Living away from home and outside your comfort zone is no easy feat. For many college freshmen, this is their first experience with true independence, so it’s easy to feel lost without any guidance. There are some things to keep in mind to make the most out of this 4-year experience, and here are three practical tips that will guide you through the transition between high school and college.
- Make a 4-Year Plan
Unlike high school, college gives students the opportunity to pick their own classes and plan their own schedules. However, this can be extremely stressful and overwhelming for those who don’t know what exactly they’re supposed to do. Therefore, it’s a good idea to create a 4-year plan at the beginning of your college experience so that you don’t feel completely lost throughout this journey. Research your graduation and major requirements, including the classes you need to take and when they are offered. Make a mock schedule for your next few years and plan out when you will be taking those classes so that once school starts, you’ll be ready for whatever challenges school may present.
- Join a Club
Believe it or not, it’s harder than you think to make friends from classes alone. Sure, it’s not impossible, but with people leaving right away after lectures and class time being inappropriate to have conversations, it’s rather difficult to get to know everyone. Therefore, staying in the dorms and joining clubs are your best bet for making new friends. Because the dorming experience doesn’t apply to everyone, clubs are the most accessible way to make friends with people with similar interests. This doesn’t just apply to social or cultural clubs; if it’s an organization with a certain topic of interest, you’re bound to find friendly and interesting people to bond with.
- Learn the Living Essentials
Whether you’re living in a dorm or in an apartment, it’s important to learn the essential skills of independent living. College is a good time to learn more about cooking, cleaning, and taking care of yourself without relying on your parents. This is also a good time for introspection, thinking about what it is that you need to work on or learn. Take some time off for your own mental health while working towards becoming the best version of yourself. After all, college isn’t just about learning facts and knowledge; it’s also about learning more about yourself and finding a place where you feel like you truly belong.