Congratulations: you’re officially on campus! The move-in process is complete. You brought enough items to fill your residence hall room. You have unpacked and everything is where you want it to be. You met your roommate(s) and, from what it seems, it will be a cool connection. You know which classes you’re taking, and your books are already purchased. Everything is great, right?!
And then you get that sinking feeling. You ask yourself, “Is this really happening? Did I make the right choice to come to this college? Am I going to make friends? Where are my classes? What about the food in the dining commons? How do I do laundry? Did I prepare enough for this whole college thing?!”
These questions, feelings, and doubts are totally normal! Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are five things to think about in your first 30 days of college. It’s not everything, by any means, but something to get you started. These are some themes and suggestions based on my work with college students who are aiming to start their first year off right.
1) Enjoy the ride. College life is an adjustment in many different ways. You’re meeting new people, learning new ideas and skills, and challenging yourself in new ways. It’s a big deal! This may be the first time you’ve been away from home for a long period of time. Embrace it, own it, and know that some days may be a bit easier than others.
2) Get involved. The residence halls are your home away from home. Connect with your roommate(s), talk about expectations of each other for the space you share. Get to know your RA - they are a great resource!! (Trust me on this one!). Go to residence hall-sponsored events and get involved! It’s a great way to meet people and do fun things.
3) Connect with your instructors. Adjusting to a new academic rigor may be a challenge. Be graceful with yourself. Get to know your professors and teaching assistants/graduate assistants. Go to office hours!
4) Tap your resources. College campuses offer SO many resources. It’s sometimes hard to keep track and know where to begin. With ESM’s College Transition Program, students have an Educational Coach who works one-on-one with them to navigate these resources and truly tap into all of the opportunities for your college experience. The first six weeks are extremely important for college success - let’s help you get there.
5) Yes, Freshman year matters. The time to find summer internships begins in the fall of freshman year. Enjoy yourself but understand that freshman year, and freshman year grades, will stick with you throughout college and beyond. Take advantage of the opportunities to put yourself on the pathway towards success.
You can do it - we believe in you! Embrace the fact that you’re #officiallyofficial, and we’ll help you start your college experience off right!