College can be scary because it’s the start of a new journey; however, becoming involved on campus can help ease the transition. You’ll make new friends, you’ll be able to network with people within and outside your major, and you’ll learn a lot about your campus and its resources!
Here are some tips:
Join clubs that interest you and/or are related to your major.
Many schools have a week at the beginning of each semester where clubs can recruit new members; for instance, CSULB has over 200 organizations you can join. With that many clubs available, there’s bound to be at least one that fits your preferences. Organizations range from sororities and fraternities, multicultural clubs, intramural sports, volunteering, and clubs that are for specific majors.
Joining clubs that you like can help you make friends with people you might not be able to meet otherwise. In my experience, this helped a lot since I had to move for college and make new friends. Clubs that relate to your major will help you network with faculty and peers in your field. It’s also great for future connections and you might end up liking your major even more.
Go to the events your campus offers (they’re usually free!)
Besides going to the outings that student organizations might offer, campuses have a lot of free events during the day or in the evenings. For example, they might show screenings of a movie and there are always sporting events that are free if you’re a student. Your school might even give out free merchandise.
Take advantage of your school resources.
Many students never really learn about the resources their school offers. However, there are so many resources on campus that are all meant to help students. There’s academic tutoring available to help students, psychological services if you’re feeling stressed and need someone to talk to, and a recreation center for exercising and playing sports. Visiting professors during office hours and meeting with your advisors are also great resources to help you along with school.
So don’t hesitate to get involved on campus and make the most of what college has to offer you!
Planning your college education is as fun and exciting as it is necessary for your success. But preparing for college isn’t easy; unexpected bumps can come along the way.
These tips will help you stay ahead:
- Think about what you want in a school. The most exciting part about planning for college is picturing yourself on campus. As early as possible, think about where you want to be, the type of school you would like to attend (public, private, large, small, etc), and what you want to study. Having an idea about your preferences will be a big help in determining your fit.
- Discuss your college aspirations with the people in your life, even if you are still unsure. Your family, friends, coaches and other people are great sounding boards for your college plans. If you aren’t quite sure of your direction, ask them for advice. They know you best and can help you start and stay on the right path toward college.
- Talk to a guidance counselor. A counselor can help you plan what courses you need to take and give you recommendations on colleges you can check out based on your preferences and aspirations. Counselors are a great resource and talking to them early will give you a head start that will pay off later.
- Plan early for standardized tests. Procrastination is a struggle for many of us, and signing up and studying for the SAT/ACT is very easy to let slide “until tomorrow.” Make sure you sign up for these tests as soon as you can. You can even ask your counselor to help you create a study regimen or find a prep class.
- Never lost sight of your goal! The college planning process can be laid out into easy-to-follow steps, but it is not set in stone and isn’t the same for everyone. If life throws you a curveball or you encounter some problems along the way, the important thing to remember is that with hard work, you can make it through. If you’re feeling lost or unsure about your college future, remind yourself of why you started planning in the first place.
Starting college can be stressful, but luckily there are numerous on-campus resources available to you that can help. Before starting your first semester, make sure you take a few minutes to go online and browse the services and resources that are available on campus. Taking the time now to familiarize yourself with resources like the career center and academic advising office can save you an incredible amount of time once you enter college!
When I started at Cal State Long Beach, I was not aware of the resources available to me as a student. In fact, it wasn’t until a professor assigned a visit to the career center during my third year that I learned about the staff available to help me write my resume or to find local job fairs.
To get ahead and avoid missing out, browse campus websites for student services. It won’t take long for you to realize there is a wealth of information and staff on campus that are there to help you make the most of your college experience!
Best of all, learning more about your school will undoubtedly make you feel like part of the campus community. With your newfound confidence and the information you will have picked up along the way, you will be able to take on any challenge you may face in college.