How to survive your first semester at college

First time? Coming back after taking some time off? Here are 6 tips to help you start your college career on the right foot.

1. Get involved as soon as possible.

High school shouldn’t be the last time you are involved. Find tryout dates for club sports, join an intramural team or find an organization you love. Everyone needs homework and study breaks every now and then. Use a club or sport to get your mind off things and let off some steam.

2.Network, network, network.

Networking can lead to a job right after graduation. Make connections with professionals and keep up with them throughout your four (or more) years. You’ll regret those connections you didn’t make when you are on the job hunt in the future.

3. Back up your files.

You only thought you saved that 15-page research paper and then your computer crashed out of nowhere. Save assignments in multiple places to avoid being the student who emails the professor the night before the due date with “technical difficulties.”

4. Get to know your professors.

Go to office hours. Ask for help when you don’t understand. Professors remember students who interact with them. Professors who know more than just your face and your name will be more willing to work with you and help you out when you need it.

5. Don’t be too prideful to get a tutor.

If you need help, seek it out. You’ll see your grades improve and will learn tips and tricks from other students who have been where you are in classes. People won’t make fun of you for being a nerd when they need help on the next test.

6. Find a note-taking method that works for you and stick to it.

Whether it’s using a note-taking app on your tablet, color-coding with pens and highlighters, using a hilarious amount of sticky notes or just good old-fashioned pencil and paper, find something that makes sense. You will see so many different styles, and people will always be the first to say that their way is the best. It might be the best way for them, but everyone is different. Try out a few different methods and stick with the one that works the best.

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