Congrats! You’re finally here and classes are just around the corner! With so much going on (orientation, move-in, saying goodbye to friends and family, potentially moving hours away from home, etc etc etc) it’s normal to get to your first week of classes, assignments, and soon-to-come tests and feel like you still haven’t gotten your feet under you.
It’s inevitable that at some point you will feel overwhelmed, and that’s okay, but here are 7 tips that will help to reduce the terror.
Make sure your planner is ready to go before your first day of classes. Write out or print out your schedule (including building and room numbers if your classes are in-person) so you know where you’re going and when. I use this free printable from EmmaStudies to write in all my classes and extracurriculars every semester. Download or bookmark a map of your university so you don’t get /too/ lost.
The first few weeks of college are such an interesting time. You’ll find yourself saying, “Hi, I’m Holly, I’m from Colorado, I’ll be majoring in… and you?” about 8 gazillion times. But it’s okay! Do it 8 gazillion times! Make friends! It’s perfectly okay to bond over the shared misery of a first test being in the second week, and it’s also comforting to know that you’re not the only one with a project due the same day as two midterm tests at the end of September.
Not meeting my professors personally is one of my biggest regrets in college. Try to go into their office hours during the first week and introduce yourself. Too many students don’t take advantage of office hours and now that I’m older I see how I missed out on so many great benefits. Please, please, please go in and talk to your professors. Since social distancing/reduced face-to-face contact is a thing now, at the very least email your professors. If you don’t have any class-related questions for them, you can ask them about their research and even ask if they have an open undergraduate position if you’re really interested!
Once you get your syllabi, read through it and write all your deadlines in your planner. With just a little bit of forward thinking and planning, you can break down big assignments into smaller, more manageable chunks and start studying for tests weeks in advance. Once again, EmmaStudies has wonderful free planning sheets to keep track of deadlines.
Believe it or not, you will have more free time and fewer commitments freshman year than the next three+, so don’t be afraid to go to a ton of different organizations’ meetings and events. Later on, you can pare down to just a few orgs you love.
It’s a good time to begin new habits. Start college right by staying hydrated and eating decently. Science says it’s very important and I have no anecdotal evidence to disagree.
Make sure you set aside time to be by yourself and process all the emotions and thoughts you’re having. Do things that help you recharge and refocus, such as mindfulness practice, listening to music, or praying. It was freshman year that I started the habit of reading my Bible and praying every morning, a habit that I continue to this day, going on four years later, and it helped me to go through the each day with more comfort, patience, and intention.
Overall, don’t add any stress to your first week. There’s plenty for you to stress about in college anyway 😉 You’ll find your priorities, friends, and daily rhythm in no time.
We hope these blog posts are helpful to you in your post-high school journey. Write a comment if you have something to add or email us with suggestions for future posts. ⬇️
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Written by Holly Lakin on Aug 18, 2020