College can be a scary thing. You’re going to a new place with a lot of people you’ve never met before with little to no preparation. I went in to my freshman year blind with no clue what to do, but along the way I learned a lot of tips on how someone else can prevent that.
Learn where buildings are before your first day of classes. I skipped the college tour on orientation day (four hours of just walking around? No thank you) and I completely regretted it on my first day. I had a little help from my boyfriend who had already been a student there for two years, and he gave me a quick tour of where my buildings were the day before, but I was still lost (less lost then I would’ve been if he hadn’t shown me around before). Even if you skip the long tour like I did, find a friend to explore campus before your first day so that you can get to your classes on time!
Talk to your professors outside of class. I learned that this is the most important thing you can do while in college. Set up a meeting with your professors during their office hours and discuss any problems you might be having in your class. Even if you think you’re doing fine, check in with them and more times than not, they’ll give you some tips they didn’t explain to the rest of the class giving you a slight advantage! If you meet with them and show them that you care about what your grade is, the higher the chance is that you’ll get an A.
Use the free gym membership you get. Most campuses have a gym and give students free access. My campus gym also offers free group classes like yoga, kickboxing, and Zumba, so if your school also offers this, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT. It’s super important to use your membership. The Freshman 15 is real. While I maintained my 208 pounds (which is overweight for me), I only did this because I used the gym. Which brings me to my next tip….
Avoid eating unhealthy food. This is the reason that I couldn’t lose a single pound even with my daily trips to the gym. My suite mates ordered a pizza once a week, the cafeteria didn’t serve a wide variety of foods, and ice cream was free. It wasn’t until second semester that I realized I needed to change my eating habits. I was always feeling so drowsy and my face was breaking out in the worst case of pimples I’ve ever had. I started limiting my food and eating more fruits and veggies, and I immediately lost 10 pounds! Trust me, you can survive on pizza just once a month.
Keep all of your notes and syllabuses in a folder or binder. NEVER throw away anything from your class until the semester is over. You’ll never know when you’ll need something from even the first week of class. I kept all of my things in a binder so that I wouldn’t lose or misplace them.
Don’t avoid homework or essays until the last minute. I probably would have been a lot less stressed near the end of the first semester if I would’ve spent more time completing homework assignments early in the year. I procrastinated my homework until the last possible second, sometimes not finishing until an hour before class, and while it didn’t destroy my grade, it definitely hurt it. I had to try extra hard to get A’s in all my classes during the last month because of my slacking.
Join a club or organization. Yes, this is one of the most generic tips given to people going to college, but it’s so important. You’ll meet a lot of people in the first few weeks but not all of them will share similar interests as you. Joining a club or organization is a chance to meet people who share the same passions that you do. I’m part of the English society at my campus and I’m loving it so far.
Plan everything out. To make sure you don’t forget any homework assignment or quiz, write everything from your syllabuses into your planner and make sure to check your planner regularly. Time seems to fly by quickly and papers you think are due in two weeks can actually be due in two days so it’s really important to know ahead of time so you can complete it.
Rent textbooks or buy them online. Slugbooks.com has been my greatest friend when it comes to buying textbooks for my classes. The website finds your textbook on multiple sites and offers you the cheapest ones. I saved over $500 my freshman year.
DON’T SKIP CLASS. No matter how tempting it is, you’re paying a lot for these classes. I will admit that I skipped classes more than a few times my freshman year, and while I still got A’s (it took a lot of catch up), I fell behind on so many things. The professor goes over so many things that aren’t always in your textbook so go to class and learn!
Call your parents and family. I will admit that I got caught up in the college scene and forgot to call my parents more than once. I tried to call once a week but it ended up being two or three times a month. Your family is the most important thing and you should try and stay in contact with them.
Volunteer. Everything you did in High School is officially down the drain. No one cares what you did in high school anymore and you have to start from scratch. Volunteering is a great way to boost up your resume and it’s also a great way to meet people and give back to the community. I receive weekly emails from my campus about volunteering opportunities and I try to volunteer at least once a month.
Learn how to manage your time. I had a part-time job during my freshman year and I found it hard to manage work with school. I thought I could handle working four to five days a week. I’d be done with my classes around four and go to work from five until 1 a.m. I soon realized that I had little to no time to finish my homework and I was getting only 3-4 hours of sleep. I made the decision to cut down my work hours to only two days a week and it was the best decision I made all year. Don’t take on too much because you also need your beauty sleep.
Don’t pull all-nighters. I watched my roommate stay up until 8am studying for a test once a week and while she did manage an A once or twice, most of the time she still ended up getting a B or even a C. Staying up all night is not going to help you better your grade. You’re not studying as hard as you would be if you were energized and focused, and it’s just a waste of time. Study a week or two ahead of time and get a full 8 hours before your test.
Get a tutor. If you are having a difficult time in a class, don’t be embarrassed to hire a tutor. Some classes offer them for free, and it’s important to take full advantage of that resource. Everyone struggles with a class at one time or another, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of.
These are most of the things I learned during my freshman year and using these tips will definitely help you have a successful college career! I hope these tips helped. xx