How To Get Through Your First Semester of College

The time has come for you to join the ranks of college freshmen at IPFW. Feeling a strange mixture of excitement and nervousness is to be expected. This is a new stage of life, one that will hopefully lead you to success and fulfillment in your, not too distant, future. It won’t be easy, but it will most certainly be worth it. To help you get through it, we’ve put together some tips for success.


1.     Go to class

This may seem obvious, but you’ve been given this newfound freedom; you suddenly have the option of going to class. Don’t give in to the temptation of sleeping in during those early morning classes. Professors often go over material and information in class, like updates to the syllabus or test/exam dates, that you might not get from a friend’s notes.

2.     Connect with people in your classes

It’s easy to stick to your social circle, but try to branch out. Get to know the people in your classes, they can be a valuable resource (as can you to them) when it comes to studying and filling you in when you have to miss class.

3.     If you need help—get it

There is nothing wrong with needing some help. This is new to you and no one expects you to understand every single thing the first time around. IPFW offers many resources for students, including tutors, study groups, help with writing and more.

4.     Don’t over-do it.

It’s important to make sure that you don’t spread yourself too thin. The last thing you want to do is spend your entire first semester stressed out and struggling to keep up with all of your classes. Consider how much time you’ll have to spend doing homework and studying for each class before signing up for courses, and be sure to leave yourself a little bit of time to unwind.

5.     Meet with your advisor

Your advisor knows what classes you need to earn your degree in four years. Meet with him/her, share your goals and take any advice you are given. If you have questions about your course schedule, or you are having a hard time keeping up, let them know. They want you to succeed as much as you do.

6.     Job shadow while you can

Whether you aren’t completely sure that nursing is the way to go, or you just want to get a better look at what nurses do, job shadowing is a great way to “try before you buy”. Use your freshman year as an opportunity to explore the great world of nursing before you become one, yourself.  IPFW Career can help connect you with organizations for job shadowing, internships or even just to network. Parkview Health is another great resource. Not only will you have the chance to complete clinical requirements there later on, but they also offer a job shadowing program for students to observe healthcare professionals in their field.

7.     Get involved

Join a club, network, meet new people. College is about having fun and exploring your talents and interests. The Student Nurses of IPFW is a great way for nursing students to explore opportunities by volunteering and networking.

Your first semester of college is sure to be an exciting, yet overwhelming, experience.

“The most important things a pre-nursing student can do to be successful during their first semester at IPFW are to go to class, get involved on campus, interact with classmates and reach out for help when needed. There are tons of resources at IPFW, and your academic advisor can be your best source of help.” Nursing advisor, Sydney Miracle.


College is a different world, it’ll be harder than high school, but it will be rewarding if you work at it.

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