Your first few weeks of college is one of the most exciting and overwhelming times. There’s so much to do and figure out, from getting your dorm room set up to finding out the best places to eat and hangout with your friends. And, chances are you’re in a whole new town and want to figure out a new city too.
Since there’s so much going on in the fall heading into a new semester, you might be thinking about the best things to focus your time and energy on. Besides—your time and energy is limited in college so you want to make the most of it while you can. College is all about meeting new people, learning new ideas, and trying new things. So, now is the best time to get off to a great start, so you can have the best four years possible.
Here are the five things you can do now to get your college career off to a great start.
1.Organize your dorm room and set up your study space
Besides finding the school library, you’ll want to make sure you have a good space set up in your dorm room to study. Sometimes you’ll want to study in your dorm (you’d be surprised how often the library becomes more of a social gathering place than a place to study). So take some time to make sure your desk is organized, that you have good lighting, and maybe set up your Keurig or water bottle nearby. And don’t forget your study snacks!
2. Get a calendar or planner
One of the best things you can do is get a planner or a calendar (or both) and write down all of the important dates for the semester. Write down holidays, exam dates, social events, and when you get the syllabi for your classes write down all of your major projects/papers/tests/presentations there too. This way nothing will sneak up on you and you will stay on top of your studies.
3. Get involved
I know those involvement fairs that your school may have seem a little cheesy, but give it a chance.
Clubs are so important—not only for your social life and to help you meet people in college, but it’s a great way to show future employers and internship managers that you go the extra mile. No matter your interests, major or hobbies there’s probably a club you’ll be interested in joining. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and join forces with like-minded individuals.
4. Meet people!
You know how people say college was the most fun four years of their lives and that they met their best friends there? That’s definitely true, but sometimes college can feel lonely. Especially if you’re going to a school where you don’t know anyone. It can be hard to find your friends. During the new semester there are tons of other people in the same boat as you, so don’t be afraid to say hi to that person who seems cool or interesting in your class or to approach that person sitting alone in the cafeteria.
5. Do a test-run with your class schedule
Even if you have a pretty good feel for campus, it’s a good idea to take your class schedule on a test run one day before classes officially start. Unless you want to plan to leave for all of your classes super early, this will save you a ton of time the first week of class. Believe me, this makes such a big difference because getting lost on the first day of classes is super stressful and being late never makes a great first impression on your professors. Make sure you locate the actual classroom, not just the building! College buildings are notoriously big and confusing, so make sure you know where to go before classes actually start.