3 Key Tips for Adjusting to College Life

Written by: Da’Ishah Collie, M.S.Ed.

Pause for a second and observe your surroundings. You’re experiencing the moments you spent your entire high school career working hard for and dreaming about. Some adjustments to your daily routine can be necessary whether you are entering college for the first time or beginning a new semester. You have a lot more freedom and responsibility, and at times, that can be a lot to handle. Try not to worry and know that you can persevere through anything with a little determination, resiliency, and effective time management. The good news is that since you made it to college, you already have those traits! Here are three tips that can make adjusting to college life a positive experience for you.

1. Use a Planner

Balancing your class schedule, exercise, social life, work, and home responsibilities is key. Some students find it most helpful to use a planner that outlines each hour of the day. This type of planner allows students to see how much free time they have in a day. It will also help you to be more intentional with planning your day by outlining where each hour will be spent. In addition to your set class/work schedule, remember to include time for things like relaxation, physical activity, morning routines, and snack breaks, as these can often be overlooked in a busy day.

2. Develop Self-Discipline

While high school courses may have required a lot of your time and energy, be mindful that collegiate coursework will require a higher level of effort to be successful. Integrating academically into college may be one of your biggest obstacles, but it is doable. Taking notes during class, asking questions, starting assignments well in advance, and studying is critical. Develop a writing schedule to ensure you have time to revise your work. Take it to the reading/writing center or your professor’s office hours if needed. Also, create a study schedule to avoid last-minute studying before a midterm exam or test. You may find that following a writing and study schedule minimizes stress and helps you feel more confident in your academic endeavors.

3. Have Fun

College isn’t supposed to be easy, but that does not mean you cannot have fun. Try to see college as not only a time to expand your academic capabilities but also a time to experience new things and meet new people. Joining campus organizations, participating in exciting campus events, and making new friends can make your adjustment to college a positive experience.

You got this! Many resources and professionals are available to help you navigate adjusting to college life and a new semester. Don’t hesitate to reach out to the appropriate campus department that will meet your needs. And remember, the Take Stock in College team is always here as well to help you along your collegiate journey!