By Rachel Millin
Adjusting to college life isn’t as hard as people say it is. My first semester at GPC wasn’t very difficult. The campus was easy to navigate, and I only had four teachers’ names to memorize for the semester. One class I took was GPCS (Georgia Perimeter College Seminar class), and I learned some valuable tips and tricks to manage my life as a new college student. Looking back on it, I wouldn’t dedicate a whole semester to learning tips and tricks for adjusting to college life, so to save future students the trouble I have created a simple “guidebook” for surviving the first few weeks of school and the rest of the semester.
Never leave the house “on time.” If it takes 20 minutes to get on campus don’t leave at 8:10 and assume that there won’t be any traffic or mishaps along the way. I assume that it’ll take me 20 minutes to get on campus, 10 minutes to find parking, and 5 more minutes to walk from my car to my class. I need a minimum of 35 minutes to get to class on time. If I arrive on campus earlier than planned or I find a decent parking spot in less than 10 minutes, then I’ll be in class earlier rather than later.
Create a “budget” for the semester. I work throughout the semester and I wouldn’t recommend it to any student, but college doesn’t cover other expenses like gas, food, or my monthly cellphone bill. To manage work and school I’ve figured out how much money I need to earn each month to cover my monthly bills/expenses. I know how much I need to work and I try to avoid overtime unless I need the extra hours or have some free time.
Take care of yourself. Eat healthy foods, get enough sleep, and try to avoid skipping meals. I’m notorious for skipping a meal or only getting 4 hours of sleep, and it kills me every time. I feel tired the next day, I’m hungry during my first class, and I can’t focus. When I eat and get enough sleep it’s easier for me to focus in my classes and continue throughout my day.
Keep a monthly or daily assignment planner. It’s easy for me to stay organized and remember all of my assignments when I have a planner. I’m able to see when projects and assignments are due for my classes and if I need to study for a test anytime soon. If I have any events or trips coming up I can let my teachers know ahead of time if I won’t be in class.
If you don’t have your book for class, don’t worry. Almost all GPC teachers know that half of their class won’t have the required book until after the first week of class. Pre-ordering books online is a little bit faster, but a lot of time goes into waiting in line to pick up or pay for your books. There isn’t an “easy” way to get your books, so I recommend a lot of patience, some music to listen to while you’re in line, and more patience.
The first few weeks of classes can be difficult, but with the proper preparation it won’t be as hard as it could be. Hopefully, with these guidelines new GPC students will have an easy time adjusting to the first few weeks of class and survive the rest of the semester.