Transitioning from high school to college can be a scary time in someone’s life – leaving home for the first time and being thrown into a new environment where you maybe don’t know anyone. It’s understandable why someone might be nervous – but we have your back! Adjusting to your new life can be hard; trying to maintain studying, friends, and social life and your mental health can seem like an impossible task. With some intentionality and purposeful navigation, you’ll be acclimated and enjoying your new chapter in no time. Check out our tips and advice below for adjusting to college life and navigating UIUC.
One of the easiest ways to familiarize yourself with campus is by attending a campus tour. As a freshman, you may have gotten one of these during orientation, but if you’re having difficulty finding your way around, going back to basics can be a helpful resource to avoid getting lost. They do these tours for a reason – to ensure everyone can find their way around!
Another great way to navigate campus and see landmarks and buildings quickly on the UIUC campus is to utilize the bus service, also known as the Illini Union Transit or IUT. These buses cover various routes on and around campus and can get you anywhere important near Urbana/Champagne. You can quickly learn the school’s layout, and using the buses can save you time and energy on such a big campus.
If you’re new on campus and don’t know where to start meeting people, the best solution is to join campus organizations. At UIUC, there are many organizations to join, truly something for everyone. Joining clubs and groups is an amazing way to meet new people who share similar interests to you and gives you things to do on campus that will help you get the lay of the land and make friends while doing it.
Similarly, forming study groups within your classes is a great way to meet people you will see a few days a week. All students new to college are looking for friends and people to lean on; forming a study group can help you study and create bonds within your classes or your major. Some of these people you’ll be spending the next four years with!
It can be easy to forget about all your healthy habits when you get to college, as you’re in a new environment with new foods, a new schedule, and a new bed. But prioritizing sleeping and healthy eating can save you from some of the stress of college life. Make sure, even with all the studying, that you’re getting 7-8 hours of sleep every night so your body can keep up with your new schedule. And when it comes to the dining halls and eating healthy – just do your best! What’s healthy for one person might not be healthy for the next, and with the options UIUC provides, there is certain cuisine for every diet. UIUC also provides state-of-the-art gyms and workout classes that you can sign up for at no extra charge. Once you graduate, you will realize how big of a perk this is and how nice it is to have the option to exercise without paying a gym or class fee. Take advantage of the perks your college gives you, and get your tuition worth!
Studying in high school vs studying in college are two different ball games, and the methods may take you longer to learn while you’re adjusting to college life. One of the easiest ways to get distracted during your first year of school is to skip class. You’re no longer a child, and no one is holding you accountable on the daily for attending every class, like in high school. It’s easy to assume missing one class won’t hurt – but one class becomes two, and two becomes more! Make sure you make it out to every class; this will allow you to stay on a schedule, plan your weeks and make friends along the way.
Another way to maintain good study habits is by actively taking notes and reviewing lectures regularly. Active note-taking is still lost among the young generations, but get your computer out and write down what your professor says – we promise it will be worth it. Grab your class study group and help each other further learn and understand the material. Your grades will thank you!
Once you’re acclimated to your new environment, it will feel as if you have always belonged there – learning new things, meeting new people, making new friends, and becoming an adult. UIUC provides students with many resources and events to help them grow and prepare for their next step in life. Don’t forget to enjoy your time at college; it goes by too fast!
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