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Here we go again, the most dreaded but also exciting time of the year for students. Summer break is over and it’s time to accustom yourself to the college lifestyle, which is a lot easier said than done. With every new school year comes something unexpected; whatever got you through last year might not work this time around. Whether you’re a nervous freshman or recovering from a tough year, everyone could use a little help on what to do and what not to do this school year. 


Get involved and stick with it. This doesn’t mean paying a club fee, then going to the first general meeting and never being seen again. You should be genuinely interested in committing time and effort towards whatever you join; things are always more fun when you care about what you do. There are various ways to be involved on campus, for example, identity-based student programs or taking cooking classes at the Student Recreation Center. Whatever you have your heart set on, just make sure to stick with it. Consistency is key, and getting involved on campus can help you make long-lasting friends with people of similar interests and gives you a way to enjoy your time outside of school. 

Make sure you’re on track. Invest in an agenda or a journal; trust me, you’ll need it to track your progress in your classes. I recommend sitting down on Sunday night and writing out your assignments and upcoming events for the week. This way, even if you don’t remember exactly what day or time something is due, you’re still aware that something is coming up. Plus, an agenda or journal is easily portable, so you can check it no matter where you are. Near the end of the quarter, it’s also important to make sure you’re on track toward graduating. You can do this by going onto your student portal and checking your degree audit before choosing classes to make sure you’re picking the right ones. If you need more help, your academic counselors are accessible through email, appointment and walk-in hours. 


Overthink it. If you worry about every little thing, you’re going to continuously psych yourself out and miss out on some great experiences. Join a sport you’ve never done before or say hi to the person sitting next to you in class. It’s important to do things that you may be scared of because you never know what good can come out of it. It’s better to say that you tried it and didn’t like it instead of not trying it at all. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, just remember that the people around you are as anxious but eager to make connections as you are. You’re not the only one who feels unsure, so be bold and take the first step towards something new. 

Overdo it. This applies to every aspect of college life. If your eyes are feeling droopy after a long study session, take a nap. If the world is spinning out of control, put that drink down. You need to make sure that you have a good balance between work and play. If you obsess over school and plan out every single step you need to take toward graduating, you may miss out on making memorable experiences and friends. But on the flip side, if you have too much on your plate outside of school, then it could negatively affect your academics. Be honest with yourself about what you can and cannot handle. Other people understand that you can’t juggle everything. There’s nothing wrong with admitting that you have limits and it’s better to know earlier instead of after you burn out.