Starting college is a challenging transition; a new environment, new people, new classes. Even starting at home with remote learning, it can be very daunting. Here are some tips to making sure you thrive during your first year at PUC!
Take Classes That Interest You
You’ve most likely already registered for your first quarter so don’t worry about that, but it’s never too soon to start planning ahead. The great thing about PUC is it’s a liberal arts college. That means along with your required courses for your chosen degree, you’ll be taking general education classes AND electives. This gives you a great opportunity to receive a very well rounded education and to take some really fun classes. Take the time to look for classes that interest you. Even if those classes don’t fulfill a requirement for your major, you can find some that fulfill GE and elective credits.
Go To Class
You think this would be obvious, but some students just need a reminder. Sleeping in and skipping class may be tempting at times, but fight the temptation. Going to class and taking notes will help you understand and keep up with the material. You and your family are also paying for you to take these classes, so don’t waste your time and money.
Meet Your Professors
It’s good to know your professors. Introduce yourself and take advantage of their office hours if you need help on an assignment, have questions, or just want to send an email to say hello. Not only will this benefit you from a learning aspect, but it will also benefit you in the long run. Building relationships with your professors can open a lot of networking doors.
Know Your Academic Advisor
Just like your professors, your academic advisor wants you to succeed. Get to know your adviser because they will help you with anything you need. From registering for classes, deciding on majors and minors, and giving you career advice, your adviser will be there for you.
Staying organized in college is a must. Buy a planner, use an app, or get a calendar to stay on top of test dates, due dates, and meetings you might have during the school year.
Find Your Study Spot
Your study environment plays a big role in the quality of your studying. Find a study spot that works for you and will help you stay motivated. While at home, try to avoid your bed or places you like to hang out and relax in. Once you’re on campus, try the library, a lounge, or the campus center to see which place works best for you to stay focused. Even your room could be your ideal study spot without being distracted. PUC has a lot of great study spots!
Get Involved & Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone
PUC offers many programs from student organizations, clubs, and various intramurals throughout the year. There are also on-campus job opportunities with flexible hours. Getting involved in school will help you learn new skills, meet new people, and have you feel more connected to your school. Consider joining a school club, intramural team, or getting a job on campus. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and get involved!
Take Advantage of Free Stuff
There are many opportunities at PUC where students can receive free things, and we all love free things! From school events, like sports games, guest speakers, and food trucks to receiving scholarships throughout the year. You can even receive discounted items from stores using your college ID. Take advantage!
Explore The Area
Eventually, we’re all going to be able to be together on campus. College is a great opportunity to get to know a place you’ve never lived in before. Even if you’re familiar with your chosen college, there is always something new to explore. Reward yourself from all the hard work you do during this week by discovering new places and things. College is stressful, so don’t forget to give yourself a break and have fun. The Napa Valley is known for great food, try a new place each quarter.
Seek A Balance
College is filled with so many things from classes to social life. Know how much you can handle and don’t overwhelm yourself. Find that balance between productivity and downtime to help you stay focused and relax throughout the school year.
Give A Warm Welcome To Your Roommate
Get to know your roommate! If you don’t know them already, take the time to learn about each other. Not only will you be living with them for the next nine months, but they can become an important confidant, so find some common interests!
You may feel you always have to be productive, but remind yourself to take a breather. It is important to stay focused in school, but it is also vital for your health to make time for yourself. It’s okay to watch a show or hang out with friends from time to time. Make sure you allow yourself to relax from working hard. You deserve it!
Get Enough Sleep
All-nighters are no fun, so try and avoid them, (this means planning ahead). Getting enough hours of sleep throughout the night will help you in a big way. You’ll be well-rested, think more clearly, and be able to function throughout the day.
Even though your first year of college can often be challenging, it’s also supposed to be fun! Don’t stress, remember you are not alone. There are tons of others feeling the same way. Utilize your network of new friends and professors and don’t forget to learn and have fun. You will thrive and survive your freshman year!
Note: Be sure you carefully read your communications from Student Life and regularly check the Fall Campus Plan webpage to stay up-to-date with the COVID-19 safety precautions PUC will be enforcing.