The first week of classes is often a frenzy for students new and returning. For students new to campus, these next couple of weeks can be especially stressful, as learning a new campus and figuring out how to tackle college classes takes time. While getting back into the swing of things is never easy, there are some “hacks” that can help you get your semester off to a better start.

1.Make use of all resources available to you. In your student fees, you pay for many things like the RAC and Health Services, so take advantage of what the university offers. The Counseling Center is a great resource and offers many classes and seminars about managing school stress and anxiety.

2.Get comfortable asking questions. Learning everything about the campus is tricky and a lot of times you may need to reach out to figure out where you need to go or how to do something. If you have questions or need directions, the Russell Union and University Store are great places to get answers.

3.Visit all the groups tabling around campus during the first few weeks. This is a great opportunity to meet new people and learn about cool things going on around the university. Also pay attention to MyInvolvement emails and the GS events page for opportunities around the university and in the community.

Photo Taken by Savannah Johnson

4.Buy a planner. Even if you have never used a planner in your life, it is crucial to your success to have all due dates written down in one concise place. If you hate having to carry around a physical agenda, download Google Calendar and sync it to your myGeorgiaSouthern account for easy access to your schedule.

5.Refer back to your syllabus for any questions you have about course policies. Most of the time a syllabus will have all information about make-up tests, due dates, possible extra credit and more. 

6.If you are a commuter or just a student with a car, make sure to pay attention to posted signs about when and where you must have a permit to park. Parking regulations are always enforced.

7.Be familiar with the bus routes even if you think you won’t need them. It may start raining or you may be really tired and decide to take one of the on campus buses. The bus route can be followed by downloading the Passio GO! App. Also, when taking the bus, make sure to use proper bus etiquette. Only use one seat and keep any phone conversations or music at a reasonable volume.

8.Don’t be afraid to get creative with your meals. For example, if you go to the wrap station, you can get what you want from there and ask them not to wrap it up. Then, you can go to another station, get chicken or any other add-on and wrap it all yourself.

Photo taken by Savannah Johnson

9.While it is fun to have all kinds of options when you dine, incorporate at least one fruit or vegetable side into your meal. A lot of times we don’t realize how much our eating habits affect how we feel.

10.Don’t be afraid to do things alone. While it is fun to spend time with your friends, college is the time to get comfortable spending time by yourself. Take yourself out to dinner or see a movie and use that time to relax. It is tempting to spend time with friends when you should be studying to sleeping, but remember to take care of yourself first.

Whether you’re a new or returning college student, the first few weeks can be stressful. Use these tips to help you start your semester off right. And remember, it’s normal to feel like you don’t know exactly what you’re doing. College is a learning process for everyone from freshmen to seniors. Slow down, breathe and enjoy this crazy ride. 

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