In many cases, going away for college means leaving behind the things and people that you are used to. It can be tough to move into a new environment and start making your own decisions without parental guidance or the friends that you have known for years. We would like to offer some tips to help you adapt and have the best possible college experience.
1. Talk to strangers
Despite "Don't talk to strangers" being one of the cardinal rules when you are young, oftentimes one of the best ways to make friends is to sit down next to someone on campus and offer a friendly hello. If you see someone sitting alone at the dining hall or passing time at the campus center, don't hesitate to speak with them. Remember that everyone you know was a stranger at one point. Being unfamiliar with someone just gives you the opportunity to get to know that person.
2. Read your syllabus
Unlike high school teachers, most college professors are not going to remind you that a big assignment is due on a certain day. The first day of every class will have the professors giving out a syllabus, which tells you about every assignment that you will have in that semester and when they are due. In order to do well in college, you have to read your syllabus thoroughly and always make sure your assignments are handed in on time. Set reminders in your phone or make it a habit to look at your syllabi every night. Anything you can do to make sure everything is in your professor's hands when it is supposed to be will save you many headaches in the future.
3. Participate in clubs and go to group events
Whether your interests include sports, reading, fashion or Quidditch, there is a high chance that someone at your school has started a club on it. Clubs are a great way to meet other people who share your interests and make new friends that you have things in common with. If your idea isn't already a club, you can start one yourself. You would be surprised at the amount of people that would attend a specific club that does not exist yet. Group events are another great way to make friends. It is normal to feel awkward about being in a room full of strangers, but it is worth it to get out there and meet some new people. Many students find friends in orientation and getting to know you' events that are with them for all of college. Being open-minded and adventurous for an hour or two can leave you with worthwhile friendships that last for much longer.
4. Do your work over time
No matter how much you want it to be, that ten page paper on psychology journals is not going to be finished if you start it the night before it is due. In order for your assignments to be the best they can be, you will have to learn to start working on assignments in advance. Working on a paper for a little while each day not only helps you meet your deadlines, but it also allows you to tackle your work in more manageable chunks rather than trying to do everything at once. This will help each part of your assignment receive more care and ultimately get you a better grade.
Remember, these are some tips that are meant to stimulate questions and encourage you to pursue those questions. This is not a complete guide on how to adapt to college. You will have to do much of that adaption on your own, but we hope these tips will be a helpful starting point.