Research shows that completion of the first year of college makes you much more likely to graduate college three years later. Here are some tips to starting strong:
- Go to college for a reason! College is expensive, so if you don’t have a clear end goal, there is no point in accumulating debt without a degree in sight. Talk to your high school counselor and make sure that college is the right decision for you.
- Take the time to register for classes that interest you and fulfill your requirements. When building your schedule, make sure that you choose an appropriate combination of classes that are challenging, but not impossible. For example, if you sign up for a hard calculus class, also sign up for a dance class to ease your way into college.
- Study hard the first semester. This semester will dictate your baseline GPA, and the better you do the first semester, the better you will do the rest of your time in college.
- Talk with professors and connect. Whether through office hours, or just a friendly email, these connections are crucial, and may lead to internships, research opportunities, and jobs. Just as importantly, professors may turn into lifelong mentors.
- Don’t go home too often. If you want to make strong friendships, it is important to be on campus over the weekends to cultivate those relationships. Going home only makes coming back to campus harder, but the longer you stay on campus before going home, the better you will adjust and the less homesick you will be.