Getting adjusted, cheap books, and finding your class

student with books

student with booksThe first year of college is a major transition period. There are so many new responsibilities and opportunities, it can be seriously overwhelming. But it’s also a lot of fun.
Susan Kattwinkel, director of the First-Year Experience at the College of Charleston, said they have reams of information to help students adjust.
Check out her top suggestions, plus advice from campus ministers, students and professors. It’s all geared to helping students acclimate to their first year with success and confidence.
Father John W. McDowell, campus minister at Clemson, said do not be afraid. This is your new world, so get out there and explore it.
– Find people of like-minded faith by joining the campus ministry group and a local church.
– Older students suggest going to as many orientation events as you can. It’s a great way to get to know where everything is on campus and meet people in the same situation as you.
– Find your student center right away — it’s the best bet for one-stop shopping. They can answer all your questions, give you a campus map, and offer great tips.
– Sometimes orientation isn’t enough, and students need more time to absorb everything about their new world.  For this, universities nationwide offer first-year experience and transition classes — some colleges even make it a required course, Kattwinkel said. Take this class and become an expert on your campus in no time.
– Meet your professors. They have office hours for a reason, and it’s always good when a professor knows your name. Go early in the semester and ask a question about the syllabus, something you read, or an assignment.  
– Explore the city or town outside of campus. Get to know the area and the people. It could be a great place to live after graduation.
– Join a club. Most schools have a multitude of student clubs and organizations. At the beginning of the year they’re trying to get new members and it doesn’t matter if you don’t know anyone. Find one or two you’re interested in and try them out.
– Astonished by the cost of buying books? Statistics show they can cost between $10,000 and $30,000 over a four-year period. Look into BookDefy for a cheaper alternative.
– One graduate advised buying a huge dry erase board to keep track of tests and deadlines. Also, old tests are often available to help students learn the material.
– Make a study plan early in the semester and find a good study location on campus that you like. Go with friends, but make sure you don’t have distractions when you study. A lot of people think they can multi-task – they can’t.
– If you find a class difficult, go to a Center for Student Learning and use their resources for help — before you fall behind.
– College is famous for pulling all-nighters, but your brain needs rest to function. Make sure you get adequate sleep, especially before tests. It makes a huge difference in grades and the quality of your free time.
– Go out of your way to meet people who are different from you. College is all about opening your horizons. Get to know the people in your dorm and classes, and always go with a group to eat.
– Take a fan.  Even if you aren’t in a hot location, you’ll appreciate airflow in your room.
– Call your parents even when things are going well. Parents sometimes panic because they only hear from their children when they’re lonely or having problems. Let them know when you’re happy, too.