Tips for Freshers: 10 Things You Need to Do During Your First Semester

Going to college is a moment of a lifetime for many people. Just yesterday you were a high schooler, and being a college student is a real level up. Your first year may be one of the toughest to overcome. But then you will feel like fish in the sea. 

The anxiety, stress, new friends, and adjusting to new rules is an essential part of your experience as a freshman. There are many things that you might want to avoid to ease your experience and things that are a must to survive the first semester. 

These tips are great for any freshers of all degrees. You might want to start looking for essential things like dissertation writing services and other tools to help you with your assignments. There’s never “too early” or “too late” time to expand your help toolkit. Later, you will thank yourself when unlocking the magic of balancing your work and study life. 

Don’t skip orientation week

Some students don’t like to be shown around, thinking they can get everything from the internet. Yet, if you want to avoid any misunderstandings, you better show up during orientation week. It will be easier for you not to get lost in the campus jungle. As a bonus, you meet your classmates in an informal environment and can go for a coffee before studying starts. 

a woman standing in the classroom
Photo by Max Fischer on Pexels.com

Don’t feel pressured to choose your major immediately

Many students believe they must choose their core specialization right as they start their studies. Of course, you can pick your major when you know for sure you will stick with it till you get your diploma. For instance, you can be sure that you want to be a nurse, and focusing on it will bring you fulfillment. You can easily balance your major and minors to get the most out of your degree.

It is also possible for you to get a double major, which depends on your course requirements and opportunities. Some students prefer to graduate with a general major to give them more space for growth in the future. Either way, you don’t have to rush this decision or believe it is set in stone. Many colleges allow you to make changes and consult about the best options. 

Be realistic about your limits 

Many freshers fall into the trap of setting a bar too high for themselves and others. It’s the quickest way to get disillusioned and discouraged. It is crucial to know your limits to avoid burnout. High standards are a double edge sword. You don’t need to study 24/7 to accomplish your goals or take every extracurricular activity to be proactive. 

Master the art of time management 

The most healthy way to approach your upcoming semester is to create a detailed schedule and master time management techniques. Your best friends during your studies are prioritizing and specific time for a task. It becomes much easier to navigate through your daily responsibilities when you establish a routine and stick to it. Having your day all figured out benefits you plenty:

  • You balance your studies, work, and other responsibilities without compromising on anything; 
  • You never miss any deadline and save yourself worries about remembering all tasks;
  • It helps you to avoid procrastinating and making excuses;
  • You always keep your space tidy and perfect for your studies;
  • You manage never skip your meal and stay healthy and well-nourished;
  • You dedicate enough time to your mental health;

Many people believe that time management is for boring white-collar executives who know nothing about fun. Yet, it is a tool that allows you to be more efficient and preserve your creative streak. 

Create a support system

You can feel isolated and confused when you move away from your hometown and enter college life. You meet new people every other day, but you get to know them until much later. It’s also important to stay in touch with your family and friends without being too dependent on them and worsening your homesickness. 

The best way to create a solid support system is to always check on your close ones and let new people enter your world. Slowly but surely, you get to build a solid network of people you can trust. It’s also true that your faculty and administrators are people who are there for you any day you might need advice. Just remember that you don’t have to be alone when you need someone to talk to. 

Get to know the people you share a living space with

First things first, try to memorize everyone with whom you will share your space in the dorm. It means not only your roommates but people from neighboring rooms, too. It doesn’t mean you have to become besties right away. But you might become good friends after some time of knowing each other. 

People benefit from communicating their needs and concerns. Setting some ground rules is a good start. You get to listen to your roommate’s perspective and share yours, which helps to keep a positive atmosphere in your room. In many cases, the best dorm experience is when you respect each other’s boundaries.

Figure out the best place to study

Some people can only focus when there’s chaos around. Others need perfect silence to concentrate. You need to figure out what is the perfect atmosphere for you to study and follow this routine during the first semester. 

It’s helpful to arrange your dorm space for studies or go to the library to avoid any distractions. There’s no perfect formula that will work for everyone the same. Give yourself time and patience to find a comfortable place.

Sign up for extracurricular activity

You might want to be a part of many spectacular things during your first semester. This is a perfect chance to expand your network and contribute to your department. It is not obligatory, but it is beneficial for you after you unlock time management. 

Get everything ready for the upcoming semester

Whether you study remotely or attend campus, you need to have all the necessary technology and software. You might want to find everything from PowerPoint tips to upgrading your laptop so it will be faster. To make it easier for yourself, check all your essential devices (noise-canceling headphones, tablet, smart-watch, etc.) and items you need during your studies such as notepads, pencils, and other things.

It’s easy to buy those if you forgot them or they broke, but a student’s budget favors small expenses. If you can fix it, you can avoid needless expenses. Avoid taking everything from home to dorm and focus on essentials. Don’t postpone this step, so you avoid having panic mode when your classes start. 

Explore the town

The major benefit of moving to another city when studying is getting a chance to discover new places. You might want to make a list of all places that you must visit during your first semester. You can invite your classmates or roommate to hit bars and clubs, or visit nearby museums and parks. It is the best way to memorize the area and bond with your new friends. 

The bottom line

Your first semester can be a stressful one. Try to look for positive aspects everywhere and turn everything in your favor. After all, it is you who shapes your experience.