How To Prepare For College From The First Year – Are you in your first year in college and you are having a hard time settling in? Are you confused on what you should do in your first year in college?
Then this article is for you. It is not always easy adapting to the new environment as a high school lever as everything here is quite different from the high school. This article was compiled to help you prepare yourself from your first year in college and so you can have an enjoyable college experience.
You might have been seen as one of the smartest or brightest student in high school or more so, a very popular person but this new environment is quite different from your high school so most of the thing that happened in high school went with high school. Admission into college doesn’t come along with your high school success or glory.
Your first year in college is a new feat with a different challenge to what you are used to and in college; you get to be independent and responsible for your own decision.
The way your first year goes will determine how your stay in college will be and it can also determine the kind of friends you will have around you and the relationship you will keep in college that is why it is advised that you prepare for this phase of your life. Your first year in college is quite important. Getting into the school environment, a place you might not be familiar with and meeting people you haven’t seen before; it is quite different from the high school and so adapting might be kind of difficult.
You know that some of the friends we make in college are made during our first year in college and sometimes the kind of friends we keep or make has a way of driving our success in school and life after school.
By reading this article, you will be preparing yourself for college from your first year. This article will help you understand how best you can adapt to the new environment and what you should do to make your first year and college life interesting and engaging.
In college, most of the decisions we make affect our future and life as well. You will certainly feel stressed out and also nostalgic but as time goes, you begin to get used to the environment and settle in.
We understand what it takes to be in your first year and how difficult it might be to settle in that is why we have taken time to write some ways you can prepare for college from the first year.
You don’t have to get worried over how you’d cope in your first year; this article will guide you on how to go about it.
Let’s get started…
How to prepare yourself for college from your first year
- Research about the college
Before going to college, it is very important that you research about the college and also ask about the school from people. This will certainly help you prepare for what comes with life in college. Asking about the college will give you knowledge about things you should know. It could be the tuition fee, hostel fee, courses and many other things.
This information serves as a guide in your first year. You would see that someone that has some information about a place does things differently than someone that doesn’t have an idea of a place.
So in preparing yourself for your first year in college, do well to ask about the college and get to know some things about the school; it goes a long way to help you settle in and adapt to the environment.
- You should attend orientations
These orientations are a way to adapt to the system easily. You get to meet people in your level and also those in higher level. It is very important that you go for orientations; you get information about the school, your department, hostel and many others.
With this, it becomes easy to learn about the school and also to settle in. The orientation also serves as a guide to help in time of challenges.
- Try to manage your time wisely
Knowing how to manage your time very well is a great skill and it is very important that you start learning it from your first year in college as it will prepare you for college and throughout your stay in college. You have to set your priorities and know how you use your time. We all know that time is of essence and a valuable resource which is limited.
Know what to do and do it at the right time and avoid procrastination as it is a bad habit. Do things when you are supposed to do them. If you are given assignments, make sure you do them at the right time and do not leave it for another day.
A great time management skill will help you understand the school better and also give you time to relax your brain and body for another day.
- You should set academic goals
Being in your first year in college, it is advisable that you set academic goals for yourself it could be coming out top of the class with the best G.P (grade point) in the first semester of your first year. This goal will keep your focus and motivated. It could long or short term goals. One thing is setting goals while another is working towards the goal you set.
- Try not to skip classes
The freedom and independence that comes with being in college can be overwhelming but it shouldn’t distract you from the main reason you are in college. The way you attend classes in your first year goes a long way to influencing your academic performance and you might even go on to start having lackadaisical attitude to attending classes if you start it from your first year. Always go for classes and avoid the feeling of skipping your early morning classes.
You might not be used to it because you just got into the system as a high school graduate but it is good you know that getting into college comes with less comfort too. So always attend classes; you get to receive information from the class representative and also the lecturers or professor.
- You should always take notes in class
While in class, you should endeavor to take notes. You have to listen attentively while in class so as to get information and gather knowledge; it is very important. Always be with your books in class and give the lecturers or professors undivided attention while in class so as to understand the lecture better.
These notes you take will help you while studying and to prepare for test and exams.
- Try to know your course mates and relate
Some persons might be so shy to relate with the crowd but at least get to know one or two persons in class and get acquainted with them. This has a way of helping you settle down in school and in class too.
Relate with you classmates or course mates as this will help you interact and share ideas with one another.
- Avoid procrastination; learn self-discipline
The high school life is quite different from life in college. Here in college, you are expected to do things at the right time without being told to and so it is important that you do not procrastinate or act lazy.
When you set schedules, make sure you stick to them and never leave today’s work for tomorrow as tomorrow comes with its own activities. One of the skills you need to develop in college is self-discipline and in your first year in college, it is very important you develop this as it will help you set your schedule and also stick to them and with time, you become consistent as self-discipline.
- Don’t be in a haste to make decisions
You shouldn’t let yourself be pressured into making hasty decisions because of your peers. It happens that sometimes we find ourselves trying ti do what our peers are doing. Well, you should never get pressured or never rush to make decisions especially when it is about your career and life.
College is the time you get to know yourself better and understand your abilities and potentials. Never see your career choice as a competition; it is an individual journey so you should try to think critically before making and taking decisions.
