How to Make the Most of Your First Semester in College

By: Meghann Mullarkey

Leaving home to study and live by yourself can seem daunting, but here are some tips that will make the transition easier! From current William & Mary students to you, here is some advice that will help you make the most of your first semester in college. 

  • Prioritize your work: This one might seem obvious, but sometimes life outside academics will try to take over. While it might seem like everyone else is having fun while you stay in to study, prioritizing your work will help you be successful in the long run. 
  • Making friends takes time: It might take some time to find good, reliable friends. Branching out, joining clubs, and talking to peers in your classes can help you meet new people and make new friends! 
  • Read the syllabus: Reading the syllabus will give you an overview of due dates and exams. These are crucial for figuring out your study schedules and making an overview of important dates on your calendar. 
  • Sleep is more important than you think: pulling all-nighters might work for one day, but a consistent sleep schedule is key to maintaining energy and a good mood. Try getting the recommended 7-8 hours of sleep each night to wake feeling prepared to take on the day!
  • Create habits before you arrive: having a foundation of living independently will help you transition easier. For instance, if you create a habit of exercising regularly before you enter college, you’re more likely to be consistent in exercising once you arrive.  
  • Study spaces: the library might not always be the best study area! It can get very crowded, especially during exam weeks. Finding an alternative spot either around or just outside campus can be a less distracting place to study!
  • Freebies: William & Mary clubs are constantly giving away free things whether it be fitness classes, food, t-shirts or more. Make sure to take advantage of these free things! 
  • Eating alone is normal: Friends have very different schedules during college. In fact lots of college students eat alone! It’s okay to not have a dining buddy for every meal! 
  • Textbooks: Sometimes you don’t necessarily need the textbooks listed on the bookstore website. I recommend waiting a week before deciding to purchase the textbook. Refer to the syllabus for guidance on what books are required and if necessary, try renting an online textbook to save money. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *