The challenge of starting at a new university or college is exciting but is also very daunting.
Here are my top 5 tips for first year students to ease into university life and make the transition slightly easier.
- Attend orientation - Orientation is a great way to make new friends who have similar interests to you. You can also become familiar with your lecturers and other staff and the grounds. Don’t forget to check out the library!
- Get familiar with where your classes are - Getting familiar with your schedule and the location of your classes makes the transition so much easier. Nothing is more frustrating than getting lost in a building you are unfamiliar with. Take some time to walk around the grounds, walk through the buildings and get comfortable.
- Find a mentor - Universities and colleges have a variety of support systems available to students. Make an effort to introduce yourself. There are general first-year counselors, advisors dedicated to your study programme of choice, and even student mentors. While you are at it, find yourself a study buddy.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions - You are new to everything. Naturally, this means you are a bit uncomfortable and maybe slightly shy at first. Don’t be afraid to ask your lecturer, the head of department or even student mentors and friends questions. These questions will help you to become familiar and comfortable with those around you while you are becoming informed at the same time.
- Meet the professors - This is probably the most valuable and most important tip. As daunting as it sounds, you can do more than to simply know who your lecturers are. The professors are the people who are highly qualified and have probably many many years of experience. You will be able to learn so much from them so get to know them better.
To make the best out of your experience, immerse yourself in the culture of your institution academically and socially. Good luck!