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Freshers’ survival guide

education Updated: Aug 10, 2011 10:17 IST
Jenna Johnson

Plan schedules carefully
Make sure you plan your time table carefully. Do not try to ‘avoid’ lectures, no matter what your friends might say. ‘Bunking’ might be in style but it’s a lot cooler to attend class and take notes and leave enough time in your schedule to revise the lessons once a day to avoid pressure when the semesters end.

Call home
Your parents might worry if you live in a hostel and they don’t hear from you on a regular basis. So, before you leave, define your “regular basis.” For some students, that means calling home daily. Others might keep in touch via text message alone. A regular chat can ease parental concerns.

Follow the rules
Most hostels/paying guest accommodation owners have rules regarding bedtimes, when the room should be quiet for studying, guests, and food-sharing. Be upfront about your expectations from the beginning.

Study hard
Once you fall behind in your classes, it becomes difficult to catch up. Unlike in high school, many professors don’t collect homework or ask if you did the readings. Make an effort to ask questions during class and visit your professors’ office hours for extra help.

Come up with a routine
When are you going to wake up and go to bed? At what time will you need to leave your hostel room to get to class on time? When are you going to study? Hang out with friends? Write everything down in an old-school planner or programme it into the calendar on your phone. It’s good to realise early on just how much free time you have.

Get involved
The best way to find your niche on campus is to get involved with clubs, service work, extracurricular activities or sports. And don’t just hang out with people from your class or hostel.

Get responsible
Your parents will always be there for you... but take full responsibility for nearly everything else. Do your own laundry, make your own appointments, solve your own problems, and manage your finances.

Be safe
Walk in groups. Lock your door. Don’t accept food and drinks from strangers. Pay attention to your surroundings. Programme emergency numbers into your cellphone. You are too young to legally drink, so it’s best not to.

Ask for help if you need it
If you are feeling down, visit a counsellor. If you are struggling in a class, ask for a tutor or visit your professor during office hours. If you get sick, visit the health centre. If you have a problem with alcohol etc, sign up for a support group. If you have roommate problems, talk to your hostel warden. If you miss home, call a parent or close friend.

Courtesy: Washington Post