Making the Most of Your First Days on Campus

Starting college is likely one of the biggest events in your life to date! There are a lot of changes to adjust to, from roommates to managing finances to living away from home. If you're headed off to college for the first time, here are some tips to keep in mind.

Safety first! Familiarize yourself with campus police and security. This includes saving emergency numbers for campus security and the local police department in your phone, and keeping an eye out for emergency phones on campus (usually marked with a light on a pole). 

Save important phone numbers. In addition to the police, save phone numbers for campus escort services, your RA or dorm office, campus health clinic, and any other numbers you may need in a pinch. 

Share your class and work schedule. Share your schedule with your roommate, friends, and family so they know where you should be in case of emergency. Consider turning on the GPS location services for your phone if they aren't already enabled, and utilize functions that allow you to send an ETA and track your location for services like Uber.

But also DON'T share your schedule. While you should let trusted individuals know where you are, don't leave detailed accounts of your whereabouts on social media. Utilizing check in features or sharing details about your daily routine can make it all too easy for someone to track you down.

Attend welcome activities. The first few days and weeks of college are the perfect time to make new friends - everyone is going through the same experiences you are, and they want to form connections as well! Take advantage of campus events, check out a local coffee shop, and eat in the dining hall with a group from your dorm. 

Don't be afraid to ask for help. Whether it's from your RA, a professor, or campus mental health services - part of being an independent adult is knowing your own limitations. (And don't forget to touch base with Mom and Dad too!)

For more tips on making the most of the start of your college journey, check out the recently recorded webinar from our College Access Counselor! And if you have questions about paying for college or managing your financial aid, schedule an appointment or reach out to scholarhelp@studentchoice.org.

 

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