In four more days, October will officially be here which means your first semester in college is well under way. You have had enough time to adjust to the routine of college life, know the way to each classroom, and have started to develop some pretty special friendships. You are officially out of high school, and a young adult in the college world. Now is a great time to start getting organized and figuring out exactly what you want to experience before it is time to pack up your dorm and head back home for the holidays!
Your first semester is such an amazing time! It is the beginning of a new journey in your life, and one you will never forget, but it flies by so it is important to get organized now.
Here are 10 things to organize during your first semester in college.
- Make sure all your class times are written down ahead of time in your planner. The great thing about college is that your syllabus is given to you the very first day of class, and you have a road map of the rest of the semester. Use this to your advantage, and write down when all you classes are. This alone keeps you very organized!
- You can go a step further (well worth it!) and color code each class. This way when you look down at the month you can see exactly when each class is, and what time it is.
- Your first semester is a little challenging because you most likely have to take general core curriculum classes. Your first year in college is spent taking a lot of courses that are not specific to your major, but don’t worry — by sophomore year you will start getting closer to what you are passionate about. However, look at this as a positive experience and see if any subjects peak your interest. It might surprise you how much you like a subject you thought you would dread. Keep your options open, and you might just discover a beautiful new interest.
- Sleep and college don’t often go hand in hand, but it is important you MAKE time for it. You will get sick if your body doesn’t get enough rest. Schedules are busy, and often over packed so you might have some sleepless nights, but work hard on organizing your routine so you can fit it in. If you did not consider it for your first semester classes, think about sleep when scheduling your second semester classes. If you are not a morning person, do not schedule an 8 am class. College life is different from high school. You do have some control over your schedule, so always keep in mind your class times and how sleep will fit in that routine.
- Can you sneak in a nap after your early class so you are energized for the rest of the day? Can you sleep late on a Saturday to recover from your long week? Your body is in over drive as a college student so make sure to rest. Your body will thank you.
- Oh, the dreaded freshman 15! Everyone talks about it, but it does not have to happen if you organize your time to fit in workouts. During your first semester, you usually do not have a car on campus which means you will be doing a lot of walking. This is great! But it is also important to fit in a regular routine of going to the gym.
- Fitting in a workout may take a little planning, but there is enough time if you use it wisely. You can fit it in between classes, before class, after class etc. There will always be enough time. YOU need to make the time.
- If the gym scene isn’t for you, then look into other avenues. College life is like no other because you have so many opportunities to try new things. Join a yoga class, or try out a salsa class. Do anything that will help your body move, and say goodbye to that dreaded freshman 15!
- Your dorm is your home for this time in your life, and it is your responsibility to keep it clean and organized. It is not uncommon for dorms to look like a torpedo went through them, but try and change that habit.
- Talk with your roommate about both of you doing your best to keep it as clean as possible, and be respectful of your roommate. If they like things tidy and neat, try to respect that and not throw everything on the floor.
- Life happens and your week might get a bit chaotic. Spend a couple hours on Sunday cleaning up and getting everything organized for the week.
- Studying is synonymous with the word college. You will be doing it every day and what seems like every minute. It is so important to stay organized with your homework, and studying.
- You have no choice, but to show up to class right? You need to think of your studying schedule the same way you think of going to class. Pencil it into your planner, and stick to that time and day. It takes more discipline, because you technically do not have to follow the schedule you make. Do you need to go to the library and study at that time? Are you required to go back to your dorm and write your paper at that exact time? No, but you need to start thinking as if you are required. The more you can get in the habit of sticking to the times you plan, the more productive you will be!
- Your first semester will seem a bit overwhelming, and at times completely impossible, but it is VERY important to make time for fun! Take the time to research clubs you can join, activities to be part of, and extra curricular’s.
- College is all about experiencing things and creating a life you choose! College kids put an extreme amount of pressure on themselves. Don’t forget that downtime is important too!
- Your schedule is busy, but not too busy to call back home. You do a lot of walking to class. Take those 10 minutes to make a call back home to mom and dad and say hello. It is a small thing, but can easily be forgotten. Don’t rush so much that you forget who and what is truly important.
EXPLORE THE AREA
- If you are going to college out of state, take this time to explore a new area! Research what there is to do around the college campus, and go explore. Grab a few friends and take the Saturday off to have a new adventure and see what the state has to offer.
- Research what there is to do and write a list of “PLACES TO EXPLORE DURING FRESHMAN YEAR.” Whenever you have a free day or weekend, you can pick a place on your list and check off another memorable experience.
- All college students know coffee is a necessity to making it through the day! Know where all the local cafes are on campus so you are never late to class. Plan ahead, and know how much time you need to leave so you can walk to your favorite coffee spot, and still get to class on time. This might seem like a small task, but it will affect your happiness and productivity. With coffee in hand during class, you can focus, be alert and learn something!
- Nope! That is not a typo. You should be thinking of senior year. You might have just started college, but that last year comes up quickly. You don’t have to overthink it, or plan every second of the next four years, but start to think about what you want your college experience to be. Where do you want to be at the end of your senior year? Where do you want to be living? What are some dream classes? Are there any trips you want to go on? If you have some thoughts in your head, it will help you strive to achieve these milestones throughout your college experience.
- Enjoy being a freshman! It is a great time in your life, but give some thought to your future and where you want to go.