New students need to remember that with freedom come responsibility. Survival is important in an environment with no parental control. The college you attend will have rules and regulations but individual students will have to manage their time and determine whether their actions are appropriate. When you leave home, you have an opportunity to become independent because you get to make important decisions. Here are some university survival tips to help you get through campus and have fun while you are at it. It is easy to get carried away by all the excitement and forget that your focus should be on acquiring the knowledge and life’s lessons needed to help you pursue your desired career.
Your First Week: Break In, Not Break Down
This is one of the most important times in campus, especially for new students.In your ﬁrst week, some of your decisions can have a signiﬁcant impact on your university life. Be careful about the things you do in the ﬁrst week. In most situations, it is a difﬁcult time for students because they are in a new environment. You will miss home and feel stressed but this will ease with time. The secret is to be yourself and enjoy the experience. Remember that everyone is new like you too, so there is nothing to be afraid or ashamed of if you ﬁnd difﬁculty coping or ﬁtting in initially. The beginning of a new journey is not always easy but it is all part of a learning process.
Orientation is usually held in the initial week and this gives you a great opportunity to explore the new surroundings. Most students assume that it is a waste of time but the information provided during this period can be very valuable. This is when you learn where your classes will be held. You have a chance to learn about all the facilities available in your campus. Do not ignore orientation because you might make things difﬁcult for yourself when you miss out on important advice. In most cases, there will be more than one orientation. Attend all the orientations that are announced. This might actually give you an advantage over other students because you are well informed about the college. If you are comfortable in the environment, you will be prepared to deal with any challenges.
Living In or Live Out?
One of the main challenges for new students in university is arranging accommodations. If you enrol at a college far from home, you will have to either live on campus in the university’s hostel or to rent a room nearby. Living on campus is a signiﬁcant part of university life; it is the time when you participate in extracurricular activities, form friendships and develop discipline. Living on campus is also great for seeking your coursemates and getting to lectures.
If you choose to live on campus, you will have to share a room or a house with one or more students unless your dormitory offers single rooms. You need to understand that your housemates or roommates are probably just as scared as you are about the experience. They are the ﬁrst people you will interact with while on campus, so get to know them, as you may have to live with them for an entire year or semester. Make conversation with them and ﬁnd out important information like where they are from and what are their interests. You might ﬁnd a roommate from your city or town. Most adults forge long-term friendships in university and this is your chance to do so. Get to know other students in your hall as well; do not limit your interaction to your roommates. The more people you can interact with, the less intimidated you will feel.
Pick a Study Spot
There are plenty of distractions in university such as sports events, parties, and other students who would like to interact instead of study. You need a quiet place where you can focus on your assignments without such distractions. Find this place as soon as you get to campus. Choose a particular place in your room or a good spot in the library. This will give you the space you need to study and attain good grades.
You Are Your Own Organizer
It is easy to get distracted and lose focus as a new student because there is nobody to help you organize your life in university. Most students ﬁnd it difﬁcult to transit from high school where teachers organised every aspect of the learning process. In campus, you have to do the organizing yourself. Your instructor will post assignments at the beginning of the semester and it is up to you to do and hand them over when they are due. This means that you have to plan your time properly to make sure you do all the assignments in time. There are no reminders like in high school and a missed deadline can make you fail a course. Take advantage of your smartphone and tablet to organize your time. Set reminders for deadlines on your mobile devices.
Don’t Skip or Sleep In!
It is tempting to skip class when you are a new student in campus. You might enjoy sleeping in after many years of being woken up early in the morning. Instructors usually require students to attend a certain number of classes and attendance may contribute to your ﬁnal grade. However, it is important to attend class even if you have to be up at 7am for an 8am class. The best thing about living on campus is that you can simply walk to class.
Avoid skipping class. The classes allow you to get important information from your lecturers. There are often highly informative Q&A sessions where you can deepen your understanding of the topics taught that day. Most instructors will give assignment details during class and this allows you to prepare adequately. Deadlines may be changed during class. The instructors use a lot of time and effort to come up with course requirements to make it easy for you to prepare for assignments and exams. When you attend class, you gain a deeper insight into what is expected of you and this makes you more likely to succeed.
