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Freshman Survival Guide

By Kathryn Taleporos | August 21, 2023

Photo Credit: University at Albany


This semester, the University at Albany welcomes the Class of 2027 to their community. College can be overwhelming, especially the first semester. Here are some helpful tips to surviving the first semester of college.


Plan: During syllabus week, professors will give out important dates in the syllabus, such as when papers are due and when tests are, write down these dates. Whether you use a digital calendar or a paper planner, you need to write down all of these dates and deadlines so you never miss one. Planning out your schedule in advance will help prevent you from overbooking yourself. Put everything in your calendar; schoolwork, clubs, work, everything should be organized so that you do not miss anything or double book yourself.


Learn the Dining Hall Hours: As a freshman, you most likely have the dining plan with unlimited swipes in the dining hall, however, this does not mean you can go to the dining hall anytime you want. Especially on the weekends, the dining hall is open for limited hours so be sure to check the dining hall hours on the UAlbany dining website. Also plan to budget your discount dollars, freshmen only get a small amount, so don’t blow through all of them in the first month.


Find Your Spot on Campus: The semester may start easy with syllabus week, but as we progress into the semester, course load becomes more difficult and time-consuming. Finding a good study spot on campus is key to academic success. It’s difficult to study in a place that isn’t comfortable. Some spots on campus that are nice are the library, the campus center, or outside next to the fountain.


Get Involved: Every student is part of the UAlbany community, but this community is what you make it. There are so many organizations on campus, and finding the one that is right for you is essential to feeling connected to the community. Some opportunities to find clubs include Block Party, which is a big club fair hosted by the UAlbany Student Association, and the MyInvolvement website.


Reach Out: There are so many resources on campus that are available if you are struggling. Counseling and Psychological Services, Middle Earth, and Residential Life are all resources that exist to support students in adjusting to college. Starting college can be a difficult journey, but there are people on campus to help.


Set Boundaries: For many, this is the first time students are living not only by themselves, but with a roommate. Living with a roommate requires having clear boundaries. Talking with your roommates and suitemates about what boundaries should be implemented will help avoid conflicts and allow everyone to live together peacefully.

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