Surviving First Year at the University

As you enter into the university, you have a clean academic slate, a lot of independence, and many important decisions to make as you journey into adulthood.

Your choices and behaviours during your first year of college will have a significant impact on the rest of your academic experience.

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For all new students, the first few weeks on campus are important. You make vital decisions that will affect the rest of your life during this time.

Whatever you do, be yourself and try to enjoy your college experience to the most. Expect some tension and homesickness, but don’t let these feelings depress you.

To learn all the necessary tips on Surviving First Year at the University, keep reading, as this article shall provide you with details.

25 Tips for Surviving University in the First Year

Below we provide you with Tips for Surviving University in the First Year;

Go to All Orientations

Do you need to go on yet another campus tour? Yes. The faster you learn your way around campus and all the red tape, the more at ease you’ll feel and the better prepared you’ll be when issues arise.

Get To Know Your Roommate and Others in Your Residence Hall

The majority of the people you live with are going through similar experiences and emotions, and they are your main safety net not just this year but for the rest of your life.

You can switch housemates after the first semester or stay with the same roommate for the entire four years if you take the time to get to know your fellow first-year students.

Get Organized

Teachers in secondary school tended to walk you through all of your homework and due dates.

In college, lecturers frequently post homework for the entire semester and expect you to be prepared. Purchase an organiser, use an app, or acquire a large wall calendar to keep track of when assignments are due.

Find the Ideal Place for You to Study

It could be your hostel room or a pleasant corner of the library, but choose a location that allows you to get your work done while minimising interruptions.

Go to Class

Isn’t it self-evident? However, sleeping in and missing that 8 a.m. session will be tempting at times. Stay away from the temptation.

Aside from learning the subject in class, you’ll also get important information from the professors regarding what to expect on examinations, changes in due dates, and so on.

Become an Expert on Course Requirements and Due Dates

Professors work tirelessly to create course syllabi and calendars so that you know exactly what is expected of you and when.

Meet With Your Professors

I can promise you that getting to know your instructors has only positive consequences, especially if you run into problems later in the semester.

Professors set aside office hours specifically for the aim of engaging with students and making use of that time.

Get To Know Your Academic Adviser

This is the individual who will assist you with course conflicts, course additions and drops, and class schedules for future semesters.

This individual is a valuable resource for you and should be the first person you contact if you have any academic concerns or conflicts. And don’t be scared to request another adviser if you don’t get along with the first one.

Seek a Balance

University life is a mash-up of social and intellectual activities. Don’t tip the scales too far one way or the other.

Make yourself the life of the class and the party. One student used to declare that her credo was “study hard so she could play hard.”

Get Involved on Campus

A common issue for many new students is a combination of homesickness and a sense of not quite belonging.

Is there a way out? Consider joining a small number (but not too many) of student organisations, clubs, or sports teams. You’ll meet new people, learn new skills, and become more involved at school.

Strive for Good Grades

While good grades may have come effortlessly to you in high school, you will have to earn them in university, which involves setting some objectives for yourself and then working as hard as you can obtain them.

Take Advantage of the Study Resources on Campus

Learning labs and tutors are available at almost all universities. If you’re having difficulty, these resources can help. Another option is to organise study groups.

Make Time for Yourself

Make time for things that will help you relax and relieve tension from your day or week. Be kind to yourself by watching your favourite television series, running, or writing in a journal. Also, give your brain a rest.

Don’t Feel Pressured to Make a Hasty Decision about a Career

It doesn’t matter if everyone else appears to know what they’re doing with their lives; trust me, they don’t.

University is the time to figure out who you are, what you want to do, what you’re excellent at, and what you want to be. It is not a race; take your time and enjoy the process of investigating your possibilities.

Take Responsibility for Yourself and Your Actions

Don’t try to blame others for your mistakes; instead, own up to them and move on. Being an adult entails accepting responsibility for everything that occurs to you.

Make Connections with Other Students

One student stated that during the first week of courses, he tried to meet at least one new person in each of his classes.

It helped him make new acquaintances and was a valuable resource when he had to skip a lesson.

Find the Career Services Office

Whether you are entering university undeclared or with your entire future planned, seek out the amazing people in your college’s career services office and begin planning, preparing, and acting on your future.

Don’t Procrastinate; Prioritize Your Life

It may have been easy in high school to leave an assignment to the last minute and still get a solid grade, but that will not work at university. Set deadlines for yourself and stick to them.

Stay Healthy/Eat Right

Many of the issues that first-year students suffer can be traced back to an illness that kept them out of class for an extended length of time, resulting in a downward spiral effect. Get enough rest, take your vitamins, and eat healthily.

Learn to Cope with Homesickness

It’s natural to miss your family at times, even if you were one of those kids who couldn’t wait to move away.

Make a phone call or send an email to your family to express your feelings.

Stay on Campus as Much as Possible

Whether it’s because of homesickness, a job, or a boyfriend or girlfriend from home, don’t leave college too soon or too frequently.

The more time you devote to getting to know the campus and your new classmates (as well as your new schedule), the more at ease you’ll feel at school.

And why not take advantage of the numerous cultural and social activities held on campus?

Seek Professional Help When You Need It

Most universities have health and counselling centres. If you’re sick or feeling isolated or depressed, please take advantage of the many services these offices provide students. You don’t have to face these issues by yourself.

Keep Track of Your Money

If you’ve never had to construct a budget before, now is the moment. Find strategies to stretch your money as far as possible.

Don’t Cut Corners

The university is all about education. You may do well on tests if you postpone and cram, but you will learn very little. Worse yet, do not cheat on term papers or tests.

Be Prepared to Feel Overwhelmed

There is a lot going on in your life right now. Expect it to seem a little too much at times. Prepare to feel absolutely unprepared, as one student puts it.

The key is to recognise that you are not alone in your feelings.


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RealMina wishes you success in your endeavours!

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