10 Secrets to Surviving Your First Semester at College

July 29, 2016 – by Cuckoo Gupta

1. Pay Attention During Orientation.

Orientation is an important first step into college life. Your orientation leaders will give you information you'll need throughout the semester. Listen!

Introduce yourself. Go to evening activities and the Oh-Wooo Welcome!

2. Be Social.

Try to make friends. It's not easy, but try to meet as many people as you can. Some might stick with you throughout the semester, your four years in college, and your entire life.

Don't be nervous. You are all sailing in the same boat. Together.

3. Move-In Day is Stressful. Just Breathe.

Move-in day is stressful. Unpack and decorate on that very day, otherwise you will never get to it. And it will pile up.

Just breathe and do not panic.

This is your space. Embrace it.

PS: Don't forget to take in the experience of moving in to your first dorm room.

4. Save Important Contacts in Your Phone.

Have important contact information saved in your phone.

Some of those contacts are:

  • Public Safety: 740-368-2222
  • Crisis Help Line: 740-369-3316
  • Counseling Services: 740-368-3145
  • OWU Student Health Center: 740-368-3160

Add in your roommate's contact information. And the RA, if he or she provides it. Add a neighbor's contact information, just in case.

5. Set Rules with Your Roommates/Suitemates.

During the first few hours together, set room rules with your roommates and suitemates. Be conversational and honest. You will be living with these people for a year, and it is important to understand each other's needs. This will help you create a peaceful environment to live in.

Discussion points should include:

  • Class schedules
  • Bathroom rules
  • Chores
  • Sleeping habits
  • Allergies/eating habits
  • Guests/visitors

6. Know Your Professors.

OWU's 11:1 student-teacher ratio makes it possible for you to get to know your professors very well.

Know their office hours, teaching styles, grading styles, and expectations.

Pay attention to these things, as they will help you throughout the semester. And never hesitate to ask questions.

7. Set a Call Date and Time with Your Parents.

It is very easy to get caught up in your day-to-day college life. Your busy schedule, academic and otherwise, can make it very difficult to stay in touch with your family.

Set a date and time to Skype or Face-time your parents at least once a week.

8. Keep an Updated Planner.

You should create a habit of keeping a detailed planner, either on your phone or a calendar. It will make college life much easier if you're organized from day one.

Using a planner will help you keep a track of meetings, events, and important deadlines, and avoid overbooking yourself.

Highlight important dates, such as:

  • Professor office hours
  • Dates set with your parents
  • Health appointments
  • Review sessions

9. Be Prepared to work Hard.

College is more work than high school. There are no parents looking over your shoulder every few minutes to make sure you are studying and doing your work.

Be prepared to work hard from day one. Pay attention to your professors, take notes, and review them. Stay updated on your class grade, and don't be afraid to ask for help. Keep an open line of communication with your professors.

If you're struggling in a class, there are on-campus resources to help you, such as:

Sagan Academic Resource Center

10. Know that You are Not Your GPA.

Work hard, but always remember that there is so much more to you than your grade point average.

Focus on the lessons you are learning and the human being you are growing into.

Just be a good person, and be happy :)