Life is full of choices. If you are a student like me, every morning you decide whether or not to push the snooze button, what to wear, what to eat, whether to work out or not, who to sit with at lunch, and where to sit during class. College is full of A LOT of choices too. College students have freedom to decide their own schedules, study times, dorm setup, roommates, etc. They have the freedom to decide who to hang out with, whether or not to rush, and/or which clubs to go to. College can be overwhelming the first week, so here are some tips to keep you going strong during your first semester of college.

1. Study Early

I know it is the beginning of the semester and you may be busy with a lot of activities, but it is better to start studying and doing your homework early. This way you will not be hit in the face with four papers and tons of studying to do later on in the semester. Do yourself a favor and open that Physical Geography textbook, no matter how boring it seems.

2. Open Mind

When coming into college, it is important to come in with an open mind. You may meet people that will have different ideas and goals as you. This does not mean that you cannot be friends with them, it just means that you may not have everything in common with them.

3. Get Involved

Join a club and branch out to meet a lot of different people. Get involved by joining a club that sparks your interest. Join a club that will allow you to do something that makes you happy. If you don’t want to join a club, then join an organization on campus like a church organization. Do something! The best way to adjust to a college campus is to join a group in order to meet new people who have the same interests as you.

4. Ask Questions

Do not be afraid to ask your professors questions. If you do not understand something, speak up! Most professors want their students engaged in class discussions. If you ask a question, then it show that you care about the class.

5. Poor College Student

College is expensive, so saving every dollar is vital. At UGA, the Campus Bookstore is crazy expensive. I would suggest buying your textbooks online on websites like Amazon if you can because they are usually cheaper. However, there are some books that you have to buy at the campus bookstore because you cannot find it online or at nearby stores. Anyway, if you can, you will save a lot of money if you don’t buy your books at the Campus Bookstore. Also, wait until after your first day of class before you buy the textbook because your professor might tell you that you do not need the textbook.

6. Study Groups

Find a study group as soon as possible! These groups makes it so much easier to study. It is a great way to ask questions about the class materials and lectures. I had a study group for my American Government class last summer, and it was the (does anyone ever say that anymore?). But seriously, the study group helped me a lot to process the information (we had a lot of reading to do every day), and it helped to go over what we thought was going to be on the test.

7. Study Niche

It is important to find a good “study niche.” This is a place where you can go every day at any time to study. Maybe it is in your dorm, in the library, or maybe a random building on campus. Just find a place where you can sit in study with no distractions. This means do not play Pokemon Go or turn off your Netflix. Really study, don’t “study” while doing other things too. Focus. Your GPA will thank you.

8. Believe

Believe in yourself. You made it through those terrible nap days in kindergarten, those awkward early teen years of middle school, and the cliquey, dramatic years of high school. You made it through school all those years, so just know that you can make it through college. It may be scary without being with your family and old friends (and your favorite pet), but you can succeed in college. I just know it! You got this.

9. Pray

Having a relationship with God means that you can pray to Him at any time. Talk to Him like you would to your friends. Pray about whatever comes up in your mind. Pray to Him about your worries about school, fears about your future, or your insecurities. He is listening for you, and he cares about you. You can pray to him at any time- He is listening.

College is not impossible. Sure, there are some hard classes and demanding professors, but that does not mind that it is impossible. You can do it! Just study hard, have fun, get involved, and stay close to God.