• College is about meeting people, but that doesn’t mean that they’re all going to be exactly like you. No matter if you come from a rural or urban area, be prepared to experience and embrace new ideas, new ways of thinking, of living. Also, you may not be accustomed to winter weather or to the climate on campus. A coat and boots are generally recommended from November to March.
Talk it through
• College is a period of intense change in life, especially your first semester. It’s fun and exciting, but it can also be scary and overwhelming. That’s to be expected, but don’t bottle it up, visit the counseling office in Butler for free and confidential counseling on anything you may be experiencing It’s important to remember that you’re not alone, and that there is a huge support system here at Hazleton, but you have to take the first step and tap into it. You’ll be so glad you did.
Be a hoarder
• Well, not really, they do expect your room to be clean and livable. It is a good idea to save your tests and grades as well as any handouts from class, both to be prepared and to prevent grade disputes. The professor keeps his or her records, of course, but so must you. You are in charge of your education, and keeping your ducks in a row is part of that.
Be the person with the plan
• Many freshman are apprehensive about time management, and rightly so. Mom and Dad aren’t here to direct you, and the freedom is exhilarating. But the anxiety of keeping track of all your assignments (many of which are long term and require planning to complete all the steps) can be fear inducing. The solution? A planner! Write down everything, due dates, exams, your grandmother’s birthday, national Pi Day, and the random Walmart run you’ve got planned tomorrow with the person across the hall. Keeping your mind uncluttered will help you to focus on your work and the fun stuff.
Professors are people
• Seriously. They’re here to help you. They actually want you to succeed in their classes, and they aren’t out to fail you or trip you up. Email them with questions or visit their office hours, that’s why they have them. It is important to remember, though, that you have to be the one initiating help. Also, they’ve been there and bought the T-shirt, so a little respect and honesty does as much good in a professorial relationship as it does in your social interactions.
Eat some food, get some rest, and get moving
• Red Bull may give you wings, but actual food will help you succeed. Plus, sharing a meal with someone is a great way to get to know them. A solid eight hours of sleep is also recommended. Having a workout buddy is also a great way to get to know other people.
Won’t you be my roommate?
• Living in a dorm can be scary. You’ve got more people in one hallway than in many small towns, in very close spaces. How can you possibly get along living in such a way? A good rule of thumb is to remember what you learned in Kindergarten. Use your indoor voice, take turns, mind your personal space, use kind words, and smile. Above all, be as considerate of other people as you would want them to be considerate of you.
• In high school, you probably had friends, and activities to keep you balanced. The same goes in college. To make friends, get involved in a club or organization. Anything you do will have a positive impact on you and the campus community, and it goes a long way in making you feel as though you are a part of the campus here.
The magic words
• Be nice to the secretaries and librarians and the custodial staff and the food workers. They can make a huge impact on your experiences here. They are the foundation of all that happens on campus. They have seen and heard it all and may be the person who can really help you out when no one else is around.
“Smart” students get help
• Even if you’re Genius McSmartyPants, college will be a challenge. It is not high school. While you might be accustomed to very little work for very high grades, college requires much more effort. Visit the tutoring center and get some free help. Your grades will thank you. And if you think you need any accommodations, don’t wait until the last second. The second you suspect accommodations might be needed, visit the disability services office. Remember, professors don’t GIVE grades, YOU earn them.
Use your brain
• If you’re here, it likely means you’re smart and you’re an adult, with adult choices and options. However, with freedom, comes responsibility. Always remember you are here for an education first and foremost. Follow the rules of common sense and be responsible for your own welfare. The reward therein will be a fun and slightly less complicated college experience.