1. Everyone says these are the best four years of your life. Make them such. These are the friends that will be bridesmaids and groomsmen at your wedding, or even godparents to your children. Late nights in the library will be a laugh at a cocktail party. Don’t over-stress.
2. Go to class and go to office hours, but don’t simply go for the sake of going. Be efficient, and make your time worthwhile. Befriend a handful of students in each class (“even more so if it is a lecture,” recommends a sophomore in physiology).
3. Sleep is important, but talking with friends late into the night is worth it — occasionally. The late-night-to-early-morning conversations that turn into giddy laughter and delusions bring out everyone’s most authentic self.
4. If you don’t get into the extracurricular group you were hoping for, think of the outcome as now giving you more time to spend on other opportunities. One junior interviewed tells of her being “dead-set on joining the debate team, but after not getting in I thought, okay, debate was fun in high school, but maybe it’s time I try something else. I joined ‘Business Today,’ which has introduced me to my best friends. This experience has brought out the best in me.” During the recovery process, stick with your friends and support their interests, even if it means trying out for a dance group that you don’t ever plan on joining. “I showed-up to try-outs to make a friend look better. At least I wasn’t kicked off the stage,” remarks the junior. This will strengthen your friendship, create a story to tell, and possibly open another door, another opportunity.
5. Participate in extracurricular activities, in the arts, sports, anything — even create your own club. “You will make friends and give the academic side of the mind a chance to take a break,” encourages a freshman in Princeton Running Club. “Also, don’t look back on the college years to realize that all you did was live in the library,” advises a senior.
7. Make the time to build relationships. Grab a meal with your Econ professor; schedule a coffee date with a friend. Try to confirm plans, as it is too easy to be swept up in the daily life and forget about the little things that can bring us joy. “After I say let’s get a meal, I send a follow-up text,” recommends a senior.
8. Love your roommate(s) for who they are. Even if they are the exact opposite of you, support them in their interests. Go to their performances; bring them back a cookie from the dining hall. Having the roommate on your side makes a difference.
9. “Go to the street, but don’t toss your jacket to the side,” says a senior, because it likely won’t be there when you go to retrieve it. "Tie it to a chair.”
10. Call home! It’s easy to forget, but your family misses you, and without them, you would not be where you are today. Friends will be there for you when times are rough, but home is home.