Here it is: your first semester of college. Maybe you’re there now or maybe you’re already thinking about what it will be like next year. We’ve gathered our experts to help you crush those first few weeks and months.
College is a 9-5 job
“Congratulations, you are now a full-time college student! To be successful, you must consider college to be a full-time job. You need to work from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, whether or not you have a class that day. Getting up each morning and putting in a full 8-hour day will ensure that you excel this semester!” — John Morrissey, professor of biology
“You need to slow down. Everything does not need to be done in the first few weeks of college. Set your priorities with no more than three things to focus on, and attend to those. AND, attend to your health by setting a wake-sleep pattern that is ‘normal’ and remember to eat right and exercise. Sleeping, eating and exercising are so important for stress management.” — Jodi Canfield, athletics director
Learn from your mistakes — and move on
“Musicians can’t stop in the middle of a performance — the beat goes on, as they say. Mistakes are inevitable even with the best musicians, but we have to learn to keep going in spite of them. So, learn from your mistakes, but don’t stop for them.” — Joshua Harris, assistant professor of performing arts: music
Smile at strangers
“Smile when you meet someone new, even if it is only in passing. The next time that person sees you, she’ll remember that you offered a smile even if her natural response was not to smile back. Before you know it, you’ll feel comfortable introducing yourself and striking up conversations. This is how lifelong friendships begin.” — Melissa Richards, vice president for communications and enrollment management
Take it all in
“Enjoy this time in your life to the fullest, but not at the expense of your future. Focus, learn, fully engage, rest, relax, play, explore.” — Timothy Schauer, associate professor of business
Of course Sweet Briar faculty and staff offer more than just advice and inspiration. Their doors are always open, so you can talk to them anytime you need help — whether you’re struggling in class or just having a rough day. We’re all family here!
For more resources, try our fabulous Academic Resource Center, where you can get free help from peer tutors with writing, time management and study skills. Also check out the library, where knowledge abounds not just in books, but among many helpful, friendly faces. Starting this year, we also have peer academic mentors (PAMs) who live on the first-year halls in Meta Glass. Feeling down? Student life will give you hugs and connect you with professional mental health counselors if needed. (We’ve heard there’s even a group session and art therapy!)
Chances are, your first semester is going to be awesome.