The most daunting challenges of college comes in the first few weeks. This is the period when freshmen discover their new surrounding environment, join clubs and start classes. The initial two weeks of college can determine the path for the rest of the year or maybe even for throughout all four years of college.
Succeeding in college starts with the basics, specifically, where you sit in the classroom. Professors have very strong stereotypes of their students and these assumptions can affects grades. Overachievers and academically strong students usually sit in the front and the slackers always sit in the back, particularly the corners. Sitting in the middle rows, close but not directly down the center line is the best choice for staying out of the shades while keeping off the pressure.
Asking a question in the first few classes may look like sucking up, but when it comes to needing private or after class help from the professor, the early good impressions will definitely help. Also, skipping classes should not be an option, but never in the first month of the semester.
Outside the classroom, pairing with the perfect roommate will not happen. However, walking into a room to live with a paranoid chain smoker does not necessarily mean a roommate change is necessary. First try to keep any conflicts within the room and give a chance for him or her to adjust to the college lifestyle. If no agreements can be reached, discuss the situation with the building RA. But if worst comes to worst, heading in separate ways and moving out is the only viable option.
Social life is essential in college, so never sit and eat alone in the cafeteria even on the first day. Try to heading out with roommates and sitting with other groups. Also, becoming familiar with upperclassmen will help greatly since they will have already gone through this process and can introduce you to their friends.
After developing a social life and familiarizing with the new college environment, one part of life that lasted throughout nearly two decades will be missing: your parents. With mom and dad out of the way, freedom and opportunity lie everywhere, but moderation should be somewhere too.
Taking the time early to find that equilibrium in the daily schedule to balance out time to sleep, study, eat, exercise, party and socialize will be challenging. However, following these steps will lead to the four best years of your life and hopefully end with a college diploma.
I think math competitions are amazing.