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Navigating the College Transition with Confidence and Ease

Starting college soon? Whether you’re feeling excited, nervous or a mix of both, we’ve got your back. Attending college is a big step, whether you are a first-generation college student, transfer student, commuter student, in-state or out-of-state student. We have tips and tricks to help you breeze through the transition.

Welcome Week will range from group activities with student leaders to choose-your-adventure-type programming. However your campus holds Welcome Week, you should go to the Activity Fair and Welcome Week events. These events will be full of new students like you (plus you might get some free stuff). Getting involved in your campus community is the best way to build community. 

Interested in joining a sorority? Check out your College Panhellenic on social media to see if they are hosting any introductory events and the deadline for recruitment registration. Search your campus on the Panhellenic Locator Map to learn more. 

You might be terrified of the thought of being the one to make the first introduction, but one of the best parts of college is the opportunity to meet new people. Don’t be afraid to strike up conversations with people in your dorm and in class. A simple introduction can go a long way when building new friendships!  After all, the person you are talking to might be new to campus too!

Get to know your campus by walking your class schedule (bonus points if you go with a new friend). It is one of the easiest ways to calm some of your first-week nerves. Pretend it is your first day and walk your schedule from your dorm or, if you are commuting, where you are parking. This will give you an idea of how long it will take you to get to class and prevent the dreaded moment of sitting in the wrong classroom. 

Think of a syllabus as a road map to a course. It tells you what books you need, the topics you will be covering and classroom policies. Most professors will post their class syllabi, which will be available on your university’s online learning platform. Check for any first-day requirements, the attendance policy, and the materials you will need for class. Sometimes, they will even give bonus points for reading the syllabus!


The transition to college takes time. For many, it is the first time they will experience autonomy and freedom more broadly.  Embrace those moments of adventure. You never know who could be the stranger in a class that becomes your lifelong friend.

Emma Austin

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