4 Ways to Survive Your First Year of College

The first year of college can be intimidating.

The first year of college can be intimidating. If you’ve never been away or lived away from home before, it can be super nerve-wracking to be on your own and have so much responsibility and freedom. It can also be challenging to be away from your home and family. Even if you’re relatively close.  

College can be a great time in a young person’s life. They are getting to know themselves (hopefully) learning a ton and lifelong building connections. These four years can instill a serious work ethic, they can teach them quite a bit about themselves and what they want out of life. They can be a great avenue to succeeding academically during undergrad and beyond. There’s more excitement awaiting you then fright.  

These four years can be a series of ups and downs, depending on how you grow and change. You stand to learn the most from your first and last years of college, though there is no prescriptive formula to when, why, and how you’ll learn the most. 

If you’re worried about your first year of college, that’s normal. Here are a few tips for surviving it.  

Be Open 

This is essential in your first year of college. Don’t just be open to your academics and learning as much as possible, but also be open to meeting new people and trying new things. This is your time to explore away from the prying eyes of parents and siblings. You might try a new hobby you never thought you would, you might find yourself connecting with a whole new group of friends. You might discover something about yourself that will help you to move forward authentically.  

Learn how to fend for yourself.  

Some people make it through college without ever having to do laundry or cook for themselves. This is a possibility and a seemingly easy one, but take the time you can to become a more self-sufficient person. This will help you out in the long run. You might have some cooking disasters, but it will be a good story later. This will also be useful when you’re an upperclassman and living off-campus.  

Take your studies seriously.  

This is probably the most important takeaway from your first year. Classes will likely be more difficult academically than you expect. You need to be prepared to put your studies first. Have a calendar to keep yourself organized, meet with your academic advisor each semester or each year to make sure you’re on track, and study as much as you can. After all, college is an investment into your future, so you want to learn as much as you can while you’re there. And if you’ve taken out student loans as well, then your studies should be at the forefront of everything you do since you’re taking on debt to attend these classes. For those with student loans, it helps to talk to a dedicated Personal Loan Advisor, like the ones at Education Loan Finance, to discuss all of your refinancing or loan consolidation options.

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