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Essential College Tips Every Student Should Know

Essential Tips for New College Students

Trust me when I say that college is completely outside of anything you’ve experienced as a high school student. Most of you will be living away from your family for the first time ever, which means learning to balance your studies with cooking, food shopping, laundry, and cleaning. Plus, college-level classes are harder and more demanding, and you’ll be responsible for your own learning. It’s important to adapt to the academic, social, mental, and domestic demands of college life. Here are the best college tips from millions of users of the Brainscape flashcards study app to help you succeed.

Key Takeaways

  • Pack light to avoid unnecessary burden and expense.
  • Explore your campus early on to familiarize yourself with important resources and facilities.
  • Make an effort to meet new people and expand your network of friends.
  • Turn to your student adviser for guidance and support throughout your college journey.
  • Take your time in choosing a major, and explore different subjects to discover your true interests.

Pack Light

packing for college

When it comes to packing for college, it’s important to resist the temptation of bringing everything you own. Remember, you’ll be moving into a dorm room with limited space, so it’s best to pack only the essentials. Bringing too much stuff will not only weigh you down physically but also make the transition more cumbersome and expensive.

Take the opportunity to embrace stepping outside of your comfort zone and focus on your education. By packing light, you’ll have less to worry about during move-in day and more time to settle into your new environment. Plus, it’s a chance to declutter and prioritize what truly matters in your college life.

Consider packing items that are versatile and can serve multiple purposes. Opt for clothing that can be easily mixed and matched, and choose functional dorm essentials that will maximize your space. Remember, you can always purchase items you need once you arrive on campus, so don’t stress about bringing everything from home.

Here are a few tips to help you pack light for college:

  • Make a list of the essential items you’ll need for your daily routine.
  • Coordinate with your future roommate to avoid duplicating items.
  • Consider the climate of your college town and pack accordingly.
  • Invest in space-saving storage solutions like under-bed bins or hanging organizers.
  • Only pack sentimental items that truly hold value for you.

Packing light for college not only simplifies the move-in process but also helps you focus on what really matters – your education and personal growth.” – College Graduate

Remember, college is a time of new beginnings and exploration. By packing light, you’ll be setting yourself up for a smoother transition and a more fulfilling college experience.

Explore your campus

campus exploration

One of the most exciting things about starting college is getting to know your new campus. Take the time to explore and familiarize yourself with all the different facilities and resources available to you. Not only will this help you navigate your way around campus more easily, but it will also make your overall college experience more enjoyable.

Start by locating your lecture halls and classrooms. Knowing where your classes are located will save you from rushing around on your first day. Additionally, spend some time finding the library. The library is not only a great place to study and do research but also a hub for various academic resources. Familiarize yourself with the different sections and services it offers so that you can make the most of it throughout your college journey.

Aside from academic resources, take the opportunity to explore the various student hangouts and social spaces on campus. Whether it’s a coffee shop, a student center, or a common area, these places are great for meeting new people, relaxing, and socializing. Engaging in the vibrant student life on campus can make your college experience more enriching and help you build lifelong friendships.

Make the most of your college facilities

Your college is equipped with a wide range of facilities designed to enhance your learning experience. These may include state-of-the-art laboratories, research centers, sports facilities, art studios, and much more. Take advantage of these facilities to further your knowledge and explore your interests.

If you’re interested in a particular field of study, make sure to visit the respective department or faculty building. Speak to professors and students to learn more about the resources available and any additional opportunities for academic and personal growth. Immerse yourself in the environment and take advantage of any workshops, seminars, or events that may be happening within the department.

Remember, your college facilities are there to support your learning and provide you with opportunities for personal and professional development. Don’t hesitate to utilize them and make the most of your college experience.


“Exploring my campus was one of the best decisions I made in my first year of college. It helped me find hidden study spots, discover new coffee shops, and meet other students who shared my interests.” – Sarah, 3rd year student

“Taking the time to familiarize myself with the campus facilities allowed me to feel more at home in college. I knew where to go for support, where to study, and where to have fun. It made the transition to college life much smoother.” – Alex, recent graduate

  1. Locate your lecture halls and classrooms
  2. Find the library and explore its resources
  3. Discover student hangouts and social spaces
  4. Visit department buildings and explore specialized facilities
  5. Participate in workshops, seminars, and events within your field of interest

Meet New People

socializing in college

One of the most important aspects of college life is socializing and building connections with your peers. Making new friends can enhance your college experience, provide a support system, and open up opportunities for networking and personal growth. So, how can you meet new people and foster meaningful relationships in college?

Get Involved in Campus Activities

Participating in clubs, organizations, and extracurricular activities is a great way to meet like-minded individuals with similar interests. Whether you join a sports team, a cultural club, or a student government association, these activities provide a platform for socializing and making friends. Take advantage of the diverse range of clubs and organizations offered by your college and explore the ones that align with your passions and hobbies.

Attend Orientation Events and Freshman Activities

During the orientation period, colleges often organize various events and activities specifically for new students. These events are designed to help you get acquainted with your fellow freshmen and create a sense of community. Attend these activities with an open mind, strike up conversations, and be proactive in making connections. Remember, everyone is in the same boat, and most of your peers are looking to meet new people too.

“College is a time for exploration and self-discovery, and your social interactions play a vital role in this journey.”

Take Advantage of Common Spaces

College campuses are usually teeming with communal spaces such as libraries, cafeterias, and study lounges. These areas provide opportunities for spontaneous interactions and casual conversations. Make it a habit to spend time in these spaces, strike up conversations with fellow students, and be open to meeting new people. You never know who you might connect with or what insights and experiences they can bring to your college journey.

