newspaper or if you like radio, see if your school has a student radio station and hop on board. Most schools have club sports teams so if you like sports check those out! There are so many things to do on campus, you’ll find something you like if you look for it.
4. You’re an adult now
Being an adult means that you can do *basically* whatever you want, but it also means that you need to be responsible. This means staying on top of your required courses and financial aid. It also means learning how to do laundry, take care of yourself, and juggle all of the things that are important to you.
5. This is the time to get to know yourself
For a lot of students, living on campus is the first taste they have of being on their own. It’s an amazing feeling IMHO, and it allows us the space we need to develop into who we want to be. College is the time to figure out who you are and what you enjoy, to change your major if you decide finance is not for you and you want to pursue your passion for criminal justice. It’s the time to try new things and find out that you have a talent that you didn’t realize you had.
6. Meet with your advisors
Juggling school, work, family, friends, hobbies, and your own sanity can become quite the circus act for even the most organized and on-top-of-it people. That’s why it’s important to meet with your advisors. Your course advisors will help keep you on track so you don’t have any surprises pop up when you apply for graduation, and your financial advisors will help you apply for various scholarships and grants.
7. Look out for your friends
It’s no secret that college can be crazy, so make sure to check on your friends. They are in the same boat you’re in and we all need someone to lean on from time to time. If you notice your friend is out partying and checking out of classes, check in with them. They might need help staying on track. Or maybe you have a friend that’s been distant or pulling away lately, talk to them. Odds are they are feeling overwhelmed and alone and could benefit from having their friend check in with them.
8. Take care of yourself
You can’t expect to pass every class, be there for your friends, do well at work or in whatever club you are in if you are burnt out. While living on campus can be amazing, it can also make it difficult to take time for yourself to relax and regroup. So if you need to take a walk by yourself, sit outside, take a long shower, take a nap, eat better or whatever it is you need to do to feel like you are taking care of yourself, do it. You need to.
9. Check in with your family
Family is what grounds us, it reminds us of where we came from and sometimes of where we want to go. Our families are typically the biggest source of support and love that we have. Call them, text them, plan time to see them. Just because you’re living on campus doesn’t mean you can’t make time to go home and check in with your family.
10. College should be fun – at least part of the time
It’s easy to get consumed by all the things you have to do, so make time to enjoy yourself. Go see a movie or get lunch with your friends. Save up to go on a trip or to a festival. Whatever it is that makes you feel alive, make time for it. We are all meant to be happy, so don’t cut out fun just because you have a to-do list.