5 tips for successfully transitioning to life as a college student


Cassie Wade
Online Reporter

Photo by Kamrin Baker/The Gateway

It’s August. The clock is ticking on the countdown to the new school year and you can’t wait to start your next chapter of life as a student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), but how do you transition to college life successfully? Read on for five tips for success.

1. Create a daily routine

College comes with more freedom and more free time than you had in high school since you don’t have teachers monitoring you every second of the day and your classes probably aren’t back-to-back for eight hours straight. Sounds great, right? Well, it is and it isn’t. As a freshman, you’ll quickly learn that freedom and free time are awesome– so long as you effectively use your time to stay on top of everything and don’t just watch Netflix or take naps.

Creating a daily routine is one way to ensure your freedom and free time are used effectively. With a class-work-social routine in place, you can kick procrastination to the curb, meet deadlines and make sure you’ve budgeted enough time to do what you enjoy without sacrificing your health or grades.

2. Try out a club or join an organization that peaks your interest.

College is all about exploring the world¬¬, discovering who you are and finding your passion. Trying out a club or organization that interests you is a great way to meet new people and learn more about yourself. From Greek life to student government, UNO offers something for everyone with over 200 groups on campus.

Find an organization that interests you online or by attending the First National Bank Student Involvement Fair on Aug. 22.

3. Budget from the start

Everyone knows college is expensive. Books, tuition, fees and living expenses add up quickly, but so do extras, like a new UNO sweatshirt from the bookstore and late-night Applebee’s half apps with friends. Understanding your own, unique financial situation and planning accordingly can save you from having to stress about money – and from having to phone mom and dad to grovel for some extra cash to get through the month.

Before you head off to the dorms, take some time to sit down with a trusted adult and come up with a weekly or monthly budget. That way, you can stay on track financially right from the start of the school year and avoid creating money problems further down the road.

4. Remember to take some you time

It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind of work and school, but it’s important to remember to take some you time to decompress. Whether you enjoy working out, writing in a journal or binge watching Netflix, remember to do something that’ll make you happy every day.

5. Know that it’s okay to struggle

Transitioning to college life is hard, and that’s okay. It’s okay to miss your family and cuddling with your pets. It’s okay to feel like you’re not doing as well as you thought you would in your classes or like you’re not making tons of new friends. Everyone struggles sometimes. It’s just part of life, but if you feel like you’re overwhelmed, make sure you reach out to someone, such as:

• A trusted friend or family member
• Your academic advisor or a faculty or staff member you’re close with
• UNO’s Counseling and Psychological Services team

On the same note, being aware of the resources that are available to you as a UNO student can also help. For example:

• If you’re struggling with classes, look for tutoring opportunities.
• If you need help understanding your loans/scholarships, the financial aid office is available.
• If you can’t decide on a major or need career advice, talk to the Academic and Career Development Center.

More resources are available on the UNO website.