Forget the “Freshman 15,” here are 15 tips for how to survive the first 15 days of college

Nina Sessions, Staff Writer

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Your room is set up, your parents have left and you’ve got a billion and one things on your mind. I know the feelings: confusion, stress, excitement, nervousness. As a first-year LCSC student myself, I certainly understand what a wonderful, exciting time this is for incoming students, but have had my share of fears and worries, questions and concerns. Through it all, however, one specific phrase keeps running through my mind: “It takes 21 days to make a habit, and 21 days to break one”. As a child, my mom would always stress the importance of starting off right. It’s important to give your college experience the healthiest start possible, so, here are 15 practical, social and academic tips for how to survive your first few weeks at college make good habits for the rest of the year.


Tip Number 1: Eat consistently

Having an eating schedule will help keep you healthy and give your body a constant supply of energy. Know your meal plan, class schedule and the Sodexo schedule (breakfast weekdays 7:30-10:30, dinner every day 5:30-7, brunch weekends 10:30-1, lunch Monday through Thursday 11-1:30 or 11-1 on Fridays) to figure out the times to eat that will work best for you. It’s also important to note that meal plans include breakfast and dinner; lunch costs will come out of your flex dollars.

Tip Number 2: Keep a consistent sleeping schedule

Similar to having an eating schedule, having a consistent sleeping schedule is important, and enables your body to have more energy, better brain function, better immune system strength and better overall health. It’s important to go to bed earlier rather than later, and try to get 7-9 hours of sleep every night.

Tip Number 3: Don’t be afraid to ask for help, or to call home when you need to

Remember that everyone on staff at LCSC is here to help you and to answer your questions. Similarly, your family, friends and mentors back home are there for you emotionally and mentally. If you’re having a hard time adjusting to college, don’t be afraid to call home. There is no shame in admitting you need help, whether it be practical or personal.

Tip Number 4: Put yourself on a budget that works for you

Money-management skills will be pivotal in these next few years of life. Figure out what different things are important to you, and plan to set aside a certain percentage of your income to each of those things. Most importantly, follow through with the plan! You will be much more satisfied in the long run if you are sticking to your original budget.

Tip Number 5: Set aside time to invest in yourself

It’s important to not overexert yourself these first few weeks of college, or take on too many responsibilities. Although it can be tempting to fill your schedule up with appointments and activities, make sure you are leaving some time to yourself. Use that time to read a book, write, draw, meditate, pray, work out or do whatever it is that helps you relax and recharge.


Tip Number 6: Remember that everyone else is in the same boat as you

This is a new experience for all of us, and nobody is here to judge you. In whatever you do, don’t forget that you are not alone. It may seem like everyone around you is soaking up the independence and social life while you just can’t seem to, but they are in the same boat as you. Everyone is trying to make friends and figure things out.

Tip Number 7: Loosen up, make friends, joke around and put yourself out there

It can be intimidating being surrounded by people you’ve never met before, but put yourself out there and make friends. Take opportunities to go places with roommates and people you meet (as long as you feel safe and comfortable). It may be awkward at first, but it’s worth the risk of feeling awkward to make lifelong friends.

Tip Number 8: Befriend people who look like they don’t have friends yet

This doesn’t have to be a commitment to a deep friendship, but just a smile, a handshake, or a simple introduction. If you see someone sitting alone on campus, eating alone, or in class alone, go up to that person and introduce yourself. Some people take longer to make friends and you can be the person to reach out to them and help them feel more at home.

Tip Number 9: Sit next to somebody in every class and learn their names

Although you will make many friends in your dorm and just around campus, the majority of your time will be spent in classes. Sit next to someone in each of your classes so that you have an opportunity to meet them and learn their names. Maybe you’ll become great friends!

Tip Number 10: Get involved on campus with activities, clubs, events or church

LCSC has tons of opportunities for having fun and meeting people! There are tons of clubs on campus! There is The Pathfinder, ASLCSC (student government), intramural sports, WEB (Warrior Entertainment Board), Cru, Regenerate (associated with River City Church) and many more! A complete list of clubs can be found at


Tip Number 11: Don’t be late to your classes

Start your year off right by not being late to class! If you create a habit of being on time from the get go, chances are you will continue this habit for the remainder of the school year. Give yourself ample time to get from your dorm to your class, and even be there a few minutes early. Clearwater residents will also want to factor in the commute to campus.

Tip Number 12: Set aside a chunk of time specifically for homework

Creating a schedule that works for you is pivotal to your time management. Homework is often shoved to the side, because college presents so many other opportunities for work, social life and events. But, remember before anything else, you are here for an education and to grow your passions. Set aside time to get your homework done!

Tip Number 13: Build relationships with your teachers

Getting to know your teachers is important because the better they know you, the better they can help you. A teacher who barely sees you may not know how you best learn. However, a teacher that you invest in getting to know (and vice versa) will be able to be more understanding and supportive.

Tip Number 14: Figure out what works for you supply-wise, note-taking-wise, etc.

High school may have drilled into your head the notion that there is one right way to do things. However, now it’s up to you to figure out what works best for your learning. There are so many options and no wrong way, so don’t be afraid to explore and try new things! You may find something you like even better than what your teachers had you do in high school.

Tip Number 15: Find a study spot

There are tons of tables, benches, nooks and crannies, coffee shops, common areas and quiet, grassy spots on campus. Find a spot where you can either concentrate if you need to do your work alone, or collaborate if you need to study with others. Having multiple study spots might be a good idea because chances are that someone else will have the same study spot as you.