How To Manage Your First Month of College

Congratulations! You’re all moved in and classes are about to start, but…now what?

Now that you’ve settled in a little bit and you’re officially on your own, it’s time for your college experience to officially begin! There’s definitely going to be an adjustment period of getting used to everything, but the first month college is crucial. Succeed in getting month one under your belt and you’ll be much more prepared for the rest of your college career.

Don’t. Slack. Off.

I know every single person who’s given you college advice has told you to stay on top of your schoolwork, but there’s a reason everyone has told you that—it’s good advice. When you’re on your own (especially for the first time), it’s really easy to embrace no one constantly monitoring you and telling you what to do. And while you should definitely enjoy this newfound freedom, don’t overindulge. You are at school, after all so be sure to remember the school aspect of it. That means going to class (at least for awhile, anyway) and doing your homework!

Get plenty of sleep.

It’s really, really, really easy to stay up way too late during college. You’re surrounded by your peers and there’s usually always something going on. It’s even worse if you know you don’t have any morning classes the following day. College messing up your sleep schedule is no joke, so make a genuine effort to go to sleep at a semi-reasonable time (this is college, after all) and get seven hours of sleep every night. Plus, the less sleep you get, the worse your immune system functions. In the era of going to college during COVID, staying healthy is even more important than ever. Don’t start a bad habit that will be nearly impossible to break after a month or two.

Enjoy as much as you can (without overdoing it).

Yes, you’re going to college to learn and further your academic career by getting a degree and blah, blah, blah—but you’re also here to have fun. (We didn’t forget that, obviously.) Your first month of freshman year is going to be a whirlwind of social activities designed to get you to meet people and really enjoy college life to the fullest. Whether it’s football games or rush week or mixers, give yourself time to relax and experience what your college has to offer. Give yourself a break now and then to cut loose—just be sure not to overdo it!

College can be a tricky tightrope to walk. Tricky, but not impossible. It’ll take you a bit to find out what works for you (and what doesn’t). Once you find that perfect balance, it’ll be smooth sailing for the rest of your freshman year.

Need more guidance on starting college? We’ve got the ultimate guide on everything from how to decorate your dorm to navigating rush week.