College is terrifying, at least if you're like me. In all honesty, I probably cried three times between my house and my dorm room. I was scared of moving away from my family, having to create a new routine, and making friends. Additionally, I was scared about all the rumors; freshman fifteen, the partying, everything. My nerves were shot. However, as I settled into my new schedule at school, I discovered that college should not be a nerve-wracking, but rather exciting time.
So, as my first year at university winds down, I decided to share some advice based on my personal experiences as well as some tips based upon what I wish I had done differently.
1. DO join clubs
I was lucky enough to know a decent amount of people from my home town so getting to know people was not my first concern. However, joining clubs early is super important because it helps you build new connections with people who have similar interests. I remember hearing that joining three clubs should be your goal during your first semester at university. Join one that is related to your major (or academics if you're unsure of your major), one that is related to community service and volunteering, and one for personal interest and for fun.
This will not only aid in building relationships, but it will help you professionally further down the road.
2. DON'T seclude yourself
I spent a lot of time in my dorm room first semester, just because that was where all my things from home are. However, I remember about a week in, I forced myself out of my comfort zone so that I could meet new people and not spend all day napping. I know it might be tempting to sleep after all of your classes, but make sure to spend some time outside your room.
3. DO utilize your resources
The gym, the library, the counseling center, and the tutoring center are all resources your tuition pays for. USE THEM!
4. DON'T go home in the first month
I realize that this may not be an issue for people going to school far away from home, but this was especially hard for me. I am extremely close to my family and moving away from them stressed me out. However, doing this helped me to gain independence and be more confident with on my own.
5. DO call your family every now and then
If you're anything like me, you'll call your family on a pretty much daily basis. However, if you're like others, you'll have a lot on your plate and you may forget to call. Check in with your family. They love you and want to hear from you.
6. DON'T overwhelm yourself
College is serious and classes should be your top priority as you are a full time student. However, this is the time where you have the most freedom and the least responsibility. Additionally, grades are not worth sacrificing your mental health over.
7. DO try to find balance
You know yourself and what your brain can handle. Make sure you have balance in your life and that you are taking care of yourself.
8. DON'T be afraid to fail
Failing doesn't have to mean literally failing classes. You might not perform as well as you are used to in classes or you might not get a leadership position in a club that you really wanted. Don't let occurrences like these discourage you. Let them encourage you to do better and serve as a point for growth.