For students heading to college for the first semester this fall, it’s a very exciting time. Not only is it exciting to think about all the independence college offers, but it can also be somewhat intimidating. You’ve worked hard for four years in high school to get accepted to college and now that hard work has paid off. Follow these tips during your first semester and the next four years will also be a success!

You’re in college for two reasons: to grow academically and intellectually and to grow emotionally. These two go hand in hand. It’s important to establish a base socially and try new experiences. While the stereotype suggests that college is just one big party, it’s really what each individual student makes of it. You’ll meet other students in class, at freshman functions and in the dorm rooms. Regardless of your experiences in high school, having one or two authentic friendships with other likeminded students will have much more value than being alone in a hug crowd. Consider these one or two new friends your ‘wingmen’. They’ll join you for studying, heading to parties, or just hanging out and listening to music.

During the first week of the semester, commit to meeting each of your professors one on one during their office hours. Establishing a relationship with your professor at the beginning of a course will pay huge dividends if you begin to fall behind and need extra help. Lay the ground work for assistance before you fall behind. You won’t regret this.

Sleep is not overrated. While you can pull a few overnighters and gain some bragging rights, your brain will not forgive you in the long run. Sleep is the same as filling the car up with gas. Attending every single class is critical for academic success. Inadequate sleep will ultimately result in missed classes. Sleep your weekends away if you must, but commit to attending class.

Phone home. Your family is your largest support system and more than likely was hugely instrumental in supporting your efforts to get where you are today. Reach out to them either with a phone call, a text, Facetime or email. This is for your benefit as much as theirs.

Follow these suggestions and your first semester of college will be a roaring success! Good luck!

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