So you’re done. You’ve left behind all the high school drama, or you’ve come back to school for the first time in years. Either way, you’ve ended up here. Now what? How do you expect to survive this first quarter at a new school, in a new environment, with new experiences just waiting to happen? Never fear- there are some simple and easy things to you can do to make sure this first quarter goes smoothly.
First off, be friendly! Sure, you may know a few people, but for the most part, everyone who is staring out here is new. You may recognize a face here or there, but not a lot of people. And guess what? That’s okay! Everyone starts out in the same boat. Every incoming freshman or transfer student is just as new as you are. They are trying to navigate their way through this quarter, just like you. So go up and start a random conversation with them. They could roll their eyes and think you’re a loser. Or they could become your best friend. You’re never going to know unless you take the risk.
Next, utilize your on-campus resources. Pierce is filled to the brim with activities and programs that are designed and geared towards student success. Your computer at home is broken? Head to the computer lab in the College Center Building, open Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m., and Friday 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Struggling in your classes? Go to the Tutoring Center for some one-on-one help in any of your classes. The Tutoring Center is open from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. on Fridays, and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturdays. A full list of drop-in hours and subject specifics are available online. All in all, Pierce wants you to succeed. So take advantage of all the ways the college is trying to help!
Also a vital part of your success is keeping yourself all around healthy. Everyone hears of the dreaded “freshman 15.” As shocking as it may seem, gaining 15 pounds is not a requirement for college freshman. It is completely up to you. Gym memberships for the Health and Wellness Center on campus are just $15. Do yourself a favor and buy one. Make time to exercise and be sure you are eating right. Don’t let a new schedule negatively affect your eating habits, because bad habits that are built in college often last long after graduation. Lastly, get enough sleep. You will absolutely not succeed if you are always trying to catch up on sleep. Sometimes that sleep catches up with you in the middle of class, which can be quite inconvenient. Take care of yourself and you’ll feel a lot better, both physically and mentally.
One skill that is absolutely necessary for a college student is time management. If you don’t know how to organize yourself in a way that you can succeed, maybe you’re not ready for college. There are ways to make sure you are organized and efficient with your time. One example is setting up a schedule at the beginning of each week. Between in-class time and work that is part of your everyday life, see what free time you have left. Cut out chunks of time dedicated to homework, studying, sleep, personal activities and family and friend time. Be sure to give yourself time to relax, or the rest of the schedule will be pointless and crumble. Don’t stress yourself out when it’s easily avoidable.
Lastly -and probably most important- take a deep breath. College is new for many of you, and is going to challenge you in ways you can’t even fathom yet. After this quarter, you might want to drop out. You might think it would be easier to just work at your current job for the rest of your life. Well, you know what? It would be. It would be so easy to throw in the towel when things get tough. But you just need to remember- it’s all going to be okay. You’re here for a reason. Don’t blow it because you got stressed or scared. Prove to everyone else, and to yourself, that you can and will succeed.