10 Ways to Survive Your First Semester of College


1.) Buy a planner that you are going to love, and use all the time! I am completely serious about this one; you need to find a planner that will fit your every need and that you can tailor to your style. A planner is important because you will be able to put all the information you need to remember tests, quizzes, and homework in it. I recently fell in love with Passion Planner-you can see them here. If you need to have every detail of your life planned out this is where you do it.

2.) Make your room “homey”.  Your room needs to be a place that you can recharge and relax. Decorate the walls with pictures and even a wall calendar. Bring string lights, and a floor lamp, and a desk lamp. Curtains can also be really fun, just remember to stay within the policies of your university. If you are commuting from home, I suggest doing a “re-model” and revamping your room with new wall colors, or bedding or lighting.

3.) Go to your classes. This is a given, but seriously if you want to succeed you should go to as many classes as you can and take as many notes as you can. If you have questions do not be afraid to ask them- someone else might have the same question. Also do not be afraid to go to your professor’s office hours. If you consistently go to office hours, professors are more likely to help you out, and maybe even write a recommendation letter for you in the future.

4.) Get involved. Find a group on campus that you want to be a part of. Being in a group of people automatically gives you people who understand what you are going through and who will push you to be the best that you can be. Most colleges and universities have hundreds of student organizations that you can join. Including Greek Life, Housing and Residence Life, Student Government, Student Volunteering, etc.

5.) Know when to take a break. Sometimes you are going to be overwhelmed, that is okay, most students are. When you are overwhelmed learn some strategies that help you relax. Make a mind map to write everything down, journal, read, take a bath, watch a movie, etc. Just be careful not to shirk all of your responsibilities.

6.) Eat Healthy. I know I am going to sound like your mom, and this is something I am working towards as well, but you need to eat your fruits and vegetables. Try to stay away from highly processed foods, because they are going to make you feel worse. A famous phrase is, “Sound Mind, sound body”, but it goes the other way as well, a sound body will lead to a sound mind. Eating healthy does not mean that you can’t ever have that piece of chocolate cake, it jut means don’t have that chocolate cake at every meal.

7.) Exercise. Again, this one is pretty important. Being away from home, many college students experience severe homesickness that might even develop into depression. Exercise is medicine, so I strongly encourage you to find something to do. Go rock climbing once a week, run a mile every morning, start weight-lifting, or even just doing yoga. All of these produce endorphins, which may lead to a happier, healthier you.

8.) Sleep. This is something I am not very good at either, but sleep is super important for everyone, but especially for college students. To commit what you study to memory, you have to sleep, to repair micro muscle tears from exercise you have to sleep, to stay awake in class you have to sleep. The average student needs 7-9 hours of sleep, but most do not get that. There are “short sleepers” and “long sleepers” who need less or more than the average, but make sure you are getting the right amount of sleep for you.

9.) Keep up with course work. Look at the syllabus your first week of class, and make sure to get everything done by or before the due dates, that way you are not stressing at the end of the semester. This is especially important if you are taking any online classes-make sure to keep up with every single due date.

10.) Build Strong Relationships. You are starting to network as soon as you take your first step onto your campus, make the most of it. Every person you meet has the potential to help or hurt your future, so be choosy about who you let into your life. The people who support and encourage you are the ones with whom you really need to nurture strong relationships.

I hope some of this is helpful! Good luck in all your endeavors ~Focused Wanderer.

If you have any questions, comments or concerns, feel free to leave a comment & remember to subscribe.


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