Take your time, brainstorm, understand your abilities and be the best version of yourself.
- You should join teams, clubs and attend events on campus
We are recommending that you join at least one group or team on campus. Try to get involved in activities on campus; it will help you adapt faster and easier to life in college.
It could be a sport team, student organization, clubs, sororities, fraternities or art group but try not to get carried away by the fun and excesses
Getting involved in these activities and groups will help you make friends, learn skills, feel comfortable and understand the school better. It will definitely enhance your college experience.
- You should know your dormitory or hostel and the people around
The place you stay and the people you live with can either direct you to grow or make your college life a hell of an experience. They are either your safety net in times of trouble or your torture.
Remember that you would stay with these people throughout your stay in school though it is possible to change roommates and hostel room. Just take out time to know your roommates, neighbors and also your fellow first year students staying around.
Do not be a snub and even if you are a shy type, still try to respond nicely to people.
- You should get to know your lecturers
Some students might question the need to know or meet their lecturers but it is important you get close to them. They tend to advice you and give you moral support. Being in your first year, try to know the hours you can visit your lecturers in the office and see how you can go about it.
They will always give you a listening ear and are ready to help you whenever you encounter some challenges.
- Avoid distractions and always stay focused
Being in college is to study and come out with good grades. You shouldn’t lose sight of this because of college life. Remember that the things you do in your first year in college will affect your stay in college and how you cope. Try to avoid unnecessary distractions while studying and also in class.
Make friends that know what they are in college for and are ready to give in their best to achieve success. This will motivate you and keep you focused while in college.
Distractions will surely come, that is college for you but as we have advised that you should develop self-discipline to help you wade-off distractions and keep you focused.
- You should prepare a budget and manage you cash properly
As a student, you are not exempted from preparing a budget. It is even important that you prepare a budget to help track your spending and monitor your cash flow. Your budget will help you manage your cash properly and also save.
It is important that you have your budget which could be weekly or monthly depending on how money comes in and goes out of your pocket. But always make sure you stick to your budget.
- Try to balance your social and academic life
As a first year student, you can be tempted by the social life in school and forget about your main priority which is your academics. It is good that you try to understand yourself and balance your social and academic life.
Do not be too carried away by one of these and neglected the other. There is a saying that “all work and no play make you a dull student”. Study hard and also give yourself time to mingle and relate with people. That is the fun of college.
- You should get to know your career or academic adviser
As we have said that it is important that you know and meet your professors; it is equally important that you get to know your academic adviser. This person is your guide as he or she gives you advice on your course, majors and minors, adding or dropping courses and other career advises.
Your career adviser is always ready to give you academic and career advice and so you should turn to this person when you face academic issues. Do well to relate with your academic adviser as this relationship can help in propelling you to academic success and bring you out of academic frustration.
- Find a good place to study
This will help you study well without distractions. You should look for a quiet and peaceful environment in school where you can always go to study. It is not compulsory you stay in your dorm-room.
It could be in the library, garden or a confined environment provided it will help you concentrate with fewer distractions. Find the best place that you can study in school because in your first year in college, you need to study so as to come out with good grades.
- You can also join a study group or study with friends
This is another way to stay motivated and focused while in college. We advise that you join a study group or form a study group with your friends. It will help you study well and adapt to the system easily. Also make use of the school facilities and resources.
- You should know your lecture time and test dates
It is important that you know about your school time table so it will help you schedule and organize yourself properly even in your first year. With this, you get to know how to study and also how to balance your study and social life. Knowing the dates for your test will help you prepare for it.
- Your can also get a job
This is not for everyone as not everyone supports working while in college. Well, this tends to give you a level of independence and self-confidence knowing that you can foot your bills.
With this job, you do not need to wait for others (parents and guardian) to send you money. Try to know your school schedule and understand it so as to know how free you would be so that you can get a part time job as a student.
It will help to give you work experience and many other benefits that come with student jobs. Though there are some negative effects of having a job as a student but it is up to you to weigh the options and see if it will be feasible to work and school.
- Try not to engage in impulse buying
Impulse buying is when you buy things you didn’t plan for. In order to check and cut down your expenses, you should avoid impulse buying. Always plan and weigh the usefulness of things before purchasing them. There is always a chance that when you buy things by impulse, you might end up not using them or using them for a short time.
As a student, you shouldn’t engage in impulse buying; when you prepare a budget, make sure you stick to your budget and cultivate saving habit. Cultivating a saving habit will help you both in school and also after graduation.
- Make out time to rest
It is very important that you give yourself time to rest. Resting will help your brain and also your health. Eat when you are supposed to eat and sleep too. Doing this will help you stay healthy and strong.
The stress you face in your first year can make you fall sick and this will keep you away from class and this can affect your academic performance.
Your first year in school is not always easy. Adapting to the system can be challenging but you have to prepare yourself for it. Always seek professional help when you need it and stay on campus as much as possible so as to get used to the environment. Try to make friends and make the right friends that will help you enjoy your stay in college.
Like we mentioned in the article that your first year experience has an influence on your stay in college and so make the best use of it. Make sure you study the tips we have given in this article and see how you can use them.
We are expecting you enjoy your first year in college and also other years too.
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