Summer will be over soon, and with that, many recent high school graduates are now trying to prepare for college mentally.
Getting ready for college can be exciting. After all, the university experience is unique, and for some, it can bring some of the best years. However, as the first day of school approaches, perhaps you’re getting more stressed about feeling lost during your first day or perhaps being behind some of your classes.
Today, we’ll give you a few tips on how to prepare for college if this is your first semester. Even if it’s not, these pieces of advice can be a great way of preparing your mind for a new semester.
How to Prepare for Going Back to School: 5 Tips for Preparing for College
In 2020, over 19.4 million students went to college (and university) only during the fall. The statistics have likely increased since then. You can assume that a great portion of this statistic is going to be first-year students. Therefore, many people are in the same position as you.
This way, the first step is to remember that you’re not alone. You will not be the only freshman at your college. However, if you want to ease your mind and be more relaxed during your first weeks of college, here we have a few tips that you can consider.
1. Try establishing a regular sleep pattern
Even if you’ve been busy during the summer, it can be easy to fall asleep very late at night and have an irregular sleep schedule. We're struggling more with overstimulation in this era than we did in previous years, especially with the rise of certain social media, video games, and other entertainment apps.
All of these aspects, plus the stress of the everyday bustle, can make it complicated for any person to have a regular sleep schedule.
Therefore, one of the first things we recommend you to work on is your sleep schedule. You’ll need regular sleep once you go back to college. So, since summer is ending and the school days are closer, you can start by trying to fix your sleep schedule and establish good sleeping habits so as not to suffer the consequences of insomnia while you’re in school.
2. Learn how to manage your time
Time management is an essential skill, no matter in which stage of life you are at the moment. However, when you go to college, it'll feel like some days go too fast, while others feel like they'll last forever. That's why it is recommendable to start learning how to organize your time so you can make the most of every day.
You can use certain digital tools and planning apps or follow certain time-management techniques, like the Pomodoro technique. While it can be complicated to build a schedule and stick to it, it's very important to make emphasis on the word "try." After all, we never know what the day will bring us, but you can always keep with yourself a list of things you want to do during the day and stick to it as much as possible.
3. If you need help with something, don’t be afraid to ask for it!
One of the best tips we can give you on how to prepare for college is to ask for help whenever you feel lost. Your campus very likely has a tutoring center or perhaps counseling services that may help you get through certain situations.
It's also recommendable to learn to manage your stress and have a support system of relatives and friends that are there for you when you need it. College has its ups and downs, and it's important to have people we can rely on during those complicated moments.
4. Practice self-care
It’s very common for people to overlook self-care during their first weeks at college. It’s important to take care of your body and work on your needs as much as possible. It is one of the important mentally prepare for college. For instance:
- Make sure that you eat well and regularly.
- If possible, try to incorporate at least a light workout session during your day.
- It’s also important to limit the consumption of drugs and alcohol.
All of these habits can help you cope with stress and have an overall better mood throughout your day. Additionally, it's important to eat well – after all, studies suggest that eating disorders are more likely to develop during the college years.
5. Equip yourself with everything you need
If you’re getting ready for college, you should also start thinking about all the things you’ll need. Are you sure you have all the study room furniture you’ll need to be able to study comfortably?
You can buy an ergonomic chair, like an ergonomic mesh office chair, to make sure that you’ll feel comfortable during those long nights of studying. It’s also a good idea to invest in a good dorm room desk and a few office accessories to make sure that you'll have everything you need to be comfortable while you’re studying or working on a certain project. You can learn more about an ergonomic desk setup to learn the best practices while building an appropriate study area.
The Bottom Line
Of course, there are tons of other things that you should keep in mind during your first semester at college - for instance, choosing your major and keeping up with your schedule, among many other things. However, the best piece of advice we can give you is to take it easy.
College can be a wonderful experience if that’s what you want. It’s important to take it seriously, but it’s also important to keep your mind open and discover new things. These years can help you get to know more about yourself and learn new skills, develop new passions, build new relationships and “rebrand yourself.”
Hence, try to make the most of this time of your life and explore different things while you're at it. Try not to get too stressed about it, and enjoy your first semester!
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