Photo of a student walking over the bridge by Varsity Pond.

New to CU Boulder? Here are a few insider tips to start your semester off right. 

1: Take your time

Whether it’s your first semester at college or you’re transferring from another school, transitions can take time. Think through your expectations and what you want your experience to look like at CU rather than focusing on having the ‘typical’ college experience.

You can make the transition easier by getting to know new people, exploring new hobbies and prioritizing the things that are most important to you. Remember that it’s okay if everything doesn’t fall into place immediately. After all, good things can take time. 

2: Your professors want you to succeed

Let’s face it, you may find that some courses are easier or more challenging than others. Set yourself up for success by reviewing your syllabi and understanding your instructors’ expectations around coursework, homework, absences, tests and other policies. It’s important to remember that your instructors want you to succeed. In fact, they can help you learn more about a given subject, become a mentor or write a letter of recommendation for you in the future.

While it may feel intimidating, introducing yourself to your instructors (even in larger classes) and visiting them during office hours can go a long way in helping you stay on track. If you have an instructor that isn’t your favorite, remember that classes don’t last forever. Be sure to communicate with them to clarify expectations and get feedback throughout the semester. 

3: Remember to take care of yourself

College can sometimes feel like a free-for-all, and we may not have someone to make sure we eat regularly or go to bed at a reasonable time. However, those things are still important. Part of navigating independence is learning how to take care of yourself and making positive choices for your own mental and physical health. That’s why it’s important to focus on self-care. Getting enough sleep (7 to 9 hours each night), eating nutritious foods, alleviating stress and taking care of your mind and body can make all the difference in how you feel and perform in school.

If you need help creating a plan that works for you, Peer Wellness Coaches are available to help. This free service can help you set and achieve wellness-related goals. Peer Wellness Coaching can also be a great option if you’re looking to optimize your personal health and wellness, create a plan for the semester or make meaningful changes in your life.

4: Nobody knows what they’re doing (seriously)

It may be hard to believe, but most people have no idea what they’re doing in college or after graduation. We’re all just trying to take it one step at a time. College is about exploration, and it’s okay if you don’t have it figured out right now. Your major may change, your friend group may evolve and your goals may shift over time. It’s all part of the experience. Take a deep breath, try things that may be different or new to you and see what works best.

5: It’s okay to ask for help

Asking for help can be hard, especially if it seems like you’re the only one struggling. The truth is, everyone struggles in their own way and you’re not alone in how you feel. There are many resources on campus that can help you with academics, mental health and more. Here are just a few: