Tips to Kick Off Your First Year of College

You have your classes scheduled, your bags packed, and your schools supplies ready, but you may still have a lot of unanswered questions about what to expect from your first year. This is something many college and university freshmen experience. Ensure your first year gets off to the best possible start with these tips:

Scout Out Your New Surroundings

If you’re new to the campus, and new to the area, make sure you have ample time to check out your new home and campus. Mark the locations of your classes, potential study spots, and any important shopping locations. Early scouting could help you save time and avoid stress later.

Bring or Purchase the Things You Will Need

While some residences will provide students with basic items, there are some things you may need to bring from home or purchase around or off campus. It’s a good idea to ask for a list of what’s provided before moving to your room or apartment, but some of the items you will likely need to bring include:

  • A bedside lamp

  • A small toolkit

  • A small trash can

  • Bedding, pillows, collapsible laundry basket, towels (bathroom and kitchen)

  • Laundry, laundry detergent and bleach, a mini sewing kit, and a lint brush

  • Storage bins, including under-the-bed storage trays

  • A fan

  • A desk lamp

  • Push pins for your bulletin board

  • A wall calendar

  • A dry erase board

  • Removable wall hooks or double-sided tape

  • Office and desk supplies

Whether you need to bring your own furniture will depend on the type of housing you’ve chosen. For instance, at our student rental, London students only need to bring clothing and personal items to decorate their rooms and suites. Our suites are furnished and fully equipped!

Check Add and Drop Dates

Surprisingly, missing the drop deadlines or attempting to drop courses after the deadlines are mistakes many freshmen make. Once you’re settled and ready to start your classes, check the add and drop dates for your institution. This will prevent you from getting stuck in a course you don’t like or that was added to your schedule by mistake. Moreover, if a course is too difficult, conflicts with others on your schedule, or just isn’t a good fit, dropping it before the deadlines passes could prevent a great deal of stress.

Learn Your Student Number

This tip may seem pretty unimportant, but knowing the number off by heart can save you time and hassle. You may need it to purchase textbooks, find your grades in the school’s system, and more. Plus, your professors and administrators will ask for the number occasionally as well.

Do Some Academic Planning

One of the best ways to prepare and avoid stress during the busiest times of the semester is to create a chart for your assignment due dates and upcoming tests or exams. Sharing comprehensive notes with classmates, joining a study group, or finding a study buddy are other ways to start the school year well and stay ahead. Finally, find a quiet, comfortable, relaxed place to complete assignments and study. Without a quiet place to study, you might find it hard to focus.

Now’s the time to start thinking about the upcoming school year and what you can do to prepare for a great first year!