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Survive and Thrive in Your First Semester at YCP

September 05, 2023
Students on Campus

You wowed our admissions team with your application, scheduled your classes during New Spartan Days, moved into your residence hall, and now it’s time to dive into the next four years of your life as a Spartan! 

The first few weeks of classes can be stressful as you make the transition into college life. A new routine in a new place with new people can seem daunting, but at YCP, we want you to be successful in everything you do. Take a look at these tips to help you ease into college life and start your first semester at York College of Pennsylvania on a high note.

Get Organized 

Organization is an all-important skill that you should develop early in your college career. Getting organized early will create a habit that will stick with you through graduation and beyond. We recommend staying organized by using a calendar to keep track of class times, assignment due dates, and other commitments like an on-campus job or weekly club meetings. Whether you opt for a Google Calendar or a physical planner, having a dedicated space to keep track of your life is essential. 

Attend Your Classes  

Going to class might sound obvious, but we know sleeping in and skipping that 8 a.m. Biology class can be tempting. Making it a priority to attend your classes will help you get into the groove of college life and avoid missing important information shared by your professors. After all, one of the benefits of attending YCP is the small class sizes, so take advantage of it!

P.S. In case you forgot: you paid for those credits! Get the biggest bang for your buck by going to class and staying engaged regularly. 

Find a Balance 

College life is a juggling act. Between academics, a social life, part-time jobs, and athletics, there’s more than enough to fill your days to the max, and then some. Make sure you’re conscious of how much time you’re dedicating to each piece. It might take some conscious effort, but striking that balance between studying and binging your favorite show on Netflix will be valuable when midterms and finals come around! 

Don’t feel pressured to decide on a career or major 

It’s OK to be unsure! After all, college is all about exploring what interests you. Don’t feel rushed to declare a major during your first semester just because you’re scared you’ll fall behind. Our Academic Advising team will make sure you stay on track to graduate on time, while supporting you as you figure out what interests you in a major or a career. 

Make connections with your professors  

Connecting with professors is easier than you think (especially if you attend class!). At YCP, you won’t have to go through teaching assistants to speak directly to your professors. Faculty are always accessible, and spoiler alert: your professors want to hear from you! Whether you have questions about class lessons or you just want to pick their brain, reach out and keep in contact. You’ll be glad you made those connections down the road when you begin applying for internships, jobs, or graduate school. 

Get Involved 

With 100+ clubs and organizations and countless opportunities to get involved in campus recreation, it’s almost impossible to not get involved at YCP. Joining one or two clubs early in your college career will help you make friends and get more familiar with the College and everything it has to offer. Our Involvement Fair is held at the beginning of every fall semester and is the perfect place to explore clubs that interest you! 

Read the Syllabus 

They might look the same on the surface, but each syllabus is different. Think of the syllabus as your roadmap for each class. Your professor will outline their expectations and provide an overview for the semester to help guide you from beginning to end. Reading each syllabus will help you to know what to expect each week and prevent any big assignment deadlines from sneaking up on you.

Check your Email 

We can’t stress enough the importance of staying on top of your inbox! Your YCP.edu email will be your direct line of communication with professors, advisors, on-campus supervisors, and how the College communicates any important announcements. We recommend getting into the habit of checking your email at least once a day and downloading the Gmail app on your phone. This will give you the opportunity to look at emails on-the-go and reply to anything time sensitive. 

Ready to tackle your next four years at YCP? Our campus resources are always available to lend a helping hand as you navigate your way through your first semester as a Spartan.