college life

How to Survive Your First College Semester


October is here and that means freshmen all across America have survived their first month at college.  Only another two months until you can go home for Thanksgiving and spend the holidays with your family.  However before that happens you need to get through the rest of the semester.

Here are seven things to help make your first college semester a little bit easier:

Find the nearest bank branch

30 days on your own is not so bad, but if you’ve never had to manage money before it may quickly run out.  Talking to a personal banker about how to live and manage your money during college can be a big help.  Talk to your bank about how to manage lump sums of money if you received student loans and bursaries as well as how to track your spending and applying for your first credit card.  Banks such as Wells Fargo have a ton of online resources to help freshmen adjust to college life.

Make a friend

This is so important because college can be lonely.  Actually your first semester at college is full of emotions from sadness and anxiety to excitement and happiness.  It’s definitely an emotional rollercoaster and having a close friend who you can talk to who’s going through the same things can make the transition from your parent’s home to your college campus a lot easier.

Don’t be afraid to talk with your professors

Take advantage of your professor’s office hours.  They are there to help you learn, but also to make sure you excel.  Professors are rated partly on the success of their students so if everyone fails their class it’s not a good look for them.  Ask them details about your assignments, what to expect in your program over the next few years as well as opportunities for internships and part time jobs.  Getting an idea of what’s coming can help you plan for the future.

Try to get along with your roommate

Maybe you got lucky and found a roommate who is quickly turning into your best friend or maybe you are living with a roommate who is the completely the opposite of you.  My first roommate at college cut off all her hair and left it in the sink.  I lived off campus after that.  Check your student services office for apartments to rent and share off campus.  In the meantime my advice is to make the best of it.  Just keep telling yourself it’s a temporary situation – and buy a good pair of noise cancelling headphones.

Think about buying used books

Your first few days of college are exciting and that usually leads to unnecessary spending and convenience spending.  One way to save a lot of money in college is to buy used books.  The thought of using someone else’s property when you don’t know where it’s been may freak you out, but trust me you’ll save hundreds of dollars each semester by buying used books. Check out used book websites like Campus Books if you can’t find the used books you need on campus.

Push your off button

It’s so easy to get caught up in trying to make the most of your first semester at college; taking on too much is a major mistake.  Contrary to your busy class schedule, homework, group assignments, part time job and need to always be the best, you need time to relax.  Give yourself a schedule and shut everything down at a reasonable hour.  Burning the midnight oil will leave you drowsy the next day and there’s no point in staying up all night studying if you’re too tired to remember anything in class the next day that you learned the night before.

Photo from Pixabay

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