There are few other periods in your life where you undergo as much change as you do in that first year of college. Fresh out of high school, you’re probably living away from home for the first time ever, meeting new people and having new experiences, or maybe you aren’t. There’s a narrative about how your freshman year is supposed to go, but it doesn’t always work that way for everyone. The tips below can help you make the most of your first year of college.

Manage Your Finances

One of the most stressful aspects of being a student is managing money. There are reasons it can be so difficult: there isn’t much of it, you’ve never done it before, and you may be facing additional pressures, such as needing to keep a certain grade point average to retain a scholarship. Read some articles about budgeting and get an app to help you track where your money is going and avoid overspending. While you should avoid getting into debt beyond your student loans, you may be getting a lot of credit card offers as well. A credit card can be very beneficial when used wisely. That means only putting things on it that you can pay off each billing cycle or just using it in emergencies. You can read more about how to choose the right card to make sure you get one that suits your needs.

Say Yes

Your first few weeks or months of college can be overwhelming. If there are times when you feel like you need to find a quiet place to be on your own and decompress, you should absolutely seek it out. However, you shouldn’t isolate yourself. Try some new activities or attend a class or lecture on a topic you don’t know much about. Strike up conversations with your classmates. Think of this as saying yes to opportunities that come your way. If you don’t enjoy something, you don’t have to do it again, but being open to new experiences will really enhance your first year of college.

Eat, Sleep, Exercise

Even if all you’re doing is taking a full load of classes, you’re probably busy. If you add extracurricular activities, a part-time job, and a social life, you might be spreading yourself thin. While this is a lot easier to do when you’re 18 or 19 than it is a couple of decades later, you should still strive for some balance in your life. Maybe you have no choice but to pull the occasional all-nighter, but for the most part, you should try to get a reasonable amount of sleep most nights.

Similarly, having pizza or fast food delivered sometimes isn’t going to kill you, but you should try to eat a reasonably balanced meal often. Finally, getting some exercise will make you feel better both mentally and physically. Even just taking a walk can be good exercise. Your school probably has resources that can help you keep some balance in your life in these areas and others despite a crazy schedule.