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by Oliver Giersch and Mckenna Veeser, digital marketing interns

1. Do research on your dorm and campus facilities.

When choosing the dorm you are going to live in for the next 2 semesters, it is crucial to know how much room you have in your dorm and what facilities your residence hall can offer you. The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh has a great user-friendly website that goes into detail about each residence hall and facility on campus. This way you will be able to plan out the measurements of your ideal dorm setup with a few simple clicks.

2. Get involved on campus.

Getting involved in different activities or clubs on campus can kickstart your social life when first entering college. It is a great way to make new friends at the same time as getting your mind off of school. Something as simple as joining an intramural sports team or a club could make all the difference in the world. These campus organizations work well for students because it gives them room to get a feel for the personal side of college, rather than just focusing on studying and homework.

3. Put yourself out there.

In your classes or even your dorm building, it is important to put yourself out there. This is a great way to make lifelong friends and find people who can relate to you as you are entering the start of your college experience. If you are nervous about socializing in the first few days/weeks of college, just remember that everybody else is in the same situation as you. Some might be even more nervous than you are to start a new life, so don’t be shy. Offer yourself to others as a new companion… it never hurts to try! College is a great time to reset and find some new true friends.

4. Keep an open mind when it comes to your major.

When embarking on your college journey, you are not expected to know exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life right away. Many students go into the first few years of college with a different degree than what they end up graduating with. College is about finding yourself and figuring out what you excel in that will lead to you a successful career in the future. Do NOT stress if you can’t figure out what you want to do with life the second you touch down on campus. It is a very common thing to be unsure about, and that is one of the reasons why UW Oshkosh offers general education classes: to help give you some time to make decisions.

5. Plan out your semesters.

There are some classes that are only offered in only the spring or only the fall semesters. Planning out your semesters ahead will help you make sure that you are choosing the right classes for the right specific semesters. If you have any questions regarding what classes to take and when don’t hesitate to reach out to your assigned advisor. Advisors could be the key to your success in the first few semesters until you can figure out how to plan your schedules by yourself.

6. Be sure to manage your time well.

For many, moving to college is the first time of living on your own. You no longer have other people telling you what to do and when to do it. It is now all your responsibility to complete what you need to in order to be successful. Some students often get jobs while they are in college. Factoring in this idea, it is important for students to balance their time between school and work. One rule of thumb for how much time you should be spending in class and on homework alone is this: For every college credit you take, you should be spending an hour on homework/studying every week. So, if you are taking 15 credit hours in your semester, you should expect to be spending an additional 15 hours outside of class time working through your material. When you add that up, it’s an average of 6 hours per day, and you need to do some serious thinking to figure out what else you can handle on top of these set hours.

7. Pay attention to which meal plan you choose.

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh offers its students many options when it comes to choosing a meal plan. It is important to take into consideration your budget for what you can spend on a meal plan as well as choosing one that fits your preferences. The campus offers in-depth descriptions of what each meal plan offers, and you need to keep in mind how busy you can be during your routine day. It is very common for college students to go from eating 3 meals per day to only eating 2 due to timing with their busy schedules.

8. Find where you are most productive.

It is important to find your perfect place to study. Many people have a hard time getting things done when they are studying or doing homework in an environment that is very distracting. There are many great study spots available in UW-Oshkosh’s Polk Library as well as study rooms in Reeve Union and Sage Hall. Sometimes it’s best to take a break and step away from the social life of the dorms while having a tough week academically, and the best place to do that is in the designated study areas all over campus. Try to think of it as a “Work Hard, Play Hard” mentality. The more work you can get done in those long and tedious study sessions, the more you’ll be able to “play,” AKA spend time relaxing and socializing. It all boils down to how you can best limit distractions in your life. Cell phones, televisions, video game consoles, and friends are all examples of distractions you can limit through these on-campus spots.

9. Know the weight of your assignments when it comes to your final grade.

Make sure to pay attention to syllabi for each class at the start of the semester. This will ensure that you know what each assignment is worth compared to your overall grade. It is helpful to know the weight and importance of each assignment or exam that you are completing in each of your classes. Before preparing for any big assignment/quiz/exam in your class, make sure that you read over the syllabus to get a grasp of how much the work is worth. You may not know it at first glance, but in college even some of the simple assignments could affect your grade majorly. Final exams will almost always be the biggest portion of your grade, but it doesn’t ALWAYS happen that way. Another thing that is very important when it comes to your final grade is your attendance points. Some students might blow off class to sleep in, hangout with friends, play video games, etc. but sometimes the attendance can be a massive portion of your grade. Long story short, don’t forget to print out your syllabus on DAY ONE to make sure you have a good idea of how much each portion of the class is really worth before you begin.

10. Keep an eye out for campus job opportunities.

UW Oshkosh offers its students many different kinds of job opportunities, from off-campus internships to jobs in our dining hall. Be sure to watch for these job openings to further your career while navigating through your college experience. On-campus jobs could be one of the best things for college students because many students don’t have a form of transportation. If you happen to secure a job on-campus, it’s likely that they will be flexible with their scheduling because they know that your first priority is your classwork. It is a great way to fill those gaps between classes or before/after classes while making solid income.