4 must-dos before starting your first semester

Tips to prepare for a smooth transition, make the most of your summer

Meredith Hasken In the Health Sciences Building

Meredith Hasken

Meredith Hasken recently completed her first year in the speech-language pathology program. Reflecting on her experiences, Meredith wants to share some valuable tips that she followed before starting her program, which contributed to her success.

1) Connect with other first-year students

Whether you are moving across the country or staying local, finding community will enhance your college experience. Luckily, everyone is in the same boat of wanting friends, and there are many ways to connect with other first-year students. You can try reaching out to others through the University of Cincinnati Class of 2028 Facebook page. You will find other first-years looking for roommates, people in specific majors and club interests. This can be a great way to start connecting with potential friends before you even step foot on campus. When you arrive at UC, you will be greeted with a warm welcome by staff and other students who would love to help give you advice on how to get connected and involved!

2) Make a to-do list for everything that needs to get done before you leave

It will probably feel like there is an overwhelming amount of things that need to be done before starting college. When in doubt, start to-do lists; one for dorm and school essentials and the other for miscellaneous requirements from UC. This should include everything from purchasing a shower caddy to registering for fall classes. This list will become long, but you have all summer to start chipping away at it, and you will thank your future self later.

3) Make a game plan on how you will stay organized throughout the semester

For some, the transition from high school to college academics will be seamless, and for others, it will be a bit more challenging. Something to be thinking about now is how you will stay organized. Once you start your first year of college, you will quickly realize how quickly your workload and schedule builds up. You will want to find a way of scheduling out your day to include classes, extracurriculars, time with friends and things you enjoy such as working out or reading a good book. Additionally, you will want to look ahead at the syllabus for each class, making note of important due dates and exams. Organization looks different for everyone, so find a method that best suits you, whether that is a paper planner or a Google calendar.

4) Spend time with family and friends

Last but not least, enjoy your summer before stepping into this new season! While you wait in eager anticipation for your first year of college to begin, spend time with your family and friends, carve out extra time for your favorite hobbies and just relax.

Featured image at top: University of Cincinnati students take a selfie. Photo/Andrew Higley/UC Marketing + Brand

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Headshot of Meredith Hasken

Meredith Hasken

Outreach and Engagement Intern , Office of Student Affairs

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