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10 tips on starting college

You have a lot to learn and a lot to know about life in college, from how to succeed in classes to how to form meaningful friendships and manage your money on your own for the first time. For a few quick pieces of advice from current students to get you started on managing all aspects of college life, start here. 

1. “College can be intimidating. It is a huge adjustment from high school to college. But take it one day at a time and just remember to do your best at all times — that's all anyone asks for. The college environment is exciting and challenging at the same time.”

2. “What I learned is to not hesitate to ask for help, whether it be to a new classmate or emailing a professor. Take note of what resources helped you out, and share it with a friend. It’s more rewarding to take initiative and speak first than waiting for the right opportunity.”

3. “Dig into as many resources as you can (tutoring centers, clubs with the same interests, advising). If you start to feel overwhelmed, speak up. Put your TAs in your favorite contacts. Always make time for yourself. Get into a workout group, spin class, yoga class — the body needs you, so be good to yourself. Lastly, find people who are as motivated as you are to succeed. People will either help you forward or pull you back. Stay moving forward. You will be alright. Stay safe.”

4. “You may be thinking,"There's no point in trying for internships," however, this is very wrong. The chances of getting an internship are lower in your first year, but that doesn't mean it's nonexistent. If you go and branch out, you could potentially grab hold of an internship making you launch ahead into your future. Many of my friends ask me, "How did you get an internship in your freshman year?" I just say, ‘Because I tried.’”

5. “Stay grounded in your purpose. College and life in general will throw countless obstacles at you, so stay strong by always looking at the big picture. Remind yourself why you are here. This is your life, there is something you want out of it and you are here to bring yourself closer to what you want. Stay focused on that.”

6. “Not everyone's college experience is the same. You might feel like you have to fit into a template, but your experience is yours alone, and it might not be the same as everyone else's.”

7. “While a great place to practice financial independence, college may end up draining a lot of your money if you're not careful. Allocate your money into different categories like books, food, going out, etc. and try to stick to your budget.”

8. “Leaving home and starting college is really exciting, but it can also be overwhelming. Sticking to a general sleep schedule, making sure to eat SOME healthy food and staying hydrated are easy steps to take to make sure you feel your best. Make sure you also stay mindful of your mental health. You can't learn properly if your brain isn't working well.”

9. “Always be open to trying new studying techniques. Everyone is different. Some people are auditory, tactile, read/write, or visual learners. Never give up on figuring out which type you are — it will make all the difference.”

10. “There are so many resources out there— anything you might need help with such as career opportunities and workshops, and there are many people willing to provide these resources. It is up to you to get involved and find them though. Follow your school or program on Instagram, take a closer look at emails sent by ASU and ask upper-division students. Go out there and make the most of what you have!”

Here’s what we want you to take away from this advice: While there’s a lot to juggle, you can do this. Make the most of your time at ASU by trying new things, meeting new people and exploring as many of the opportunities available to you as you can.

We’re sharing more advice on topics like making friends, connecting with professors and managing your time to help you have your best college experience.


Hey Sunny

A library of helpful advice, tips and answers to questions from students to Sunny.

ASU’s chatbot, Sunny, has been helping students get adjusted to college life for a few years now. The questions from students year after year, rarely change. Sometimes it helps to see what other students are asking to stay informed and realize you aren’t the only one trying to figure it all out.

Welcome to the Hey Sunny blog – a library of advice for students from Sunny and the team supporting the bot.

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