The transition from high school to a college campus is often considered to be developmentally significant. Almost all students indicate some stress especially marked during the first few months of campus living.
Settling into a new space and environment is an important component of the process. Campus life is removed from the family unit. This is where students learn to be independent and adjust to new surroundings. The earlier you invest yourself the better it gets. Your best defense is to show up prepared and enthusiastic.
The official enrollment for most universities is in August/September hence you have several months to prepare. Over the break (waiting period), you are likely to receive a heap of universities’ materials; everything from orientation information to the course catalogue to information on student accommodation services. This information could prepare you in advance for the initial transition to campus life. Learn where your hall/room will be located, how to get to the cafeteria and where you can go to study. Study the university handbook and course catalogue and highlight courses you’d like. Include first choices, second and even third choices. This course selection strategy gives you a bit of an advantage when it comes registration time.
Since a large part of your campus experience will be determined by your ability to manage time wisely, a good habit to begin is schedule-building. Occupy your calendar first with class times and second with scheduled time set aside each day for studies. Start and finish your university career strongly with good study skills. Once you have the priorities inked into your schedule you will have plenty of time to fill in with other activities, events, and even personal time.
The first day of class is filled with enough anxiety and confusion; don’t let the location of your classes be a mystery as well. The day before classes starts, walk around campus and find all your classes. That way you’ll know exactly where you need to go the next day and that will be one less thing you have to worry about.
Most campuses have landmarks by which you can orient yourself—the administration building, the bookstore, the library and notable spots. Figure out what your campus landmarks are, and you’ll have a better time finding your way around.
During new student orientation, universities usually offer welcome events like sports and parties. Take the time to go to these events as a way to learn about your campus and where everything is.
When you are a new student, have a tour around the campus and get an understanding of how the campus is laid out.
While on your tour, or just out walking around and exploring, ask questions. If you don’t know the name of a building, ask someone who’s coming out of it.
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