Finding your way around college campus and buildings can be very daunting and can take some time to get used to. Getting familiar with the campus can ease your stress levels and make you less anxious. Some of this can even be done ahead of time, before starting college.
Find out where the closest bathrooms are for each of your classes and lectures.
Find where the ATM is on campus. This is important if you need to have cash for use in the library, canteen or shop.
See what food is available in the different dining options on campus, how much it costs and times that food is served. It is also good to find out how you manage with any sensory difficulties in different cafes and canteens.
Find the different class rooms and lecture halls that you will be in.
See how long it takes you to get from class to class. Sometimes classes are in different buildings in different parts of the campus. This planning ahead will reduce your stress as you will know how long it takes to travel between classes.
Find the route you take from the bus to your building and note how long it takes. A different route could be used each day depending on your timetable.
Find the disability support service on campus and make an appointment to find out the supports they can provide to you.
Check where the doctor, nurse and counselling services are.
Find out how to use the library and the areas where books you need for specific subjects are located.
Pack your bag the night before so you don’t forget anything important. Look at your timetable to ensure you bring the right books and notebooks.
Organise your outfit for the next day before you go to bed. Having clean clothes set out reduces your stress in the morning and means it takes you less time to get ready.
Make your lunch the night before. This can save you a lot of money, and reduces your time waiting in queues if you are in a rush.
Get up early to give yourself plenty of time to eat, shower, get dressed, do your hair etc.
Have breakfast in the morning. If you’re not a breakfast person, make sure you bring something for when you get hungry later on in the morning.
Check college emails for any changes in your timetable so you can plan for them.
If you bring a laptop to college, remember to take your charger with you.
Have your phone charged.
Remember your timetable. Keep a copy in your diary and another on your phone or laptop so you never go without it.
Bring sensory supports with you. These help during your commute and your time in college.
Give yourself plenty of time to get from your house to the bus stop and the bus to your classroom, especially during rush hour.
By keeping yourself organised while in further education you reduce the likelihood of sleeping in late, missing classes and falling behind on your work. It also helps to get into a consistent routine.