It’s August again and that means the beginning of a new school year.
Whether this is your first semester as a college student or just one of many semesters at CU, the beginning of the year offers a unique opportunity for a fresh start: A new year resolution.
But instead of starting a diet, start off on the right foot.
Here are five things you should avoid this fall to get started on the right track.
1 Juggling a job
If working is an option, take a semester off. Don’t nail down a job before classes even get going.
Juggling a job, plus classes, homework and a social life can be tricky. So ease into the semester. Give yourself time to adjust to your schedule, start a homework routine and make a few new friends before spending all of your spare time at work.
By the spring you’ll know how much you can handle and how much you’re willing to sacrifice for some spare time.
2 Get involved, not obsessed
Beginning at orientation, CU students are bombarded with information about student groups, campus clubs and extracurriculars. Usually, this overwhelming experience leads to one of two things: you either join every organization on campus or you hide in your dorm all year avoiding the over enthusiastic student leaders.
Find a happy medium. Decide early on what types of issues are most important to you and get involved in a few groups that you can really sink your teeth into. Don’t overdo it, but find a few places where you can be more than one of 30,000.
3 Don’t be afraid
Predators can smell fear. Don’t go into class with your head down, holding all of the recommended books in one hand and covering your face with the other. Be confident.
It’s really not as scary as it seems and even seniors are entering new classes and searching for rooms they’ve never been to. You’re not alone so relax.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Everyone is dazed and confused. This is the earliest they’ve been out of bed since May so they likely won’t even remember if you do something stupid.
4 Make a million friends
On a campus as big as CU, there is never a short supply of friends. Get to know some people. You should probably make at least one acquaintance per class, in case you need a study buddy half way through the semester.
But don’t go crazy. You can’t be friends with all 30,000 students and you don’t want to anyway, it’s too exhausting.
Wait until you overhear someone talking about a band you like or a restaurant you want to try before becoming BFF. Also, it can get awkward if you’re sparking up random conversations with people around you. Do you really have that much to say? If you do, resist the urge. Info: colorado.edu/campusmap
5 Don’t force it
College is an individual experience from adjusting to living on your own, to making friends, to balancing schoolwork and activities. Everyone does it a little differently so find your comfort zone.
Don’t feel like you have to take 15 credits every semester because that’s the norm. It’s okay to drop a few credits if you find that you have a life-sucking class that semester.
And sure most students move off-campus after their freshman year. But you don’t have to. In fact, if you come back to the dorms you get the best room. And you’re right there, close to all of your classes, study spots and the Hill.
So when it comes to college, do it your way.