Remember, college is a time for exploration and self-discovery, and your social interactions play a vital role in this journey. By putting yourself out there, attending events, and making an effort to connect with others, you can expand your network, forge lasting friendships, and make the most out of your college experience.

Turn to your Student Adviser

student adviser

When navigating the challenges of college life, it’s essential to have academic guidance and support. That’s where your student adviser comes in. They are there to assist you every step of the way, offering valuable advice and mentorship to help you succeed.

Your student adviser is a resource that you should take full advantage of. They can provide assistance in creating a balanced schedule, choosing the right classes, and mapping out your academic journey. They can also help you explore different majors and career paths, offering insights and guidance based on their expertise.

Establishing a good relationship with your student adviser early on is crucial. Schedule regular meetings to discuss your goals, challenges, and progress. They can offer personalized recommendations tailored to your specific needs and aspirations. By turning to your student adviser, you can tap into a wealth of knowledge and experience that will support your academic success and personal growth.

Don’t rush into choosing a major

Choosing a major is a significant decision that will shape your academic and career path. However, it’s important not to rush into making this choice. Take the time to explore different subjects and courses before committing to a specific major. College is a time for academic exploration, and you have the opportunity to discover new interests and passions.

Consider taking classes outside of your immediate program to gain exposure to different disciplines. This will not only broaden your knowledge but also help you make an informed decision about your major. Remember, your interests may evolve during your college years, so staying open-minded and flexible is key.

Academic Exploration Tips:

  • Take elective courses in subjects you’re curious about.
  • Join clubs or organizations related to various academic fields.
  • Engage in research or internships to gain hands-on experience.
  • Talk to professors and professionals in different fields to learn about career opportunities.

Remember, college is a time of self-discovery and growth. Don’t feel pressured to choose a major right away. Allow yourself the opportunity to explore different paths and discover where your true interests lie.

By embracing the process of academic exploration, you’ll have a better understanding of your passions and career goals. Take advantage of the resources available to you, such as career services and academic advisors, who can provide guidance and support along the way. Remember, choosing a major is an important decision, and it’s okay to take your time to ensure it aligns with your interests and aspirations.

Find ways to manage your stress

College life can be highly demanding and stressful, but it’s crucial to find effective ways to manage and alleviate stress. Prioritizing your mental health and practicing self-care will not only improve your overall well-being but also contribute to your success as a college student. Here are some self-care tips and stress management techniques to help you navigate the challenges of college life:

  1. Exercise regularly: Engaging in physical activity, such as jogging, yoga, or dancing, can release endorphins and reduce stress levels. Find an exercise routine that works for you and incorporate it into your schedule.
  2. Practice mindfulness and meditation: Taking a few minutes each day to focus on your breathing and be fully present in the moment can help reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. Explore different mindfulness techniques and find what resonates with you.
  3. Establish a routine: Creating a structured daily routine can provide a sense of stability and control amidst the chaos of college life. Set aside dedicated time for studying, socializing, self-care, and relaxation.
  4. Get enough sleep: Adequate sleep is essential for your physical and mental well-being. Aim for seven to eight hours of quality sleep each night to recharge your body and mind.

Remember, self-care is not selfish; it’s necessary for your long-term success and happiness. Take breaks when needed, spend time doing activities you enjoy, and seek support from friends, family, or campus resources when feeling overwhelmed. By prioritizing your mental health and practicing stress management techniques, you’ll be better equipped to navigate the challenges of college life and thrive academically and personally.


“Self-care is giving the world the best of you instead of what’s left of you.” – Katie Reed


College is a unique and transformative experience. By following these essential tips, you can navigate the challenges and enjoy a successful college journey. Whether you’re a new college student or a returning one, these tips will help you make the most of your college years.

Remember to pack light. Bringing only the essentials will make your transition smoother and less overwhelming. Explore your campus early on, familiarize yourself with the facilities, and find your go-to spots for studying and socializing.

Meeting new people is crucial for a fulfilling college experience. Step out of your comfort zone, make an effort to connect with as many people as possible, and build relationships that will support you throughout your journey.

Don’t forget to turn to your student adviser for guidance. They are there to help you succeed academically and provide support whenever you need it. Take your time when choosing a major and explore different subjects to discover your true passion. And most importantly, prioritize your mental well-being by finding ways to manage stress and practicing self-care.


What should I pack for college?

Pack only the minimal essentials you need to be prepared. Bringing too much stuff will weigh you down and make the transition more cumbersome and expensive.

How can I navigate my college campus?

Take the time to explore and learn the layout of your campus. Locate your lecture halls and classrooms, as well as the library, coffee shops, and student hangouts.

How can I make friends in college?

Step out of your comfort zone and make it a priority to meet and connect with as many people as possible. These friendships may pass, but some will stick around and become invaluable throughout your college journey.

Who can I turn to for guidance in college?

Your student adviser is there to support you throughout your college experience. Don’t hesitate to lean on them for guidance, whether it’s about academics or balancing your schedule.

Should I rush into choosing a major?

Take your time when choosing a major. Your interests and passions may evolve during your college years, so don’t feel pressured to make a decision right away. Explore different subjects and take classes outside of your immediate program to discover your true passions and interests.

How can I manage stress in college?

College life can be stressful, so it’s important to find healthy ways to manage stress. Experiment with different stress-relieving techniques, such as exercise, meditation, or journaling, and prioritize self-care.

What are some essential college tips for success?

By following these essential tips, you can navigate the challenges and enjoy a successful college journey. Remember to pack light, explore your campus, meet new people, seek guidance from your student adviser, take your time choosing a major, find ways to manage stress, and prioritize self-care. Enjoy the journey and make the most of your college years.

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