I go to school at The University of Alabama, and I’ve learned a few things in my three semesters as a student here. These tips that I am about to share with you are things that I wish I had been told when I started out at UA.
First, join a club, Greek organization, etc. This is one of the easiest things you can do in your first few weeks on campus, and I can guarantee that your school probably has dozens of different organizations of one kind or another that are open for you to join. For me, I tried talking to multiple different organizations before I found one that worked with my schedule and that I really enjoyed. Joining a club or organization gives you a community of like-minded individuals to surround yourself with who will help you grow as a person. For me, this came in the form of rushing a business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi, and it was a fantastic decision for me. I found a group of people to look up to and who have helped me grow as a person in ways I couldn’t have previously imagined.
Second, let’s talk about buying books. There are other options for finding your books for classes than just the campus bookstore. More often than not, there are students trying to sell their old books for courses they’ve already taken. If you must buy your book(s) at the campus bookstore, however, try to see if you can get a used copy. Who knows, the previous owner may have annotated something helpful in the margins.
Next, your syllabi. Many, if not all, of your classes will likely have a GroupMe to ask questions if you are stuck on the homework or to get caught up on anything you may have missed in class. Now, many of you may be asking, “why did you start out this section about the syllabus for each class with a tangent about GroupMe?” Well, my personal pet peeve, along with many of my friends’, is when people ask the same five questions over and over again about things such as the test date, how to access the homework, etc. which can all likely be answered by reading the syllabus. So, in short, read the syllabus and check it any time you have a question about something where the answer is readily available before you ask your fellow classmates. This will help avoid repetition and irritating your classmates.
Furthermore, find something you can do outside of classes that will make you happy. For me, that would be going to the gym and lifting weights. For you, that could be something like writing in a journal, painting, running, etc. Finding something like this will help alleviate burn out and improve your mental health.
In addition to finding a hobby, I brought up a great point: mental health. Most campuses have some set of resources related to mental health and well-being. Make use of these resources because usually they aren’t very expensive and they are worth every penny you may have to spend. Personally, I started using these resources during my first semester and they made a world of difference.
I hope these tips prove to be as helpful for you as they were for me. Good luck in school, and Roll Tide.
University of Alabama