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7 Tips To Survive Through First-Year Of College
6 min

7 Tips To Survive Through First-Year Of College

6 min
Uploaded on
Apr 7, 2022
Last updated on
Aug 10, 2023
Uploaded on
Apr 7, 2022
Last updated on
Aug 10, 2023
College library
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Moving out of school to college is an all-new experience. It can be one of the most exciting, enjoyable, and gratifying times of your life at the same time it may also be one of the most stressful, overwhelming and tiring experiences. It's natural to be nervous because college life is unlike anything you've ever lived, so let us help you make the most out of your first year at college.

Top Tips For First Year University Students

First year can be a confusing year to navigate as everything around you is new and different; Well don’t worry, here are some tips for first year students that can help make the most out of your first year  experience at university: 

1. Socializing 

This is one of the most overrated yet best tips for first year students is to socialise; as they are away from home. Being a first-year college student can be scary at first, making students stay in their dorm avoiding people, but it is essential to step out of their comfort zone and socialise. Talking to people may seem obvious, but it can be one of the hardest things to do. First step to talking to people is not being afraid to initiate a conversation even though it is just small talk. It is also very important to keep an open mind as you will get to meet people from different backgrounds. And it is very important to be in contact with people you have met. College events are very helpful to meet new students as well as professors and socialise.

“Socializing is connecting with other human beings,” Kwan said. “[Socializing] is pretty important to me because it is a way to de-stress from the difficulties of this school. It is an integral part of college because you are constantly around new people, and when you are struggling, it’s better to talk to people rather than keep everything to yourself.”

2. Importance of health care and relaxation

Taking care of your body and mind is important every day of your life, but it is more important when you begin a new chapter at a university, which is typically thousands of miles away from your family and home. Due to a shortage of time, you will most likely be tempted to eat unhealthy foods, prepare low-cost meals, and avoid physical activity. Nonetheless, it is critical to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, sleeping properly, and exercising frequently. College might feel like a constant balancing act between classes, homework, social life, and extracurricular activities. While it is critical to prioritise all of these, it is equally critical for your health to include time for yourself. Realize that it's all right to binge-watch Netflix or take a much-needed nap from time to time. Allow yourself to rest after a hard day's work. This is another part of important tips for first year students as students neglect this part of themselves while being at college. 

“If a man always insisted on being serious, and never allowed himself a bit of fun and relaxation, he would go mad or become unstable without knowing it.” Stress can seem unavoidable to students up against it, but relaxation can play a key role in improving study and changing your life." - Michael Turner

3. Always backup your notes and Never plagiarize

Learning to write is one of the most important skills you will acquire at university. Don't sabotage the learning process by copying and pasting words from another source. Instead, gather enough diverse resources, learn how to correctly reference sources, and establish your own writing habit. You can also use one of the several applications and apps available to identify plagiarism in your work. Back up your notes, assignments, and other papers so that if there is a technical problem or something else goes wrong, you won't lose your material and have to start over. If you want good grades this is one of the best academic tips for first year students.

“I used to tape my lecture classes so I could fill in my sketchy notes afterwards. Now that I’m using the Cornell system, my notes are complete and organized in much less time. And my regular five-minute reviews make learning almost painless. No more taping and listening twice.”- A student at Southern Methodist University

4. Money Management

A student's daily, monthly, or one-time purchases can add up to a significant amount, even if they only spend a few dollars at a cafe. Following these steps will help you manage your money and save for college. To begin with, open a local bank account, which will be helpful financially. Also, remember to prepare a budget at the beginning and the end of every month. Establishing a realistic budget is crucial to your financial security.

Saving money every month can be one of the best tips for first year students as it helps prepare you for unforeseen events. Studying abroad can be expensive, but you can make your life easier if you distinguish your needs from your wants.  

“As a college student, you're not going to have a lot of money, so you have to be wise with your finances. Save shopping sprees and eating out for special occasions; it'll make them more special. Have a rainy day fund; this is vital in college. Whatever you don't spend, save it. For emergencies that require money, you'd rather be safe than sorry.” - Latasha Woodard

5. Get a job

Working while in college has numerous perks. It is wonderful when you start applying for jobs, especially if you can find work in your field. Finding a decent college job will make it easier to manage your money and gain work experience while in school. You could potentially benefit from tuition aid and other employee advantages provided by your firm. Furthermore, the more money you pay toward tuition, the less you have to borrow, which will save you money in the long run. Make the most of your summer employment is one of the best tips for first year students to make productive use of their summer. if you want to work only during the summer. Consider picking up extra shifts to save some money. 

“Both have their own advantages. While studying keeps you abreast with theory, working makes you use theory, in actual practice. Without studying, you have to get the knowledge by experience only. But these two are two different subjects. One is used for self-improvement and the other for money. “ - A student from Oxford University

6. Transportation arrangements

Nobody thinks about this but, this is one of the most underrated tips for first year students i.e.  sort your transportation arrangements beforehand. Public transportation options vary with the locations of campus, students can use buses to get to class, use the subway, or take the tram or bikes. Public transportation is discounted for students in large cities, such as London.

If you manage to obtain your licenses, you will have to learn how to change a tire, and how to hire a car through a mobile application or from a dealership. Knowing local traffic rules is crucial for your safety.

College students can get around campus by:

  • walking
  • taking the bus
  • biking
  • riding an electric skateboard
  • driving a moped or motor scooter
  • driving a car
  • taking the train or subway

7. Studying smarter than studying harder

Lastly, college students don’t need to have their head in their books all the time. This isn’t the best tip for first year students, as college is supposed to be an amalgamation of fun activities and studies!  In order to do that, you should study smart. The most important piece of advice for college students is to organise study time and use healthy study practices. Spending all night studying for a large test can be harmful to your health, and you're unlikely to recall the knowledge from your rushed study session. Creating a study schedule based on your college classes and the times you're most productive will help you prioritise work from difficult classes and complete it more efficiently. Try including your extracurricular activities into your study schedule as well, so you can create your optimal study time.

"Cramming before a big test can leave you exhausted. But you’ll learn and remember material better if you space your study sessions over the course of several days."- By Kathiann Kowalski

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