How to Manifest a Successful First-Year of College

It seems like it was just yesterday when you walked across that stage and finally received your diploma. High school is now in the distant past. You’ve had the most wonderful hot-girl summer, free from thoughts of returning to those broken lockers and sticky lunchroom tables. Now, you’re excited to turn the page to your next chapter. College move-in day is basically here! You might think you’re perfectly prepared after checking most things off the dorm room must-haves list, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg. 

You’re about to start the transition into your grown-woman era. Take a moment to breathe, hydrate, and light a candle because it’s time to learn how to manifest a successful first year of college. 

Move-In Day

Moving into your dorm room can be more hectic than you might think. You’ve probably seen TikToks of first-year students showing off their freshly decorated rooms; complete with LED lights and the cutest color scheme. However, that’s not the norm. Your experience will be filled with crowded hallways and moving heavy furniture. The best course of action would be to arrive as early as you can. The most favorable scenario is you get there before your roommate. This will allow you to have the first choice of which bed, which side of the room you prefer, etc. You can start your decorating before they arrive with their family members and avoid the awkward silence that comes after the initial introductions while you’re both trying to arrange your belongings. 

You might even have time to relax a little bit and get used to your new space before having to share it with another person. With a head start, you might be done by the time they arrive and can offer to help unload the car. After all, first impressions are everything. You’ll want your relationship with your roommate to start on a good note.   

Perks Of Having Me As Your Roommate

Sharing a living space with a stranger can be anxiety-inducing and uncomfortable. You’ve heard horror stories about college roommates and you’re hoping you don’t get placed with someone you’re not compatible with. Well, the good news is, all you have to do to avoid this is stay on top of your move-in updates with your college or university. If the communication is solid, you’ll know who your roommate is before you move it! The resident life team works hard to get everything ready and organized for incoming students. If you don’t hear from them first, you can always reach out via email and inquire about your dorm and roommate assignment. 

Once you know who your roommate will be, add them on social media and send them a message to introduce yourself. This will allow the two of you to get to know each other and possibly plan together! If you feel comfortable sharing items like mini-fridge and TV, the two of you can agree on who will bring what. This saves space in the car and your room! 

Class Is In Session 

The next step for your manifestation of a good first year is to make sure you don’t fall behind. It’s likely your first semester will be filled with common curriculum courses. This just means you’ll have to take some basic subjects the university requires for graduation. This is different from the courses you’ll need to fulfill your major, but they are just as important. Pay attention to how many credits you’ll need to graduate on time because if you end up failing one of your common classes because you didn’t take it seriously, it’ll be more work to do later. You’ll end up splitting time between a class you just need to pass and the major-specific course you’re actually passionate about. 

If possible, try to determine whether a class will be doable for you early on. There might be more than one way to fulfill the requirement. For example, maybe you need a language requirement and originally signed up for Italian. You can always withdraw early and sign up for another language course that has open seats. Maybe Spanish comes easier to you because you took it in high school? Don’t discourage yourself from trying something new, but remember to categorize what’s urgent and what can be saved for later. 

How Many Chili Peppers? 

After you’ve chosen your classes, or even beforehand, you’ll want to research your instructors. Most college students use RMP (ratemyprofessor.com) when looking to get the real scoop on what it’s like to be in a class run by certain faculty. You can use this website to determine what you’re getting yourself into, who to avoid, and which professors to pursue. The reviews are written by real students who actually took classes with the professor. You can filter the reviews to learn if the professor gives good feedback, is responsive to emails, sets clear grading criteria, and whatever else is important to you. 

Some students prefer their professor to be easy on the eyes because it makes the class more enjoyable. RMP used to offer an option for students to essentially rate the attractiveness of their instructors. Professors with a high rating for attractiveness would have chili peppers displayed on their profiles. The website has retired this due to being criticized on social media with individuals expressing that the chili pepper contributes to a poor academic climate for women and is irrelevant to teaching.

Work-Life Balance

Once the semester has started and you’ve gotten the hang of your schedule and workload, there will be one more thing to consider. You’ll need to make sure you have a healthy work-life balance. This will be something that you’ll need to master beyond college. Yes, college is the time to set the foundation for your future career, but it’s also a time to have new experiences and meet new people. Do not spend all of your time cooped up in your room or at the library studying. Join a club that fits your interest and or is related to your major, go to campus social events, parties, football games, etc. 

You’ll want a supportive group of friends throughout your college years, and the only way to make them is to put yourself out there, take a break from coursework, and have some fun every once in a while. This will open the door for FOMO (fear of missing out) and peer pressure. But, you will learn how to set boundaries and say no to your new friends when they invite you to party till the sun comes up knowing you have a paper due tomorrow. 

Manifesting a successful first year of college will not be easy, but it will happen for you. You might make a few mistakes and have some regrets, but that’s all a part of the journey. You can conquer this next chapter of your life. You just have to affirm yourself and recognize how magical you are. You can do anything you put your mind to. Get ready to secure that degree, sis! You’ve got this! 


Disclaimer: The guidance provided in this article is merely a suggestion. The strategies and tips shared herein are based on general experiences and may not be suitable for every individual or situation. Readers are encouraged to exercise their discretion and consult with relevant professionals or advisors for personalized advice tailored to their specific circumstances. The author and publishers of this article disclaim any liability for any loss or damage arising directly or indirectly from the use of the information provided.

by Tajinnea Wilson

B.A. in Creative Writing from Susquehanna University


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