Student Survival Guide: How to Survive the First University Semester

pathology notes

College can be a scary and uncertain time for many students. Can you still be friends if no one clicks with you? How do you cope with challenging material? You’re probably feeling overwhelmed at the prospect of starting your first semester with many questions and concerns swirling through your head.

You can minimize these doubts by preparing as much as you can. The following tips will help you prepare for your first semester of college.

Purchase Textbooks and a Laptop

A decent laptop and all your textbooks are the first things you will need to prepare for university. If your university tells you your reading list, you can compare textbook prices based on that information.

You can choose a laptop based on your preferences. Consider a quality laptop with your choices if you’re looking for a computer with good battery life, high performance, and a reasonable price.

Follow the University’s Social Media Accounts

Various social media groups are often available for first-year students at universities. Get involved in the ones related to your studies so you can connect with the people with whom you will spend the next four years studying.

It will be easier to deal with the first weeks if your network is like this sooner rather than later. If you’d like, you can organize a meeting with some classmates.

Explore the Campus

Do not wait until your first day to discover where everything is on campus. Get there early and learn everything you need to know. It is beneficial if you have a large college campus.

It’s helpful to wander around and take in the atmosphere to prepare for university life. Be on the lookout for clubs you might be interested in joining.


When you’re a college freshman, the last thing you want is to show up to class and not understand what the professor is saying. If you want to avoid this, read a lot before your first day in class.

Better yet, read more! Furthermore, you could complement your studies with additional reading documents like these pathology notes to enhance your knowledge. 

Prepare a Budget

Students who have little money tend to stereotype themselves as disadvantaged. The time you spend as a student may not be luxurious, even with scholarships and part-time jobs, but there are ways around it.

Prepare for this by setting a budget for each semester. You should adhere to your plan as closely as possible once you start university. There’s no point in running out of grocery money! 

Meet Your Instructors

Almost every student wants to impress their professors. Before the semester begins, meet your new professors and introduce yourself.

During the first few minutes of your conversation, ask them if they have any extra reading material you can read before class. Making a good impression will ease your anxiety, and you will feel more comfortable knowing who you will learn from.

Consider Investing in a Stationary

While tuition, textbooks, and technology will cost a lot, you might also want to check out some stationery.

It is always a good idea to have pens, pencils, rulers, etc., on hand, even though you’ll do most of your work on your laptop. You can always contact your professor ahead of time if unsure of what you need.

Consider a Part-Time Job

Students often work alongside their studies. If this is what you decide to do, you should consider part-time jobs before arriving before the best positions are taken. Many students can earn extra income by working extra hours. A waitperson job in a bar, a bookshop, or a Starbucks job near you is all possible. 

If you are a star student, you might consider tutoring! As a tutor, you can make great money if you follow the tutor’s advice. Colleges often post notices of local part-time jobs on their noticeboards, so if you’re unsure where to start, look there.

Start Packing

Finally, start packing for your first semester at university! It can be both exciting and emotional during this part of the process. As you pack up your childhood bedroom, you might feel sad. Meanwhile, you’re embarking on a new journey.

Taking all your possessions with you is unnecessary if you live in a university dorm. Only what you need is necessary. You should create a university packing list before you start. 


Starting university will bring a variety of emotions. Your feelings will be a mix of nervousness, excitement, and curiosity. Be sure to prepare as much as possible for a smooth first semester and beyond.


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