Campus - Photo by Brionna Scebbi

Going into college can feel intimidating: you’re living in a new place away from home, making new friends, taking challenging classes, having more freedom and responsibility.

Coupling all of that with a global pandemic, being a freshman and going to college for the first time can feel all the more stressful. But don’t worry, here’s a list of tips that can help you get through both the stress of new college life and the stress of the pandemic.

Keep in touch with your professors

Keeping in touch with your professors is important, COVID-19 or not. Emailing professors and talking to them after class and during office hours increases your chances of improving. You can ask questions about assignments, the material or touch base on anything you missed.

Email any questions you might have to clear up confusion or if you need any other kind of extra help. You may not have the opportunity to ask these questions in class, so make sure you’re doing it on your own time, via email or office hours. 

Keeping in touch with your professor is a good idea, but with online classes, it's a necessity. In an online class, emailing your professor is one of the few ways to communicate with them. 

Get out of your comfort zone

College is one of the best times to find yourself and things that you didn’t realize you liked. College brings so many different opportunities to try new things, and it’s up to you to take those opportunities. You can do this by joining clubs, going to events on campus or introducing yourself to new people. There’s many ways to step out of your comfort zone at college, you just have to try. 

Don’t be afraid to talk to people

Going along with the third piece of advice, don’t be afraid to talk to people. When you first get to college, you might be afraid of not making friends, which is a common fear for freshmen. But this is what you have to remember: Everyone is scared. Everyone worries that nobody is going to like them and they’re not going to make friends. 

So I can assure you, the odds that someone isn’t going to jump at the opportunity to talk to you or hang out with you are very slim. Everyone wants friends, so remember that everyone is in the same position as you and that you just have to be yourself. 

Create a workspace that isn’t in your bed

Creating a workspace that isn’t your bed is more important now than ever. With classes being fully online or remote, you need to separate your academic life from your home life. For some, this could mean only working at your desk, and making sure your bed is just for sleeping. For others, they may need an even bigger separation between work and home, which may mean going to the library or the union to study. Either way, you have to create a separate workspace for yourself in order to be productive. 

Learn how to manage your time

An important skill you need to learn in college is to manage your time. In college, you have so much going on and so much work to do: class, homework, studying and having a social life. And you can do all of that if you learn how to manage your time. 

For example, it’s unrealistic to think that you can start and finish a paper the night before, clean your room and hang out with your friends all in one night. Instead, you could start your paper earlier and work on it bit by bit. Then, once your paper is finished, you will have more free time on your schedule. Implementing good time management skills into your life will make your college experience 10 times better. 

Turn off distractions

Whether it’s in class or studying, turn off all distractions.That means putting your phone on silent, or in another room if it’s too tempting. Having distractions are detrimental to your education. If you just turn off your phone, TV or laptop, you will save yourself time in the long run, as well as learning in class. This is even more important now that many classes are online. 

Know it’s okay to be nervous

And lastly, college is a new experience, so it’s okay to be a little nervous going into it. Everyone is just as nervous as you, so you’re not alone. All you have to do is be yourself and do your best. As long as you do those things, — and follow these tips — you will be just fine. 

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