Advice for your first week at college

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With the start of another year just around the corner we thought we'd give you freshmen out there some simple tips that will help you settle in a little quicker to college life.

To a lot of freshmen starting college can be a frightening experience, you're moving away from home, away from your friends and family and are about to be surrounded by thousands of foreign looking faces.  As well as that you've got to get acquainted with a new campus, begin your classes and make a lot of first impressions.  There is no doubt that everyones first week at college can be a shock to the system and a stressful one!

Here are a list of 8 useful tips that will make the transition up to college a little easier:

1. Put your happy face on and make a good first impression :)

In the first week of college a lot of students may be a little nervous about your new surroundings but it's important to make a good first impression to both your coach, your team and your neighbours around your dorm.  Go introduce yourself to everyone and be friendly, leave your dorm room open when you're there so people can just pop in and say hello.

2. Open up a bank account

For all you international students this is a must as soon as you arrive. I'm sure the Coach will help you with this but in case they don't, ask them for advice on which bank to choose (no fees) and go open up an account.  You don't want to wait until you've spent all the money you brought over to do this step!

3. Find the cheapest grocery store

Some of you will get a meal card to spend at the food courts on campus, which you need to make sure you're sensible with (don't go crazy shouting everyone in your first week!!). But for others of you you will need to learn to cook a few simple meals and therefore finding a cheap grocery store is vital. Don't forget freedom away from home also equals no magically restocked fridge or dinners automatically on the table!

4. Go to Class!

This may sound obvious, but you'd be surprised how many students feel it is ok to miss the first few lessons so you can 'settle in' to your new surroundings. No matter how early the class, you must make sure you're there for them as the first week you get to meet your new lecturers and lessons really do begin. You don't want to be playing catch-up after only the first week!

5. Get your syllabus

This goes hand in hand with step 4, but making sure you get your syllabus from your professor is extremely important so that you know what you'll be learning in that class and what text you need to get. Knowing this as early as possible will help you organize yourself and plan for the semester.

6. Buy the right books

For some of you lucky ones your scholarship aid also covers books, but either way make sure you check your syllabus properly and buy the right books as quickly as possible as they often sell out fast.  The campus book store will obviously sell them, but ask your team mates or check online first as it's always cheaper to buy second hand.

7. Get organized

Once you know what classes you'll be doing and when make sure you put all that information into your new diary (go buy one) and organize when all your assignments, exams, presentations etc are. For every student-athlete time management is a crucial element to that students success both on and off the field. Unlike a regular student, a student-athlete must learn to balance their academics and sporting committments so getting organized straight away on paper and/or on a calender will definitely help you.

8. Explore the campus

Go exploring when you have some free time so you know where everything is. Knowing where your classes are ahead of time, where your practice sessions are going to be held etc will save you time in the long run.

Although your first week at college can seem like a daunting one, it is also the time when you're likely to meet some of your best friends, learn new things and have the time of your life so have fun!