Between visiting different colleges, applying to your top choices, and then actually starting classes during your first semester as a freshman, college life will provide plenty of excitement for the next year or so. But as you focus on taking tests, writing essays, and researching financial aid, don’t forget to identify these common resources. Available on most college campuses, these will become the tools that help you succeed. Identify them by the end of your first week of classes, or even better, during your campus tours before actually attending.
Your advisor’s office. If you’ve declared a major, this person will likely be located within that department. At some schools, all freshmen have a more general advisor and then switch to a department-specific advisor upon declaring a major. Either way, make sure you know how to reach this person, as they will become your guide for some important decisions early in your college career.
The library. More specifically, learn what resources are available through your campus library. Don’t be afraid to approach librarians with questions; they’re there to help you!
Career services. Don’t wait until your senior year to begin thinking about careers. Your career services office can help you identify potential majors and job fields early in your college career, to help you get the best match for your strengths and talents.
The health center. At some point during your freshman year, you will probably contract “the crud”. It’s pretty much inevitable when you have thousands of people crammed into one geographically small space. So, make sure you’re familiar with the campus health center, how to make an appointment, and their policies. This will streamline the process of getting help when you develop a health concern.
The counseling center. Due to the academic stress, not to mention the lifestyle changes involved in transitioning to college, many students find themselves in need of counseling services at some point. It can be difficult to ask for help once depression or anxiety have already developed, so learn about these resources ahead of time.
Academic support services. Most college campuses operate writing centers, math labs, tutoring services, peer support centers, and other resources to help you succeed academically. Identify these resources before arriving on campus, particularly those that match your individual needs. Seeking support right away can keep you from falling behind and having to play catch-up later.