How to Survive the First Weeks of College: A Freshman’s Guide


In some ways, going to college is like going on an adventure. You leave a comfortable and familiar life behind to take on challenges that will define your future. Understandably, this can be both exciting and nerve-racking at the same time. Before heading out, discover how to survive the first weeks of college with this quick guide.

  • Familiarize yourself with the campus – Upon arriving, make it a point to walk around the campus and find out where everything is. What you learn here will be useful throughout your entire stay.
  • Meet new people. – While you’re out exploring, be friendly and meet new people. Find a group that shares your interests. Make acquaintances with people who could help you down the line.
  • Make yourself at home. – To lessen the stress of being away from home, decorate your dorm the way you see fit. This makes it easier to settle in your new place and make it more comfortable.
  • Go to class. – While professors don’t usually check attendance, it’s still in your best interest not to skip one. Missing a lecture could mean missing a part of the final exam. What’s more is that the first week is usually when the syllabus is handed out.
  • Purchase a meal plan. – How to survive the first weeks of college when it comes to food? Dorm rooms won’t have a full kitchen and buying food on your own can be expensive. Buying a meal plan is a more viable alternative.
  • Buy used textbooks. – Don’t go buying textbooks before class starts. You’ll only likely use it a few times so it’s a waste to buy them new. Buy used books instead to save money or better yet, find someone you can borrow it from.
  • Know your limits. – College is all about new experiences and that’s not limited to academics. Attend parties by all means but for your own good, know your limits and don’t go overboard.

Knowing how to survive the first weeks of college is a good way to start this chapter of your life. Follow through with a strong start but don’t rush through college.

Gretchen Hofmann, PhD, is a professor in the Biology department at University of California Santa Barbara, and a part-time writer at – service that provides get affordable papers for college and university students. She is the author of “Transcriptomic responses to ocean acidification in larval sea urchins from a naturally low pH environment. Molec. Ecology (in revision)”.
Visit her pages: Wikipedia, UCSB, Website