1. Orientation activities are a must.
Even though they might make you feel awkward, even though there might seem to be 500 of them, you should go to as many orientations as you possibly can. Remember, most of the other people attending them feel just as awkward. Lean over to one of them and ask: "Haven’t we already been to 500 of these things?" You might make a friend for life, or at least for dinner. In addition to the opportunity to begin meeting your classmates, orientation activities also provide useful information about the school, its campus, its activities, and its policies.
2. Meet as many people as you can.
Beginning with your new roommate, take the time to get to know the people around you. Although some students show up to college with friends from their high school, for most people, this is not the case. You’re all in the same boat. Take that boat to dinner together, to campus social events, etc. Making friends with those around you will help ease you into the atmosphere of college.
3. Go to all of your classes.
After 500 plus orientation activities, the start of classes might seem like a brutal slap in the face. Or maybe you’ll realize that nobody is going to give you detention if you skip, so you start skipping. Whatever reasons you have for cutting class, they’re bad. Learning is really what college is for. Don’t deprive yourself of it.
4. Do your homework when it’s assigned.
Again, the freedom of college can be intoxicating, but don’t become so infused with it that you begin blowing your work off. Like skipping classes, procrastinating on your homework has toxic consequences for your grades.
5. Learn time management skills.
You might not believe it at first, but going to all of your classes and doing all of your homework does not equal having no free time. Once you get your course schedule, you should look at where you have blocks of free time. You should dedicate some of those to studying intently, so that you have time for other things. Don’t spend freshman year with something always hanging over your head. It’s a bad precedent to start.
6. Get involved in extracurricular activities.
With your time management skills, you should be able to handle at least one activity outside of classes that excites you.
7. Make sure you eat.
And make sure you eat right. Cap’n Crunch is delicious, agreed, but it is not a breakfast, lunch, and dinner option. Eat a vegetable occasionally, and try not to get too addicted to caffeine.
8. Make sure you sleep.
Which you’ll be able to do, if you don’t become a Starbucks junkie, which you won’t have to, because of your time management skills.
9. Get some exercise.
Even if it’s just going for a walk. The fresh air is good for your mind and body.
10. Make time to have pure, unadulterated fun even after the start of classes.