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Top 5 Things to Do

As you pack your bags and head off to college, it’s normal to feel overwhelmed or anxious about all the changes ahead. During your first 30 days, these five tips will help you feel in control, so you can enjoy this time for what it is—a chance to be yourself, do what you want and learn about anything and everything under the sun for the next four years!

1. Enjoy your freedom wisely.

During your first 30 days of college, you may feel overwhelmed by the amount of freedom you have. If you want to skip class or sleep in, go ahead. No one’s going to come knocking on your door or scold you. But at the same time, you’ll be the one to suffer the consequences—i.e., missing important material. Enjoy your new sense of freedom, but use it wisely.

2. Establish a study plan.

Creating effective study habits early on will help ensure your academic success. Even if you need to change your strategies from course to course, figure out what works for you. Do you like to study where it’s quiet, or do you work better with music on? Do you study better alone or with others in a study group? You might even want to record lectures, so you can play them back later. Whatever works.

3. Make new friends.

Your college campus is your new home away from home. Create a new “family away from family” to go with it. Make an effort to meet new people and make meaningful connections. Sign up for extracurriculars or join a campus organization and make an impact at school or in the community. Take advantage of everything your college has to offer—you’re paying enough for it!

4. Talk to family and old friends.

Even after the homesickness has passed, keep up connections with friends and family members through phone calls, emails or good old-fashioned letters. They’ll appreciate the fact that you haven’t forgotten them. These relationships will keep you grounded and may also be a welcome comfort when you need support through a stressful situation.

5. Define your long-term goals.

As soon as you can, map out a long-term plan for your college career. What do you hope to accomplish? How will you fulfill your major requirements? Though you can always make changes, having a plan gives you milestones to work towards and measure your success against—as well as a clear path to graduation!



Posted: 11/19/07