Seven things to know when you head to campus

college planning
We asked recent college grads to share what they wish they had known when they were freshmen. They’re here to pass along a bit of advice:

1. Realize you’re not alone. It’s the first day for thousands of other kids, so don’t be shy.

2. Branch out. Don’t just stick by your new roomie or the friend you made at orientation. Get out and meet new people.

3. Pace yourself. There may be parties around every corner, but be sure to balance your schedule. Just keeping up with college classes can be tough enough. Have fun, but be sure to get plenty of rest and study time as well. Otherwise it’s easy to get behind.

4. Be yourself. Whatever you do – from picking classes to choosing friends, be true to what you want and what makes you comfortable.

5. Eat well. We’ve all heard about the freshman 15. That’s because it’s easy to pack on the pounds when pizza is just a phone call away. Eat well-balanced meals and you’re more likely to stay fit and feel great throughout the semester.

6. Manage your money. See those credit card companies waving an application in your face? Walk right by them! It’s super easy to get a credit card in college—but that doesn’t mean you have a way to pay for it.

7. Ask for help. This is likely your first time being on your own, and if you’re like most students, you’ll still need help from time to time. Find out about resources on campus, from health services to tutoring. You never know when you might need them.

Need quick answers before you head to campus? Chat with current college students or admissions counselors at hundreds of colleges and universities.