Maybe you’re currently in the process of trying to fit all your belongings into a couple of boxes for the upcoming move, searching for the best deal on textbooks for class, or wondering who your roommate will be.

As you embark on this new journey as a George Fox student, check out these five practical tips to help you get off to a smooth start:

#1 Ask Questions

In college you’re not expected to have all the answers, but you’re highly encouraged to ask a bunch of questions. Ask any clarifying questions of your professors. Don’t know what ASC means? Ask a staff member (P.S. It means Associated Student Community, our form of student government). Unsure about how to do laundry in your dorm? Ask your Resident Assistant (RA). Our faculty, staff and student leaders are committed to answering all your questions, because, believe it or not, many of us had the same questions.

#2 Get Involved

Join one of our intramural teams through our Hadlock Student Center. Attend one of our student-led clubs and multicultural organizations. Apply for a work-study job. Become a student leader (yes, you can totally do this). These outlets are a great place to develop friendships with peers from different classes and disciplines. These teams, clubs and organizations are a great place to find your community while at George Fox.

#3 Organize

“But I remember everything in my head…” This may be true for some of you. We still encourage you to organize your class schedule, homework assignments and work commitments on either a physical planner or digital one (such as Google Calendar). Organizing your schedule will help you anticipate the amount of time needed to complete assignments and recognize when you might be overloading yourself with responsibilities/classes.

#4 Find a Mentor

A mentor can be a staff member, professor, supervisor or spiritual leader. It’s someone who can help point you in the right direction as you begin your college journey. They can provide clarity through questions, recommend developmental opportunities, and share wisdom. It’s OK to have more than one mentor; aim to find two this year. It can be as easy as sending an email to a professor or staff member asking them to coffee.

#5 Write your 'Why'

What motivates you to be in college? You could have more than one reason. It could be a step in your career goal of becoming a lawyer, teacher or social worker. Or perhaps you're motivated to find work that finances the purchase of a house. Think about the reasons you want to earn your degree. Write it down on a piece of paper, type it on your phone, or have it on a Post-it note nearby. Writing down your why is powerful because it develops your vision for being in college. It’s a simple way to gain motivation as you study for a final or finish up a paper.

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