Starting college off on the right foot

Marly Ausman on Sep 20, 2023 6:00:00 AM


The start of a new college year is an exciting time filled with opportunities for personal and academic growth. Whether you're a freshman starting on your college journey or a returning student looking to make the most out of the upcoming year, it's essential to kick off the year right. There’s lots of way people go about making a good start to the year, but we’re going to talk about some general tips that can be useful to anyone. 

  • Set Clear Goals

Start the year by setting clear, achievable goals for yourself. These goals can encompass various aspects of your life, such as academics, personal development, and extracurricular activities. Having a roadmap will help you stay focused and motivated throughout the year. Break your goals down into smaller, manageable steps to make them more attainable.

  • Organize Your Schedule

A well-organized schedule is crucial for managing your time effectively. Invest in a planner or use Google calender to keep track of classes, assignments, and important deadlines. Create a weekly routine that includes study time, extracurricular activities, and downtime to keep a healthy social balance. 

  • Get to Know Your Professors

Building positive relationships with your professors can be very beneficial. Attend office hours, ask questions, and participate actively in class discussions. Professors are often willing to provide guidance, mentorship, and recommendations when they know you are engaged and invested in your education. Most of the time professors have to beg students to come to office hours for help so you aren’t bothering them if you decide to use those resources. 

  • Join Clubs and Organizations

ISU offers many clubs, organizations, and student groups catering to various interests. Consider joining a few that align with your passions and goals. Involvement in campus activities not only provides opportunities for socializing, but also helps you develop valuable skills and experiences outside the classroom. These clubs and organizations can even open up future career opportunities in certain circumstances. 

  • Prioritize Self-Care

College life can be demanding, so it's crucial to prioritize self-care. Make sure you're getting enough sleep, eating well, and exercising regularly. Additionally, practice stress management techniques such as meditation or deep breathing to keep your mental and emotional well-being in check. Remember that taking care of your health is the foundation for success in all other areas of your life espcaily academically. 

  • Set a Budget

Financial responsibility is an essential aspect of college life. Create a budget that outlines your monthly expenses, including tuition, housing, food, and other essentials. Stick to your budget to avoid unnecessary stress and financial hardships. Look for opportunities to save money, such as purchasing used textbooks or cooking your meals instead of dining out.

  • Develop Effective Study Habits

Good study habits are key to academic success. Find a study environment that works best for you, whether it's a quiet library, a coffee shop, or your dorm room. Break your study sessions into manageable chunks and use techniques like active recall and spaced repetition to enhance your learning. Seek help from academic resources like the tutoring center in Rendezvous room 323.

  • Embrace Change and Adaptability

College is a time of growth and self-discovery, which often involves facing new challenges and stepping out of your comfort zone. Embrace change and be open to new experiences and perspectives. Adaptability is a valuable skill that will serve you well not only in college but also in your future career.

Starting the college year right is all about setting the stage for success in both your academic and personal life. By setting clear goals, staying organized, nurturing relationships, and taking care of your well-being, you can make the most of your college experience. Remember that college is a journey, and the steps you take at the beginning will shape your path for the rest of your academic career. Stay focused, stay positive, and make the most of this exciting chapter in your life.


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