6 tips for teens going to college
Explore your campus and get to know your area.
Being in a new area can be disorienting and intimidating. Take the time to walk around your new campus or area of town, learning different routes to get to classes or exploring for cool hangouts. If you’re afraid of getting lost, always remember that you can ask for directions or use a mobile GPS.
Create a schedule to organize all your projects and living chores.
No more nagging by your parents may seem like the greatest part of moving out, but it’s now completely up to you to organize your responsibilities without any reminders. Create a schedule for completing schoolwork and household necessities. You may have been in charge of similar responsibilities in the past, but the exciting first weeks of school do have the capacity to overwhelm. Organizing will help diffuse the chaos.
Use the class syllabus to organize schoolwork. Professors will often indicate all due dates for readings, projects and papers in the syllabus given on the first day of class and may expect you to remember the dates without reminders.
Take advantage of services offered by your college.
Most colleges offer a variety of services from tutoring sessions (both group and single), writing centers and career advising. Although it may not be required by your classes, take the time to get to know these services, and don’t be afraid to make an appointment if you feel like you could use the help or need further information.
Your professors and teachers are human, too.
Don’t be afraid to speak up in class and ask questions. In both small sessions and large lecture classes, professors and teachers like to feel that their students are engaged with the subject and genuinely interested. While you may occasionally stumble upon one teacher who prefers to keep student contact to a minimum, the grand majority will gladly respond to questions and concerns asked during office hours and in emails. Many professors would like to see their students succeed and respond well to those who go out of their way to explain their situation if faced with some difficulty.
Get involved with academic organizations, clubs, intermural sports, etc.
Most colleges host a multitude of organizations, clubs, sports and other activities that can be great for meeting new people with similar interests. Some examples are volunteering clubs (a great way to get to know people while helping out your new community), academic organizations for specific majors (good for getting to know fellow students and creating study groups for specific classes), and intermural sports (most programs have teams for all levels of players from beginners to advanced).
Find ways to keep in contact with your family or important people.
When you begin to buckle down academically or your social life gets hectic, it can be difficult to remember to contact loved ones. To keep them up to date and prevent them from worrying, consider making a schedule to call/Skype/email at specific times (i.e. every other day, once a week, once a month). Not only will they be grateful to hear from you, but chances are you’ll begin to look forward to hearing from them.
Take everything at your own speed.
Life can seem like it’s flying right past you when starting such a large life event. If you’re beginning to feel overwhelmed, remember to take things one task at a time, completing the responsibilities that are more important or time sensitive first. Taking things more slowly but thoroughly will usually be more productive than attempting multiple things at high speed.