For many people, college is quite the culture shock. The new living arrangement, new friends, a heavy course load and a new way of life. College is such a different kind of place that it can take a long time to get used to it. I know, for me at least, it was the course load that really hindered me when I first got here. The professors were so amazing though it didn't seem like it was going to be as hard as it was - until the first exam.

I don't know about you, but school was always pretty easy for me. It seemed like I was always getting high grades and doing really well on exams and papers. I even graduated with an A GPA. It seemed like I was going to be right on track when I got to college. Unfortunately, I was really wrong.

I don't think it hit me how many studying techniques I was missing out on during high school. Exams were always easy so I didn't really need to study other than go over a few notes but college knocked that out of me on my first exam. I think I finally realized how much I was going to struggle in college if I didn't start studying more when I was less than pleased with the grade I got on my first exam. I knew that I would have to kick myself into gear and start paying better attention, taking better notes and going to the professor's office hours if I had questions or if things weren't clear. Luckily, all of my professors were really amazing and helped me into it, like they must do with many incoming students. I also learned really quickly how important it is to go to the tutors that they have on campus and try as hard as you can to get an understanding of the material before it's too late.

College is such a different environment from what you're used to. When I was in high school it was always weird to talk to the teachers after class or if you had to get a tutor or extra help you were ridiculed for it (thanks, public school). But in college, if you don't get extra help you are actually hurting yourself more than you can really grasp. And it's not that big of a deal if you need to get a tutor. It's something that you might need to do to keep yourself in check or make sure that you pass the class.

The thing is, no matter how you are doing in the beginning of a semester you can always improve your grades and improve how you are doing in the class overall. There are always ways to help yourself in a way that can get your grades up even if it is something as simple as more class participation. You can always get back to a place where you are happy with what you are doing with yourself. College is quite the shock but if you have ways to help that then you will be just fine. Whether it is support from your friends, help from a tutor or even just meeting with your professor, things are going to be just fine. I believe in you.