Starting college and university already! It’s a big step, no doubt about that, and like any precipice, it feels pretty scary to be standing there, looking for that first safe path to tread. But finding ways to take the fear and stress out of the journey is pretty crucial. A relaxed student gets more rest, retains more info, and obviously has more fun. So, a handful of tips for your first few weeks. Just to get you off on that right foot.

  • Talk to your roommate. Right off the bat, arrange a dinner in with them. Order pizza, share a coke, and chat. This is time to fill each other in on your wants for the shared space that you’re gonna be stuck with for a good long while. (I know, you filled out a questionnaire when you applied for housing, but those are not great.) Nightlight or blackout curtains? How much noise is okay in the mornings? Any scents you can’t stand? How many is a crowd? If you think you might have an overnight guest sometime in the next few months, now is the time to make sure that’s okay. And make sure you’re in agreement on the basics – who takes out the trash, who corrals the dishes?
  • Makes a study space. You don’t have a lot of room in your dorm, but you need to make sure at least a sliver of it is set aside for the key purpose here: studying. At minimum, it needs a desk, a comfy seat, and a bookshelf. This is where all your textbooks and notes should wind up at the end of every day, so you always know where they are. If you keep it for studying only, just sitting down in the space will probably give you a focus bonus: you’re here to work.
  • Meet your classmates. Everyone’s going to be rushing and raucous the first weeks, but seriously. Ask the girl in the seat next to yours to have coffee and compare notes. Compliment the kid whose hand is always in the air on their quick recall and ask them what they do to prepare for class. Find someone to trade essays with and peer review for each other. Make connections. This is particularly important in any class that aligns with your long-term study goals, if you have them yet. Co-majors will be seeing each other again and again in classes throughout school – it’s great to have a team.
  • And possibly the most important tip: Don’t wait to see if you fall into an organizational style. Start trying those out immediately. Look up guides ahead of time, and experiment. That’s how you’ll find the right one. It won’t simply happen for you, and waiting in case it will, can only hold you back.