Establish Relationship with Professors
New university students usually want to remain anonymous and this is often easy because there are several other students. It is difﬁcult for professors to pay attention to every single student in their class. However, you should make an attempt to establish relationships with professors. There are several advantages of interacting with your professors outside the classroom. One of the main beneﬁts is that it will be easy for you to approach them in case of an issue. Professors are required to set aside some time to meet with their students. Take advantage of this and get to know your lecturers. It is better to do this in your ﬁrst year because some of them may teach you more than one course over the years.
Attain a Balance
The main reason for enrolling into university is to earn a degree but this does not mean you should spend all your time reading. You need to achieve balance by including social events in your life. Make sure your assignments are done in good time to allow you to have and enjoy your free time. Attend sports events and other social engagements on campus. The interaction with other students is also a learning opportunity you will miss out on if you are always in the library. Work hard at your studies but leave room for some fun. Your studies should be the priority but if you plan your time well, you will have an opportunity to enjoy yourself.
As a new student, you will probably feel like you do not belong on campus and suffer from homesickness. However, the best way to deal with this is to get involved in some of the activities that are available. Join some clubs and organisations to make it easy for you to transit. This is a great way to attain a balance between social and academic life. Besides helping you to settle in, co-curricular activities are also vital when you seek employment later on. Active participation in co-curricular activities indicates that you are a well- rounded person who places equal importance on academic, physical and social development.
It is easy to get carried away with the activities because they may all seem interesting but you need to limit yourself to a few to ensure you have adequate time for your studies. The groups will make it easy to make friends and learn skills and, with time, you will feel like you belong in campus.
Use Study Resources
High school may have seemed easy for you and you had good grades without putting in too much effort. Things are different in college. The professors will make you earn your grades. This means that you have to set goals and work hard to achieve them. One of the main advantages of being in college is that you have access to various study resources. During orientation, pay attention to the location of the learning labs. They will come in handy when you need assistance with your assignments. Colleges also offer tutors if you are interested. Do not feel ashamed about using a tutor. Professors do not have the time to offer one-on-one tutoring to the students and if you ﬁnd it difﬁcult to understand a certain concept, a tutor can be very helpful.
A lot goes on in campus and it is easy to feel like you have no time on your own. You have to share accommodation unlike at home where you have a room to yourself. It is important to set some time to engage in activities that you enjoy. If your idea of relaxing is playing a video game, make sure you have time to do this two or three times a week. You can keep a journal, practice yoga or watch an interesting movie or show. This alone time is important because it helps you to unwind and even reﬂect on your life.
Night life is Necessary Too
Socializing is considered one of the most important aspects of campus life after academics. New students are exposed to the exciting nightlife, especially in cities where there are various entertainment options. They offer a great opportunity to make friends and are very memorable. However, it is easy to get carried away with all the fun and forget that you are a student. Enjoy in a responsible manner.
See, Learn and Do
As a new student, you are probably in a new city or town and this is the perfect time to explore. There are no limits to what you can do as long as it is within the law. Take part in activities you may have overlooked in high school. Do not limit yourself to only ‘safe’ activities. You have an opportunity to become independent in university. Your parents should not have to provide an allowance if you can get a job related to a career you intend to pursue. Some universities offer students an opportunity to work on campus. This will allow you to make money without leaving the college.
Manage Your Money
Budgeting can be tough as a new student in university. This is especially true if your parents made all the ﬁnancial decisions for you in high school. It is easy to spend money without thinking of the consequences. Learn how to budget the money from your parents (or scholarship) to make sure it meets all your needs. Otherwise, it may be necessary to get a job. However, it is important to remember that a job can take away your attention from your education. Learn how to save by making wise ﬁnancial decisions. When you go shopping, look for bargains, especially for things like toiletries, which are standard in every brand.
There are endless possibilities in university because you are in a new environment and have all the resources to help you reach your dreams. Explore your environment and remember that your studies are the most important thing while you are there. Interact with other students, take advantage of study resources, engage with your professors, and be responsible when it comes to money. These pre-university survival tips will make campus a fun and memorable experience.