How to survive your first college semester

May 8, 2018

Avi Petrucci

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Freshman year of college can feel like the equivalent to moving to a different country: culture shock, new faces, an unfamiliar new city and the absence of your mom. However, here are a couple of tips from someone who survived the first year of college that will hopefully make this experience more bearable.


How to email your professors

Before you email a professor, check to see whether or not your question/problem can be answered by looking at the syllabus, asking a classmate or researching online.

    If your question/problem can’t be answered or solved another way, remember to include these three things in your email: a greeting including their official title (unless they have specifically said to call them something else), your reason for emailing them and a polite salutation at the end that includes your name and your contact information.

    If it’s the beginning of the year it might be helpful to include your full name, your class name, section number and the day(s) of the week you meet for class. If it’s been a few days and your professor hasn’t gotten back to you, you can send them another email to follow up or try to meet them in person.


How to meet with your adviser

If you need help with something and can’t get it fixed through email, there are two ways to set up an appointment with your adviser.

    Email them (remember the tips listed for emailing your professor) and ask them if they have any open appointments. Or, login to Starfish, head to ‘My Success Network,’ find your adviser and schedule an appointment online.


How to find your classes

Start by looking at the building floor plans. You can find these on the UCCS website by entering ‘building maps’ into the search bar, clicking the second link, clicking floor plans, clicking buildings and then finding the building you’re looking for and selecting the right floor.

     This offers you an aerial view of the floor plans in buildings and can give you an idea of where you’re supposed to go. You can also look for your classrooms before the semester begins by visiting the building and looking for the room numbers.

     It’s also important to remember that you can always ask an upperclassman or a faculty member for help.


How to manage your time

Staying organized is one of the best things you can do to help manage your time. Everybody has ways that they like to stay organized, so it’s important to find what works for you.

    You can try using sticky notes, making reminders on your phone or writing in a planner. To help manage your time, you can also prioritize your workload by due dates, what will take the longest or what you’re most interested in.

     It can also be useful to turn your phone on silent, turn do not disturb on or off when working on your homework to be less distracted.  


How to maintain a healthy lifestyle

The first year of college can be overwhelming for everyone between harder classes, a busier schedule and living away from home, so it is important to remember to take care of yourself.

   Luckily there are a few easy ways to do this: trying to get six to nine hours of sleep a night, drinking at least eight cups of water a day, having a glass of tea and watching what you’re eating.

     If you have a little bit of extra time some days, you can also take care of yourself by having a spa night, working out, hanging out with friends and spending time in nature.