Life changes pretty fast when you're in college. If you're heading to college and you're looking for tips for freshmen, consider the following before you go. These will help ensure you're prepared for what's to come this year.
In this article, we're taking a closer look at several tips for college freshmen.
10 Tips for College Freshman
You have probably been given so much “how to succeed in college” advice your head is spinning. From your parents, your siblings, high school teachers and staff, and other college students, you have likely heard it all.
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While they are giving you advice, you are focused on the mixture of emotions that appear each day before you begin this new journey.
As a college freshman, you are one of the millions of students experiencing these same feelings of excitement, anxiety, uncertainty, homesickness, and all the other feelings associated with transitioning into a new lifestyle.
Here are 10 tips for college freshmen.
1. Don’t Choose a Major, Yet
You have completed high school, yes. But you are not even legal to drink so it is understandable if you don’t know what you want to do for the rest of your life. It’s okay to put off choosing a major for a while, but not a long while.
In your freshman year, make efforts to narrow down the careers that are appealing to you. Because you are likely taking general education courses and electives, you have time to research degree programs.
Start by working with the career center on campus.
2. Show Up
If you go to all your classes, get to know your professor and participate in class, you will do well. Professors notice the students who make the most effort.
Not only should you show up to class, show up to club meetings if you join a club, show up to dorm meetings when called by your resident advisor, and show up to orientation before your freshman year begins.
3. Get Oriented
Colleges provide orientation sessions for a reason because they help you learn about the campus, your courses, and the resources available to you.
It’s here you can also meet professors, campus leaders, and potential friends. Attending orientation before school starts can help you avoid looking like a true freshman on the first day, lost and late for class.
4. Live in the Right Dorm
Once classes start and students begin adjusting to new surroundings, you will be able to tell if you are in the right dorm room to help you succeed in college.
If you are in the party dorm, on the party floor, next to the party room, this is not the dorm for you. The distractions of your dorm neighbors will interfere with your goals. You may even be influenced to join them when they party, which can lead to even further negative outcomes.
Instead, request a move to a new dorm. You may even want to choose a sober dorm, which is available on many campuses today. Here you can find sober friends, mentors and join positive activities and clubs.
5. Stay Healthy
You are on your own now. Making sure you stay healthy mentally and physically is up to you. When you first notice symptoms of ailments, don’t wait to get help. If you notice you are feeling more anxious than before, reach out for help.
More importantly, take preventative measures that can help you avoid mental or physical issues. Exercise regularly, eat healthy foods rather than eating junk food, journal, get good sleep, and meditate for better health.
Each of these activities takes little time but offer huge health rewards.
6. Work on Campus
Working on campus helps you meet new peers and staff of the university. You may be able to find a work-study position that can help you pay for tuition. Or, if you decide to work in a full-time position as a regular employee, you could get multiple courses paid for as part of your salary.
Working on campus helps you avoid the party scene or getting in trouble because you don’t want to lose your job and any perks that go along with it. Plus, you are a representative of the university and want to maintain a good reputation.
7. Time Management and Organization
Being a freshman in college can seem chaotic at times. You may be involved with multiple activities, all requiring your time and attention. If you are not organized and structured in scheduling your daily activities, you will begin to feel overwhelmed.
Implementing time management and organization techniques will help keep your stress under control, and it will help you prevent over-booking your schedule.
Use a calendar that lets you schedule every hour of your day. Schedule in study time, sleep, meals, relaxation, fun, work and anything else you have going on each day.
8. Practice Good Study Skills
Now that you are scheduling a time for study, it’s important you practice good study skills to get the most accomplished during this time.
Good study skills involve working in an environment that is best for you to concentrate on and understand materials. Not too many people thrive at studying while hanging out in the cafeteria with hundreds of other students mingling and eating.
That doesn’t mean you can’t have any noise. Just find the right level that allows you to stay focused. Some people need silence while others can have light music or a television playing in the background.
9. Ask for Help
The campus has a wide range of resources to meet all your college freshman needs. Each of them is waiting to provide you help that will enable you to succeed.
Academic tutoring, learning disability assessments, computer tech support, places to exercise, social events, and counseling support is some of the most used resources.
Making the effort to reach out for help will greatly benefit you.
10. Know You Are a Rock Star
The fact that you are headed to college as a freshman means you are one step closer to fulfilling your goal of obtaining a college diploma. You are on the right track. Be proud.
You are accomplishing something not everyone can do. Instead of feeling worried or anxious, focus on the positive qualities that have led you to this point.
Keep reminding yourself that you are a rock star.