Starting a new year can be a stressful time, especially for a student at a new school. College is the perfect time to branch out and try new things, but it is easy to get overwhelmed by all the change and new things. Here is a list of dos and don’ts to make your year go smoother at Minnesota State University, Mankato:
DO: Go to class prepared. With everything else going on, your classes might be the last thing on your mind, but believe me, you do not want to start your semester off on the wrong foot. It’s better to stay on top of your classes than to have to catch up later in the semester.
DON’T: Be afraid to talk to your professor. They are there to help you and can be great resources. Professors appreciate being able to put a name to a face and it will help you be one step ahead of everyone else in the class.
DO: Read your syllabus. It has helpful information like days of examinations and a schedule of the topics that will be discussed throughout the semester. Also, make sure to check your school email and D2L daily to stay on top of your classes and assignments.
DON’T: Be afraid to approach new people. Be bold and sit with people you don’t know in the cafeteria. For those first few weeks, everyone is nervous and wants to make friends. Most people will be grateful that someone approached them and you never know; the person right next to you could become your best friend.
DO: Talk to the people you sit next to in class. If you miss a day of class, they can catch you up and share their notes with you.
DON’T: Go home too often, especially at the beginning of the semester. It’s hard to make friends when you aren’t here.
DO: Step out of your comfort zone. As I said, college is the time to try new things. There are so many clubs, you could find one for nearly anything you are interested in. There are also many intramural sports and activities available to join if you are feeling active.
DON’T: Spread yourself too thin. Pay attention to the time commitment of everything you join. Remember that you are going to want some downtime to study or just hang out.
DO: Go to sporting evens. Even if you don’t like to play, they can be pretty entertaining to watch and are a great way to meet people.
DON’T: Go out every weekend. Stay in and relax every once and a while.
DO: Go out! Contradictory to what I just said, it’s good to get out of your dorm room or apartment, so long as you don’t overdo it. Take a break from studying and school work and just have fun.
DO: Take care of yourself. Eat healthy, exercise and be social.
Above all else, just remember that college can be an exciting, maybe a bit intimidating, challenge, but it’s not meant to be frightening. Hopefully, this list will help ease some of those worries about your first year.