Tips to Navigate Campus as a First Time Freshman

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  • College life is nothing like high school. When you enroll in a college or university, it is your choice to go to class, and you are paying for every credit you earn, which can help motivate you to get out of bed and avoid an absence that could cost you a grade.

    While many enjoy their independence as an adult post-secondary student, there is no avoiding the fact that navigating through campus for the first week or two can be intimidating, even if you live in the dorms.

    Here are some valuable tips for first-time freshmen to find their classes and all of the offices they may need to visit throughout the semester.

    Take the Tour Offered By Your Peers

    You might wonder if yet another campus tour or orientation is necessary. And even if you are a quick learner, you might find yourself trying to maneuver through all the buildings just to find your math class. Multiple types of orientations and tours are offered to prospective students and new students. Most are guided by fellow students, so they can direct you where to go from the perspective of a student who has been intimidated by the same large campus once upon a time.

    If you take the tour before you even have your schedule, you will be much more at ease. Don’t pass up other opportunities from fellow upperclassmen who can show you the best places to nap, find a snack, or study.

    You should also attend those first of the year orientations and talks on campus safety. Often you can get a lot of good information here about places college student can go to eat, get discounts, and find transportation and entertainment. You can also learn the campus policies on alcohol and parties. A Keyser Defense law firm notes it is illegal to drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol in most states. Be sure you know where you can call a taxi, arrange a designated driver, and stay safe while enjoying college life.

    Get to Know Your Academic Advisers and College Counselors

    You and your academic adviser will become very close over the course of your college career. The first year, your adviser will help you select general education courses so you can get acquainted with college life. In the second year, they may work with you to select a major and the appropriate courses. If you have conflicts with classes or schedules, your adviser will be there to help and review your progress. Getting to know your adviser early on is crucial. An adviser will be able to help you schedule everything, so you have the best chance of earning your degree on time.

    Review Your Schedule and Visit Your Professors

    You can’t make it through college without getting to know your professors. If you are intimidated to speak in front of a large class, consider stopping by the classroom before the semester starts to meet with your professors one on one, and to see where your class is located. You can go during office hours and introduce yourself so you know what to expect before you even get the syllabus. 

    By touring the campus, finding out where your classes are, and meeting with your adviser, you can get past your nerves when school starts. Be sure you plan where you will study and where you will spend time between classes. Having all of these mapped out leaves more time to focus on studies and not logistics.

    Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan

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