This blog talks a lot about making the most of college. However, you can’t take advantage of the next the four years if you don’t make it out of the first month. Going away to college presents new and difficult challenges. Challenges that high school never spent any time preparing you for. Therefore, may I present 5 tips for surviving the first month of college.
1. Be careful who you trust.
It’s easy to find someone you get along with and want to become good friends with them immediately. You are missing your close friends at home and become desperate to replicate that with someone at school. However, all these new friends are just that, they are new. You don’t know them yet. Some may become your best friends, but for now, be careful who you trust and who you tell what to.
2. When in doubt, keep your mouth shut.
Your sense of humor may have worked back home with your group of pals who knew all about you. However, you are with new people who are still forming their own opinions of you. Your friends back home may know when your kidding, but your new friends don’t. Furthermore, you don’t know the political or religious views of the new people you meet. What might be funny to you could be very serious to them. It’s better to be on the quiet side first and begin to open up as time goes.
3. Study in the library.
Living in a dorm means living with 20 or 30 people on your floor. There is always going to be someone or a group of people who are playing video games, watching a movie, or doing something more entertaining than the studying and homework you have to do. Do your work in the library from the start. It will ensure you start college with good grades and puts you into a routine that will be easy to follow as your classes get harder.
4. Set two alarms.
Chances are you just spent the last 12 years being woken up by a parent or sibling for school. Being away from school means being away from the people who bugged you to get up. Furthermore, your teacher is not going to call home if you miss class. Instead, they simply deduct points from your grade and move on. Set two alarms. One on your phone and one on an actual clock across the room. This ensures you can only snooze on one of them. You may think this is trivial. It is not.
5. Watch what you eat.
Similar to my previous tip, most college freshmen had parents choosing what they ate and what they didn’t. Most kids eat what’s in the house and what is cooked and put on the table. They never really had to think about a diet, portion control or eating healthy. That choice was done for them. In college, you are responsible for what you eat, every day. No one will stop you from eating a cheeseburger and ice cream two times a day. Just like no one will force you to eat fruit and vegetables. Be self-aware of what you are eating each day and what you ate for the entire week.
The first month of college is one of the toughest adjustments you will have to had made in your life so far. These tips, and advice from college graduates can go along way in ensuring you start off on the right path.
Kyle is a youth/education public speaker and blog author. His goal is to use these mediums to inspire high school and college students to think differently about the choices they are about to make and the next steps in their lives.
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The views expressed in this blog, and all my content are mine and do not reflect the views and opinions of any companies and educational institutions I have had current or past connections with.