Aug 14, 2014 11:35 AM EDT
College Tips for Freshman Moving Onto a Large Campus: 5 Easy Steps to Get Acclimated
Transitioning to college is a tall order as it is, but moving onto an especially large campus can exacerbate those overwhelming feelings even more.
Fortunately, many have gone before and found ways to make the best of it. After all college is excited in many ways, as it is one of the most academically and socially significant parts of life.
For example, the University of Central Florida has a student body of more than 50,000, though students are not all from one community, let alone one single state.
"Coming to an institution like the size of UCF can be very intimidating to anyone," Belinda Boston, the school's assistant vice president of student development and enrollment services, told U.S. News and World Report. "College is the great leveling field. Everyone is starting over so it's an opportunity for a new beginning."
Here are five easy steps for championing nerves and the daunting prospect of moving onto a large college campus to live on your own.
1. Don't change your personality at all
As Boston said, college is a fresh start. Chances are, you won't known anyone and no one will know you, so it's important that everyone you meet is meeting the real you. Colleges have extracurricular groups for just about every hobby and interest, especially at large schools.
If they don't have what you're looking for, start a group because others are likely to share your interest.
2. Leave your dorm room
Probably the most productive way to do this (other than going to class), is to join a group or for a campus job. USA Today has a list of "five great on-campus jobs." The list includes resident assistant, tutor and others, but they all serve different purposes and are all bound to get you acquainted with your school.
Plus, you know, extra cash or a way to start paying off those loans before you graduate.
3. Take advantage of alone time
Susan Cain, the author of "Quiet," told U.S. News it is important for college students to spend time alone from time to time. One of the main advantages is self-discovery, which of course ties in to the first tip.
"Once you honor what you need, you'll find those quiet, restorative niches," Cain said.
4. Make connections
Whether you're working in the department of your major, in an internship or just sitting in class, you will be surrounded by people who could one day be valuable contacts. Your professors and administrators have been in your position before you and will be able to pick their brains and maybe even ask them for introductions with their professional connections.
5. Don't be afraid to ask for help
Primarily, your those professors and administrators are there to help however they can. Go to their office hours, raise your hand in class, but never be afraid to ask for clarification because you never want to be blindsided by an exam or a paper, never.
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