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Top 20 Tips for New College Students

Thursday, August 9, 2018
oneill-bio-websiteWith a career spanning social worker, addictions counselor, resident assistant, hall director and college professor, John O’Neill, EdD, LCSW, LCDC, CAS, pictured, is well positioned to offer some helpful tips for the college-bound:
  1. Communicate with your roommate. Have reasonable expectations for the relationship. Make decisions about the room together.
  2. Attend class. When you attend class, you demonstrate that the work is important to you.
  3. Talk with your professors and express interest in the material.
  4. Balance class with social activities.  
  5. Develop a study plan that works for you. Consider learning how to study outside of your room to avoid distractions.
  6. Pay attention to your diet and develop an exercise plan.
  7. If you consume alcohol, know what you are drinking.  
  8. Have patience when sharing a bathroom, wear flip-flops and plan enough time to get ready.
  9. Learn all about the services and resources your campus has to offer. Spend the first week discovering the new assets available to you in your college journey.
  10. Ask for help.
  11. If you are interested in Greek life, attend rush and assess if you can balance the new college experience with joining a fraternity or sorority.
  12. When you get your syllabus, read it and then put all assignments on a calendar.  
  13. In class, turn off the phone and really pay attention to the lecture.
  14. Know your signs that you are tired, stressed or depressed. See number 10.
  15. Expect that you will feel normal feelings like fear and anxiety.
  16. Learn that you can manage the normal feelings of a new adventure.
  17. Proceed slowly with new romantic relationships.
  18. Stay connected to family and friends.
  19. When you feel afraid, anxious or sad, reach out to family and friends.
  20. Know that college is about learning, growing and achieving your goals.
O’Neill is the clinical director for the Bellaire location of Menninger’s Outpatient Services. He treats individuals of all ages with mental health and substance use issues.
To schedule an appointment with an outpatient clinician, call 713-275-5400.