College is a coming-of-age experience that most spend their entire high school career anticipating, be it with excitement or fear for what comes ahead. Whatever the case, it's one you will want to make the most of. For some college students, it's been a while since we last graced our campus - and for some this will be the very first time! We're all a little scared deep down about how we'll get through it. If you're unsure about what comes next and could use some tips, here are just a few that I hope will be helpful as we take on a new semester together.
1. Get organized!
This one may seem obvious, but you'd be surprised how easily it can be forgotten. Keeping folders for loose papers and having a whiteboard for your to-do list can make a huge difference. Of course, getting organized isn't just about organizing your belongings. It's about organizing your time. You should have your days planned out, especially if you're still taking a few online classes on top of your in-person ones. Schedule times in the day for you to do schoolwork for those online courses so you avoid falling behind. Whether it's a schedule in your phone or in your dorm, be sure to update it regularly and include all that needs to be done, even outside of homework.
2. Take breaks when you need to!
The college workload can be overwhelming, especially after over a year of online schooling, so it's natural to feel crushed beneath the weight of it all. In that fancy schedule you surely plan on making by now, carve out a few breaks to avoid stressing yourself out too much with all work and no play. It doesn't matter what you do with that time, as long as it distracts you from all the stresses of academia and serves as a proper mental health break. Bring a game console to campus and calm yourself down with some 'Animal Crossing'. Watch a bad movie with your roommates to get a few laughs in. And speaking of spending time with your roommates....
3. Put yourself out there!
For a lot of us, it's been a long time since we've actively tried to meet new people. I know it'll probably feel weird at first, but trust me, making connections is one of the best parts of college. Attend the campus events you feel comfortable and safe attending - it's totally up to you - and try to find an extracurricular that speaks to you. Have fun and reach out to others, and in no time at all you'll make friends who share your interests and passions. College is the best time to make these connections, and even if you had some semesters of socialization taken from you by the pandemic, this is your chance to make up for it by finding your people at last.
Above all, have fun! College is an experience, and it's up to you to make the most of that experience as best you can. Find your passion, pursue it, and surround yourself with people who make the experience truly special.
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