The following tips for successful college adjustment were suggested by SJU student leaders.  Please feel free to comment or make suggestions of your own.


To manage your time and workload

  • Set aside a certain amount of time each week just for studying and stick to it.
  • Plan in advance for what will be due during the semester.
  • Follow the syllabus carefully; have each assignment done before the class it’s due.
  • Be aware of your own schedule; don’t be overly influenced by others.
  • Stay busy…the busier you are, the more you get done.
  • Learn when to say no.
  • Stay on top of things; don’t let work pile up on you.

To get the most out of your classes

  • Don’t skip classes
  • Get to your classes on time, every time
  • Take good notes
  • Pay attention during academic orientation
  • Plan ample time for studying
  • Get to know others in your class; study together; borrow notes.
  • Establish relationships with your professors; e-mail teachers; ask them for help.

To make the most of your studying

  • Set aside time just for studying, but give yourself time to relax when you’re stressed out.
  • Take advantage of study skills workshops.
  • Remember that you’re paying for school…don’t waste it.
  • Don’t give up if you start on the wrong foot.
  • Get advice from upperclassmen.
  • Form study groups with your classmates.
  • Take advantage of free peer tutoring.

To make wise academic decisions

  • Don’t choose a major based on what you think you “should” do.
  • Don’t choose your major to get a certain professor or class.
  • Choose a major based on what you’d love to do.
  • Take a career interest test at Career Services.
  • Find an advisor who knows your area of study.
  • If you’re unhappy with your advisor, find out about switching.
  • Talk to upperclassmen about their academic experiences.

To enjoy your social life

  • Use caution in dating; remember your reputation is on the line
  • If you go to a party with someone, stay with that person…know who your friends are leaving with.
  • Use the buddy system at parties; protect one another
  • Make sure you know and trust a person before you’re alone with him or her.
  • Use alcohol responsibly… if you drink, be aware of yourself and others.
  • Don’t get involved in a serious relationship too quickly; take your time to meet people.
  • Consider your roommates before bringing your date up to your room.

To make friends at college…

  • Be courageous; introduce yourself to new people.
  • Get involved in student organizations and activities.
  • Go to hall mixers.
  • Be open to new things.
  • Be discreet in what you share about yourself at first and don’t gossip about others.
  • Don’t limit yourself to friendships with suitemates; get friends outside of your small circle.
  • Don’t be afraid to be yourself.

To get along with your roommates

  • Set guidelines for living together — split up chores and responsibilities evenly.
  • Have rules for how to take messages, share food, borrow clothes, etc.
  • See your relationship as a business partnership, not necessarily a friendship.
  • Respect one another’s property; be considerate.
  • Be willing to compromise.
  • Don’t allow your roommates to take advantage of you.
  • Try to deal with problems and misunderstandings right away.

To Maintain Healthy Eating Habits and physical conditioning

  • Stock up on healthy foods in your dorm or apt.
  • In the cafeteria, ask the workers to check in the back if you do not see what you want.
  • Get a group of friends together to make suggestions to the Food Service.
  • Avoid late night eating and too much beer drinking.
  • Workout.
  • Get involved in intramurals or sports.
  • Ask the trainers in the Fieldhouse to develop an exercise program for you.

To avoid disordered eating:

  • Learn to recognize the signs and symptoms of an eating disorder.
  • Get support and/or professional help if you think you may have an eating disorder.
  • Learn what support services are available, such as Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
  • Keep in mind that food does not solve emotional problems.
  • Model healthy attitudes.
  • Learn to be yourself and feel comfortable in your body.
  • Don’t compare yourself to others or get obsessed with diet and exercise.

To drink responsibly:

  • Don’t be pressured to drink more than you can handle.
  • Learn how alcohol affects you and your body; know your limits.
  • Remember that non-drinkers can be positive role models.
  • Don’t drink to relieve stress or deal with problems.
  • Don’t use alcohol as a way to make friends.
  • Keep in mind that some people will take advantage of a drunk person; remember you can’t trust everybody.
  • Know where to go if you have a problem with alcohol; CAPS or WADE staff can help.