Beginning your first year of college is filled with an abundant number of changes and emotions! It may feel like you are walking into the unknown. Here are a few things that might help you prepare for your first year.

1) Register for Classes as Soon as You Can

Don’t wait until the last minute when it comes to registering for classes each semester. If you wait, you may end up in a class you don’t enjoy for the next four months. Focus on being proactive when registering for classes.

2) Organization is Everything

Come up with your own system that can help you maintain some structure throughout each semester. For example, maybe invest in color coded folders and highlighters for important test dates and large assignments. Not only is it important to organize your schoolwork but organization within your dorm room is crucial too! Living in a clean and organized space will take some stress off of your plate.

3) Procrastination Will Be Your Biggest Enemy

Waiting to do your studying and schoolwork will add nothing but stress.  Not only will getting your work done in a timely manner help you succeed, it will also decrease your stress levels and allow you to enjoy your new friends and dorm life.

4) Have A Routine for Everything

Having routines is something us humans thrive off of! A routine to follow for your morning/night schedule, your classes, exercise and chores will assist you with staying on track. PS: write down what you have to get done and cross it off when finished!

5) Your Syllabus is Your Best Friend

In every class each professor will give you a syllabus with important due dates. Everything that you see there you can write in your planner or in a safe place.

6) It’s OK to Not Know What You Want

Going into college, you may have an idea on what major you’d like to study. Or, you may have no idea, which is also ok. You might also decide to change your major. All of this is ok! You will find something you enjoy, even if it takes some exploration.

7) Develop a Relationship with Your Professors

Your professors are an asset to you. Ask questions and schedule meetings to discuss the lessons and the curriculum you’ve been taught. Go visit them during their office hours.  This shows that you care about your grades and success in their class.

8) Know Everything Available to You

Find out what programs your college/university has to offer such as counseling and tutoring. Your college wants you to succeed and they have so many programs along the way to help.

9) Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

You are not expected to know it all. College is all about learning new things and if we don’t ask we may never know. Ask your professors and your peers questions, they are there to help. It could even help to form a study group. Remember…there is no such thing as a stupid question!

10) Make Time to Make a Phone Call

Going away to college is not only a big step for you but it also is for your family and friends from home. Social and familial support can decrease sadness and stress. When you can, make time to call and give updates.

11) Give Yourself a Break

College can be a large adjustment from high school. Make sure you give yourself breaks from studying and homework to eat or chat with friends. This is also a great way to provide your own self-care.

12) Plan Ahead of Time

Your schedule may consist of back-to-back classes which, can make it difficult to take a break (tip #11). The night before a big day make sure you have snacks, a drink, and a meal to take with you.

13) Consider an Early Internship

Participating in an internship will not only build your resume but it will show you a glimpse of what it will be like to work in that field. This experience can help you make decisions for what’s next.

14) Rent Versus Buying Textbooks

Textbooks can be expensive. Read over your syllabus and listen to your professor. They may provide you with advice on renting versus buying textbooks. When it comes to books in your major, they may be helpful to buy and keep for the future.

15) Put Yourself Out There

Get out, join clubs, meet people, make friends and make memories!

You are going to do great! Remember these 15 tips when you are feeling overwhelmed or making a decision. If you are experiencing any stress when it comes to starting or being at college, please call our intake line and we can assist you with this major life transition.





Elyce Jackson

Kendra Carbone, MSW, LSW, CCTP

Tinton Falls Office / Telehealth

Treats Ages: 7 and up.
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