This article was originally written for FirstGenerationStudent.com, now a part of ImFirst.org.
The fall semester is here and new students are coming to campus, all blurry-eyed and bushy-tailed for their first semester of college. What an exciting time in one’s life! As a freshman, there are no pretenses. No judgments. You have nothing to go on but your own experiences from here on out. College is what you make it, and you can choose your own path. But, make sure you find the path that is the right fit for you.
With that being said, here is a simple list of five things you should always have on hand during your first few weeks at school:
1. Map of Campus
Use your campus map as a tool to find the best routes to class, important offices and the best places to grab a quick bite before class. Do this and, before you know it, you will be the one giving directions to lost students!
A planner is the best tool for staying organized with all your classes, activities and important appointments. It’s a great way to see your schedule for the weeks or months ahead!
3. Schedule of Campus Involvement/Activities
During the first few weeks of each semester, there are tons of welcome back activities for students on campus. These activities are designed to help you get to know your institution, become involved with clubs and organizations and meet new people. So, by all means, take advantage of these student-funded activities!
4. Cell Phone
Cell phones come in handy for staying in touch with friends and family back home, scheduling appointments and setting your alarm to make sure you get to class on time. Plus, you can listen to your music to motivate you as you walk to class–just remember to put it on silent when you get there!
5. Student ID
Your student ID will give you access to various campus events, your meal plan and, often, discounts to your favorite shops and restaurants around town. It is your ticket to cool things to do on campus and off. So, be sure to smile pretty for the camera because you will be flashing that ID left and right!
Not so complicated, right? With these five simple tools, you’ll start your first semester right.