College Survival Tips for the First Month of College

August 20, 2019 Martha Lueck

You might need some college survival tips when you go away to college for the first time, it can be overwhelming. You might not know many people going to your school, and you won’t know what to expect from classes. Some people drop out of college due to anxiety. Luckily, there are many ways to get through anxiety and excel during the first month of school. Read this article to learn more.

College Survival Tips for Before School Starts

Seek Support from Family and Friends

A few weeks before I started college, my friends and family could sense my anxiety about the new school year. Luckily, some of my friends went to the same school one year before me. So I knew that I could talk to them. They answered questions about what to expect. They also gave me tips on how to balance academics and a social life.

A few days before school started, I had a panic attack and told my mom that I would be wasting her money on school if I fail. She assured me that no matter what happens, it would not be a waste of money. She knew that I had the work ethic and discipline necessary to succeed.

The support from my friends and family gave me the courage that I needed to walk onto campus. That was ultimately what I needed to start a new chapter of my life. If you have not started school yet, getting support from loved ones can help a great deal.

Talk to a Therapist

One thing I wish someone had told me before starting school was to talk to a therapist. If you already see a therapist and school has not started yet, try to make an appointment as soon as possible. If you cannot make an appointment or you do not have a therapist, that is okay. You can text the Crisis Textline or call the Crisis Hotline. There are also many helpful online support groups and apps that you can use at your convenience.

Prepare for Classes

A week before I started college, I constantly worried that my classes would be too hard. To get rid of some anxiety, I bought some of my books ahead of time and read the syllabi that were posted online. Reading the material helped me feel prepared for the first day of school.

While preparing for classes can be helpful, over-preparing can trigger more anxiety. So it is very important to schedule a fun or relaxing activity before school starts.

College Survival Tips for After School Starts

Get to Know Your Roommate

If you have a roommate, getting to know him or her can help you navigate the dynamics of dorm life. Sure, there is a chance that you and your roommate will not get along. But there is just as much a chance that you and your roommate will become close friends.

Most dorms have a Resident Assistant (RA) on each floor. An RA is responsible for monitoring students’ behavior in the dorms. So if you have an issue with your roommate, your RA can help you resolve it.

Take Advantage of Activities in the Dorm

During the first few weeks of school, the RAs on my floor held game nights. Anyone on the floor was welcome to join, but it was not mandatory. Having the freedom to choose whether to meet new people made me feel comfortable and more social. The game nights were fun and relaxed. I made some good friends through those events.

Remember That Grades Are Important, But They Are Not Everything

You are spending a lot of money and time on your education. So of course, grades are important. At the same time, college allows you to find out who you are and what you enjoy outside of academics. So it is really important to enjoy the social experience. This does not mean that you have to go to parties and get drunk. It means that you can try new things (that are healthy) and form lasting friendships.

Reach Out When You Need Help

You might find that you need academic and/or emotional support. Do not be ashamed to seek help. Keep in touch with loved ones from back home. If your campus has counseling services, find out about therapy. You might get free counseling for being a student. For academic assistance, take advantage of professors’ office hours. If you feel uncomfortable meeting one-on-one, send a professor an email. If you show that you care about your grades, your professors will most likely be happy to help you succeed in the class.

If you have any college survival tips for how to get through the first month of college, please share in the comments. Best of luck to everyone starting college this year.

APA Reference
Lueck, M. (2019, August 20). College Survival Tips for the First Month of College, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 19 from

Author: Martha Lueck

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