A College Survival Guide for New & Returning Students


College can be tough. It can be difficult for new students who need to learn a completely different way of life, but it can also be challenging for returning students who haven’t yet learned the skills and habits they need to be successful. Nonetheless, college should be a fun and exciting time. By taking the right steps, you can enjoy yourself and succeed — not only at college but in life after you graduate as well.

1. Introduce Yourself to Your Roommates and Neighbours

Your roommates and the other students who live near you are all potential friends. Whether you’re a new student or you’re just moving into new housing, spend time chatting to the people you meet when you arrive.

2. Know Where Everything Is

If you’re a new student, take a campus tour. Although you may already have visited campus when you were deciding which college to attend, you’ve likely forgotten some of the fine details. Make sure you know where all the key places are before classes start.

If you’re a returning student, use your first days back on campus to locate where all your classes will be taking place. You may have some in areas of campus you’ve never been to before, such as if you’re taking a general education class in a new subject.

3. Choose a Study Spot

Having somewhere to study on your own is crucial. If you’re a returning student and you had less-than-ideal study habits last semester, it’s now time to change that. Experiment with different places to figure out what works for you. This may be the desk in your bedroom, the campus library, a study room in your student housing, or somewhere else.

4. Commit to Being Organized

Make sure you know when your classes are taking place as well as the due dates for all your assignments — and start working on papers and test prep in advance to ensure you gain the best grades possible. To do this, you need to be organized. Purchase a planner, use an organization app, or hang a whiteboard above your desk.

5. Meet Your Professors

Attend office hours with each of your professors early on in the semester. Having a personal relationship with your professors can benefit you in numerous ways. For instance, you’ll have leverage if you run into problems and need more time to complete an assignment and your professors will be more likely to let you know about opportunities in the field you want to enter.

6. Talk to Your Academic Advisor

Another person it’s important to meet with is your academic advisor. Your advisor needs to be aware of your goals and circumstances to help you create a schedule that works for you.

7. Attend All Your Classes

Never consider your classes as optional — to succeed at college, you need to attend all of them. Classes give you the chance to gain a better understanding of the course material, learn what exams will involve, and find out if a due date for an assignment changes.

8. Make Time of Other Activities

It’s important to make time for extracurriculars and a social life to have a well-rounded experience at college. Join clubs and organizations to explore interests unrelated to your major, gain useful skills, and enhance your resume. You’ll also meet many people at extracurriculars, which is a great way to expand your social circle and open up new opportunities for socializing. However, make sure you avoid signing up for too many additional activities and accepting invitations to events when you know you need to be studying — your priority at college needs to be academics.

One thing that will make it easier for you to survive — and even thrive — at college is living off campus. You’ll find London, Ontario, apartments for students at Foundry First. In addition to having your own room in a suite just steps from Fanshawe College, you’ll have access to endless amenities that make it easier to study and socialize. Apply now to secure your spot before all the rooms are taken.

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