College Survival Guide

Going away to college can be an exciting and scary time. It is full of new experiences and self-discovery, but it can also be full of challenges. For the first time ever you are by yourself and your family is not immediately able to help you. You will be faced with more decisions than ever before, and the weight of those decisions will usually fall directly on you, but college is the time for trial and error. 

To help with all the decisions you will be faced with this coming school year, and to help make your new town your home away from home, we have compiled some tips, advice, and articles to make your first school year the best of many to come. 

Surviving Move in 

The very first college experience you ever face is moving into your new home away from home! When home can be hours away, it is important to not forget the neccessities for your new place. Follow the link in the title for a great packing list for your big move! 


Get Involved 
When moving away from home for the first time, it can be easy to become consumed by homesickness. More than just missing home, homesickness can interfere with school work and ultimately your success in college. The key to overcoming it is making a new home away from home. Getting involved on campus is essential to happiness. No matter the organization, getting involved allows you to meet new people, and network with the leaders of your new community. In addition, being involved while on campus can teach leadership skills and time management, and will look great on a resume! Networking is just one of the many reasons to get involved, follow the link to our article on the importance of networking, and how to do it. 

Study Tips
There are a variety of ways to study, and sometimes it takes several tries to find the way that works best for you and your classes. Be sure to read our article on studying by clicking "study tips", and check out our quick tips below:
  • Reading- Most classes will provide a schedule for reading at the start of the semester. Go to class each day having already read the chapter for that day, and the lectures will become much easier to understand and comprehend. 
  • Taking Notes-Note taking is essential to studying. Material to study is often directly dependent on the notes you take. In addition to taking notes in class by paying special attention to what the professor is emphasizing, you should also take notes while reading that include all the important terms and concepts. Have a dedicated notebook in which you write all your reading and class notes, then type your notes combining your notes from class and readining into one. Combining the two will make it easier to review once the test is closer, and will also allow you to study the material in small portions as you type. 
  • Notecards- Making notecards is an excellent way to review for an exam. In addition to writing the material another time, notecards also allow the material to be easily broken up into smaller concepts and terms to study. 
  • Quiz-Most textbooks offer review questions at the end of chapters or sections. Make use of these practice sections, and study the answers to each question. Also pay special attention to the objectives of each chapter, these are the concepts that the authors believe to be important and that your professor probably will too for the test. If you book does not have questions available, check online at the publishing website for extra material, or websites like quizlette and study soup. 
  • Have a study space- Although it can be comfy to study while laying in bed, it is not the ideal study environment. You can be comfortable while studying, but you should create a dedicated area that allows plenty of space to work. Your study area should have lots of space to spread out material, and allow you to write and read freely.

*The most important aspect of studying actually occurs outside the home-being in class is essential to understanding tough subjects and staying updated on assignments.*

Campus Living 
Most colleges require freshmen to live on campus their first year, but even those that do not can have a beneficial housing program for new students. Despite the sterotype for being small, most on campus housing facilities offer cheap rates that include internet, cable, and utilities. In addition, housing arrangements allow new students to meet other students similiar to themselves and learn responsibilities of sharing household chores. 

Many housing facilities also host programs and events that can help new students network around campus. Usually they are staffed by older students that can serve as mentors, and offer assistance throughout the first year. 

Choosing a major/minor
Making a decision in what you wish to major or minor in can be one of the more challenging decisions made in college. More than just determining the classes you take, a major/minor can change the career path that you take following graduation. In addition to being something that interests you, your choice in major/minor should also make use of your skills and talents. There are various sets of questionaires and inventories to better help with making the decision.