By Jessica Lyons
Many schools have a specific advisor to work with incoming freshmen and act as a mentor. While helping you get used to the challenges of college, these advisors might monitor your 'academic progress and any concerns about attaining academic success,' according to Hunter College. They can answer questions about college and even give you information about support services, among other things. Don't wait until the end of your first year to meet your freshman advisor; find them at the beginning so that you can take full advantage of the knowledge they have to offer.
If you've never lived away from home before, you might be apprehensive about dorm life. An RA can help you make the adjustment. Boston College explains that its RAs 'provide support, act as a resource for students, coordinate social and educational programs and work together as a staff to enforce university policy within the halls.' This means that if you have a question about campus living, they're the ones to go to. So once you move in, find your RA and introduce yourself. This way, once you do have a question, you'll already feel comfortable seeking him or her out.
Student Activities Coordinator
Although classes and coursework will keep you busy, it's still important to get involved on campus, whether it's as a member of an organization or by attending on-campus events. Your school's student activities coordinator will be the key to all of this. He or she might be involved with planning some of the campus events in addition to acting as an advisor to the student clubs and organizations at the school. If you're looking to get active but need some direction to help navigate everything that's going on, this will be the person you'll want to talk to.
Your Major's Department Head
Regardless of your major, it's always a good idea to develop a relationship with your department head. After all, they know your field of interest and the courses you'll need to take inside and out. Even beyond your freshman year you're sure to have questions about the classes you're taking, the ones you should be taking, internships in the field and many other things. Who better to help you address these questions than the person who heads up the department for your major?
Financial Assistance Counselor
Figuring out how to pay for college can be a lot to take in, not to mention a lot of paperwork and deadlines to worry about. Your school's financial assistance counselors, or equivalent, can help make sure you're on the right track. You'll definitely want to be in touch with them so you know when filing deadlines are coming up. They might even be able to let you know about additional forms of financial aid that you could be eligible for.
Check out these tips for surviving your first semester of college.