Obviously I am no expert on college, but I’d say I have learned a thing or two to pass along. My first semester wasn’t too bad. I performed well in school, made some great friends, and got involved in a couple activities I plan on continuing throughout my undergraduate years. So here are a few lessons I learned to have a great first semester.
1// Make the first move
Making friends can be hard, especially if you are going to a school where you don’t know anyone going in with you. But the easiest way to put yourself out there is to make the first move. Ask someone to lunch, invite someone to study with you, propose coffee with someone, etc. Chances are, there are plenty of people in the same position just waiting to be asked to hang out. Everyone needs a lunch buddy!
This can be tricky, especially with so many options for the different ways to spend your time. I made it a point to put my classes above my social life but I put mental sanity above everything and sometimes that meant taking a break and hanging out with friends. It’s all about balance! It can be hard to choose between doing all the different things the new environment has to offer, however you have to decide what is most important and what can wait.
3// Don’t be afraid to go to a meeting alone
There are so many different opportunities and sometimes taking advantage of those means going to an introductory meeting alone. I know in high school it would take some serious mental preparation before I could go to a meeting where I didn’t have a friend with me. I found that every meeting can be a good way to get to know more people and get involved in something new!
4// Join something
This goes along with number three in that you have to go to meetings in order to get involved in something. But keep in mind that college is not like high school where it is so easy and encouraged to get involved in every single club and hold every single leadership position possible. In college it’s best to just choose one or two things to devote your time to because as I found out, the classwork takes up a good chunk of time, making it hard to devote more time to extracurriculars.
5// Talk to your professors
Believe it or not, they want to help you and after every discussion I had with my professors, I felt more confident and better off. I discovered that as scary as it can be to talk to a professor, in the end they are the ones determining your grade so it can be helpful for them to see you are actually putting an effort into the class and desire to learn and grow.
As I said, I’m still learning and working towards a successful college career. However, these are a few of the things I found to be most important in finding my place in a new college life.
Let me know what helped you in your first semester of college and feel free to email me with suggestions for content you all want to see!!