Tips to Enjoying Your First Year of College

College is an exciting and nerve-racking time, with endless possibilities. Many are moving out on their own for the first time, and while this can be stressful, once you develop a schedule and routine, you will be more comfortable. Here are a few tips that can hopefully help you thrive and enjoy in your first year of college.

  1. If you accidentally close Microsoft without saving your work, type .asd into file explorer in “my/this pc” your work will be there.
  2. Instead of deleting a sentence you accidentally typed in all caps, highlight it and press shift and F3 at the same time.
  3. To protect your computer from viruses, avoid downloading PDF files that end in “.exe.”
  4. If you are looking for practice tests so you can quiz yourself, type in google “site: edu (the subject) exam.”
  5. I highly suggest studying your notes the same day you take them; this will give you a better chance of remembering them.
  6. Trying to find your way around the Grande Prairie Regional College campus is nearly impossible, and it will take you a while to get used to it. A little information that will hopefully help is that rooms that are in the 100s are on the first level, 200s are on the second level, and 300s are on the third level.
  7. Get organized in whatever way works best for you, because you are responsible for scheduling your classes, study time, extracurricular activities, and homework.
  8. Even though some of your teachers will not require attendance, going to class is very helpful.
  9. Become friends with people in your classes because it can be helpful if you need class notes, or if you study better in groups.
  10. People often study differently, so find the best place for you. The second level of the library at GPRC is a great location; however, if you search, you can find a few hidden gems.
  11. Use a planner!! If it tracks important dates, deadlines, and schedules, one on your phone works just fine.
  12. The academic advisers at GPRC are very helpful as they will guide you when it comes to classes. They will also advise you if you are planning to transfer to another post-secondary institution or desire to go to grad school.
  13. Last year, I devoted my time to studying and was not involved in my community or college. I learned from this mistake. While this may prove difficult at first, learn to balance social activities and schoolwork. I highly recommend you seek out the clubs and events on campus; there is something for everyone!
  14. You have access to many resources on campus. There are two places on campus where you can find free tutoring. First, there is the academic success center in the library which has writing and grammar tutor, and math and science tutor. Second, there is the on-campus friendship which offers free tutoring, plus potlucks every third Wednesday of the month and unlimited coffee for a small price!
  15. If you struggle with maintaining excellent mental health, GPRC students have access to free, confidential, and professional mental health counseling. If you would like, you can make an appointment with Dr. Katie Stabb, the on-site college psychologist. Or, with the “My SSP” app, you can get confidentiality text or talk to a licensed psychologist, whenever you need, 24/7. They advise you to set aside 30 uninterrupted, minutes to talk to the psychologist; however, I advise an hour.
  16. For my last tip, exercise is essential. I love that as a student of GPRC; you have free access to the gym on campus!

While the first couple weeks of college may be stressful and overwhelming, do not worry, almost everyone feels this way. I know I sure did. Try your best to call your family and friends from home, no matter where they are; however, be open to making new friends. In the end, be sure to use all your resources and help each other out.

Submitted by GPRC Ambassador, Heidi Benson.

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