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How to Persist Past Your First Semester of College

Last updated May 9, 2024

Congratulations on completing your first semester of college! As you return from break and start your second semester, now is a good time to reflect on your experiences these past few months. While your first semester can be a fun and exciting time, it’s normal if you struggled with your grades, experienced culture shock, or even felt homesick. Your first semester in college is a major life transition, which a lot of students experience! The outcome of your first semester doesn’t have to define the rest of your college experience, but there are steps you can take to set yourself up for a successful second semester and beyond.

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Keep track of FAFSA requirements and deadlines

Studies show that one of the top reasons that students drop out of college is due to financial concerns. With the cost of tuition rising nationally, it’s key to familiarize yourself with financial aid definitions, complete the FAFSA on time, and apply for additional forms of financial aid that can significantly cut down college costs, such as scholarships, loans, and grants. You can also speak to an advisor in your college's financial aid office about any additional aid options available to you.

Check in with your academic advisor

At the start of your next term, it’s helpful to check in with your academic advisor to make sure you’re on track to graduate. Meeting with your advisor gives you a chance to review your course schedule together and make any adjustments before the enrollment deadline approaches. Additionally, if you have been struggling academically or personally, they can help connect you to on-campus resources for extra support. 

Connect with your campus community

Whether you’re living in a dorm or commuting from home, spending time on campus outside of your classes can help you connect with other students. Even if you had a difficult time making friends during your first term, you still have the chance to find your community through study groups, cultural clubs, on-campus events, or intramural sports.

Check out mental health resources available on and off-campus

While it’s very normal to feel overwhelmed or stressed in college, it’s easy to find yourself alone and isolated in these feelings. Taking care of your mental health is essential, so it’s important to identify your stressors and find healthy ways to cope with them. Your college may offer free or low-cost mental health services or may be able to connect you to resources in your area or virtually

Need some extra support during your second semester? We can help! Just text #Hello to 33-55-77 to chat with one of our advisors. If you're using a mobile device, click here to have the text message set up for you!

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