10 Tips on How to Survive (and Thrive) Your First Year of College

Associate Director, Residence Life and Housing, University of Redlands

Sep   2013



What does it take to make the most of freshman year? In addition to a willingness to try new things, introduce yourself to new people, and develop a new appreciation for ramen noodles, a university insider suggests you try these 10 things.

  1. Go to every event during orientation. You only get to do this once, and you never know where you will meet your best friends or get the information that gives you an edge.
  2. Take the time to explore campus, perhaps by asking a returning student to give you a personal campus tour. You’ll get a chance to find your class locations before the first day of school so you will feel more prepared and confident.
  3. Go to class early on your first day in case you get lost. Set alarms in your phone to alert you 15 minutes before each class so that you are always on time.
  4. Take care of your body and your mind will follow. If you worked out daily in high school, don’t stop. Get enough rest. Make time for what is really important.
  5. Get up in time for breakfast every day. There is nothing worse than running straight from bed to class. Take the time to fuel up and wake up.
  6. Don’t be afraid to try new things, but always remember to be safe and smart about your decisions. Think about the person you want to be and make sure your choices reflect that value system.
  7. Introduce yourself to everyone around you. Everyone is eager to make friends during the first few months of school, so it is not weird to walk up to strangers and say hello.
  8. Hang out with people who make you happy and help you succeed. Don’t hold back on being yourself. You will find friends who appreciate you for who you truly are.
  9. Get involved in at least one extracurricular right away. You may want to take it slow and settle in, but joining just one group can give you a sense of family here, help you manage your time (and fill it). This is where you will find the people who share your interests.
  10. Talk to your roommate openly and early about issues. Roommate issues almost always start with some little thing that doesn’t really matter. When you let it fester and build, it is much harder to fix it and move on.

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About Leslie Krafft

Leslie Krafft, Associate Director of Residence Life and Housing at the University of Redlands.