3 Tips for Navigating the Transition to College

college_freshmenI’m back with part two of tips to help you with your transition! If you haven’t already seen part one, it can be found here.

By now, you should have the first couple of weeks of class under your belt and are gearing up for your first round of exams and assignments. Hopefully you are starting to feel a little more acclimated to your environment, but you might be feeling an entirely different wave of emotions as the pace quickens. Whether you are a first year student coming straight from high school or a transfer student coming from a community college, the suggestions below can help to ease your transition.

  1. Use help early and often: Determine the resources offered by your campus, identify the relevant support offices, and figure out where you would go for any questions or issues that may arise. Find the academic advising office, the writing center, the financial aid office, and the tutoring center. Do this now, before you actually are in a position to need these services. It is a lot easier to identify what is available to you early on when you are not in the midst of a tough situation (i.e. a poor grade in class, health issue, etc.).

  2. Make an appointment with career services: Your first semester on campus is an ideal time to make your first visit to the campus career services office. A career advisor can help you define goals and work backwards toward achieving them, plan relevant coursework for your major and get started on making connections for an internship. If you are also thinking about studying abroad, your first semester is the best time to talk to a study abroad advisor and start planning.

  3. Find the balance with your non-academic life: Childcare, family responsibilities and your health cannot be pushed aside while you are in college. Be proactive about any potential issues that may crop up. If you haven’t already found a few friends on campus, think of ways to reach out. Now is the time to actually attend a meeting for those clubs you signed up for. Take a look at the campus activities calendar and pick one event each week to attend. Don’t think you have to do everything; carving out some “me” time from your study and class schedule is vital to keeping your energy up for the long haul of the semester.

Check back in a couple of weeks for some advice on mid-semester moves!