5 tips to adapt to college life

Ty Davis

The excitement of newfound freedom the college life gives to graduated seniors may carry them through the first few weeks of the semester, but odds are, this will eventually wear off. Luckily, there are many ways to keep the college experience fun and manageable as the years go on. 

Here are five tips for Colorado State University freshmen to make their first year the best it can be. 


  1. Nothing can fix a bad work-life balance

Just like you can’t put a Band-Aid on an open wound, no amount of coffee or meditation is going to fix your mental exhaustion from overworking yourself. So while that extra cup of coffee may help you push out those extra few hundred words, and meditation may offer momentary relief in addition to helping manage overall stress, if you don’t relax and give your mind time to rest, you will just keep burning out.

Let yourself set aside other things if it means you can rest, admit when you are tired and do things that make you forget about work. Set timers for working and taking a break to ensure you don’t tire yourself out, and also make time every day for yourself to simply relax and not focus on work. 

2. Join a club

One of the first things you will notice when getting to college is that it isn’t like your previous experiences socializing. College is a new place with people from numerous different backgrounds. You aren’t obligated to be around the same people for hours on end, and there’s going to be a lot more people here than in your high school. With so much change, you may find yourself struggling to make new connections.

A good way of finding people you have common interests with is to join a club or student organization. CSU has a vast selection of student organizations that focus on everything from economics to medieval weaponry. In addition, you can likely find an organization relevant to your major that you can add to future resumes. 

3. Make meaningful memories

Yes, getting your degree is important, and you should aim for good grades, but you should also get out and actually have fun. Do not just focus myopically on your studies so much to the point you do nothing else. Go out and schedule a weekend trip. Your homework can be set aside for a little bit. Are you going to remember the nights you spent reading your assigned chapters in your room, or will you remember the fun moments you had with friends?

4. Explore and experiment

You’re an adult now; you have more freedom than you have probably ever had before, so take advantage of that, and try to actually experience the world. Go to concerts for music you haven’t listened to, try new food and do things you think you’ll hate. Maybe, in the end, you’ll hate them, but you’ll be a more developed person for having tried them. The point is, there’s a whole world out there just in your immediate area for you to try, and there’s still a whole lot of you that you haven’t discovered yet, so get out there and discover it. With no shortage of things to do in Fort Collins, don’t be one of those people that sits in their room and complains about how there’s nothing to do. 

5. Use lists and calendars


The unfortunate truth is that you are going to be incredibly busy in college, and with each year as you take higher-level classes and take on more responsibilities, you won’t be able to keep it all straight in your head. If you try to keep everything memorized, something will inevitably be forgotten. Use to-do lists to keep track of everything you need to do in the day: not just assignments, but also errands. Use a calendar to lay out everything in your week so you can figure out the best time to do things and see how much you’re doing on particular days. Also use these to balance out your workload. If you see that particular days are more heavily loaded with things to do, try off-setting some of the load onto other days if possible. For example, if you have a reading assignment that isn’t due for another two days, break that assignment up into two parts to make the workload more manageable.

Ty Davis can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @tydavisACW.