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10 Rules for the First Week in College

Following a Few Simple Rules Can Eliminate a Lot of Problems Later

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Your first week in college is one you've likely been looking forward to for a long, long time. That first college week, however, can be gone in an instant -- and if you're not careful, some of the choices you make during those critical few days can lead to major problems later. Just keep these 10 rules for your first week in college in mind ... and have fun!

10 Rules for Your First Week at College

1. Don't hook up. It's smart to give yourself (at least) a one-week delay before hooking up. It's much easier to regret not hooking up than it is to regret it -- and have to face the person every day -- for the next 4 years. Just give yourself a little time to get your bearings before doing anything you might unknowingly regret later.

2. Don't start a relationship. You're at college to learn, explore, try new things, and overall challenge yourself. Starting a relationship right off the bat may hamper some of the flexibility you'll need. Is it a good idea to start a relationship? Of course, if it's a healthy one. Is it a good idea to do it during your first few days on campus? Maybe not. If this person is the love of your life, can you wait a few weeks? Of course.

3. Go to class. Hmmm ... no one takes attendance, you were up super late, and there's somewhere else on campus you'd rather be this morning. Think twice before skipping class, however; it's much more crucial for you to go to class in college, and the first week is especially important if you want to meet other students, have the professor know you, and not get dropped because you didn't show while others are on a wait list.

4. Get the basics done. During orientation, you probably have a long list of stuff to do: Get an ID card, set up your email/campus login, meet your adviser. Skipping on these to-dos is a definite bad idea during your first week. After all, if you think you're busy now, imagine how much harder doing these items will be once your classes are in full-swing -- and you're behind.

5. Make sure your financial aid is in good shape. If the financial aid office needs a copy of something, you have a question about your loans, or you need to sign some documents, make sure your tush makes it to the financial aid office sooner rather than later. Doing so is much easier than having to explain to your parents that you've been kicked out of school because you lost your financial aid due to a technical glitch.

6. Get your books and readers ASAP. You don't necessarily have to buy them from the campus bookstore -- there are lots of other options available -- but you do have to get them. And quickly. College classes move much faster than high school ones, so staying on top of the reading is incredibly important.

7. Get a job if you need one. There are x number of students and y number of jobs. You don't need to be a math major to realize that the sooner you start looking (and applying), the better your options -- and choices -- will be.

8. Watch your alcohol intake. As most folks know, alcohol is pretty readily available in college, even for the under-21 crowd. Be smart with the choices you make around alcohol, both for your dignity and your own safety.

9. Get your classes set. You may be wait-listed on some classes or registered for too many because you aren't sure what you want to keep. Either way, make sure your class schedule is set as soon as possible, that you finalize the paperwork before the add/drop deadline, and that the units you're carrying are enough to maintain your financial aid.

10. Start the semester off with good eating habits. It sounds so minor, but eating healthy in college really can make a difference. Besides helping you avoid the legendary Freshman 15, eating healthy as soon as you arrive can keep your immune system up, give you the energy you need, and help set great habits for the next few years of your college life.

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