Are you feeling nervous about your first year of college? Here are genius college tips freshman should know that I have learned after my first year!
Going into freshman year of college can be overwhelming because you have no idea what to expect. You also may have many questions like "Will I make friends?" or "Are the classes difficult" or "Do I need to have my whole life planned?"
Trust me, I have been there and promise that the feelings you are feeling are completely normal. I was excited but also slightly terrified going into my freshman year. I wish someone would have given me some college tips and tricks that would have helped me succeed in my first year.
Lucky for you, I will share with you the best college tips freshmen should know before starting their first year that my friends and I wish we would have known. Here is everything you need to know about how to prepare for freshman year of college, college freshman roommate tips, making friends, and starting your first few steps of adulthood and independence.
This post is all about tips for college freshman.
College Tips Freshmen Need to Know
1. It's Okay to be Homesick
Listen, it is entirely okay to be homesick. This could be your first time being away from home or you could even be in a whole other state. It is understandable. I go to school nearly 2 hours away from home, and I miss my family too.
However, the best advice I could give is to not to call your family every day as opposite as it may seem.
You are learning to be more independent, and it pushes you to become outgoing and make friends.
2. Avoid Procrastination
You are going to be shocked by the amount of freedom you have in college.
However, that is no excuse for you to procrastinate on your assignments and put it on the back burner. Try to work on assignments a little bit every week, so you won't stress about it.
3. Coming into College Undecided
It is okay to come in your first year with no major. To be honest half of college freshmen struggle with the daring question of "What do you want to be when you graduate?" It's nerve-wracking to come up with an answer, but you don't need to.
If you come in undecided, I recommend focusing on general classes because no matter what major you are interested in, it will not affect you.
But, if you have the money and time, I suggest enrolling in classes that pique your interests.
4. Take Advantage of your School's Resources
Your campus provides tons of resources for you to take advantage of that were included in your tuition.
During freshman orientation, ask some questions about your school's resources that you should look into.
5. Mrs. Degree
No shame at all if you are interested in finding Mr.Right while in college.
Nevertheless, do not make dating your main priority. College is fun, and you should go out and experience new things with a date or two in between.
6. Pack Wisely
Be intentional while packing for your dorm. Most dorms are small, and you have to be creative with creating extra storage.
Also, an extra tip do not bring your entire wardrobe and leave your t-shirts at home. College loves to give away free stuff and you will get plenty of more.
7. Seasonal Packing
If you enroll in the fall semester, only bring seasonal appropriate clothing and during winter break you can exchange clothing.
But if that is not possible, bring an equal amount of winter and spring clothing so you won't have too much.
8. Talk to your RA
Talk to your RA and get to know them. If you ever have problems, they are the person that you would want to go to.
9. It's Okay to Be Alone
I know it is scary to be alone. But having that alone time is okay. Being alone, you can get to know yourself and whom you want to be.
So do not stress yourself out if you do not have your college best friend right off the bat. It will eventually happen.
10. The Freshman 15
The Freshman 15 is real. However, if you want to avoid it, I recommend being more mindful while you're eating and walking as much as you can.
You don't have to eat completely healthy but eat in moderation, and while you're in college, walk to classes to keep your body moving.
Here are some additional tips on how to avoid the Freshman 15.
11. It's Okay to Feel Overwhelmed
I know going into my freshman year, I was overwhelmed, and that is okay.
My roommate and I were joking throughout the first week that we would drop out and marry rich. Seeing all the work you have to do for college is insane, but you'll get better with time managing once you get the hang of it.
12. Prepare to Work
Be well aware that you are not going to be chilling all day. You're going to get stressed, and it's okay to be stressed.
To avoid getting stressed with the work, learn how to manage your time and stay ahead of schedule.
13. Get a Mattress Topper
I cannot stress this enough. This is my best college tip for your dorm: invest in a good mattress topper.
When I tell you, my back felt like an 80-year-old woman with my cheap mattress topper. It was an awful year. But the next year, I invested in a good mattress topper that helped improve my sleep, and I swear by it.
14. Research your Professors
Wondering how to prepare for freshman year of college? This is the best website that every first-year college student should know.
Rate My Professor is amazing. When picking your classes, research your professor. This website will show you the reviews, if attendance is necessary, if classes are challenging, group projects, etc. I do recommend taking it with a grain of salt.
15. Stay Organize and Get a Planner
This is probably one of my favorite college tips freshmen should know for success. Your planner will be your lifeline throughout college and onward.
Find yourself a good planner that will have a to-do list, daily time, and monthly calendar. My favorite calendar is the Day Designer Planner because of the to do list. If planners are not your thing look into Google Calendar.
16. Do not be Afraid to Drop Classes
Suppose you feel that you are struggling in a class. Do not be afraid to drop the class.
My friends and I have dropped classes and ended up retaking with another professor. Because you had to drop a class does not mean you will not succeed retaking it.
17. Get Involved With Your Campus
What I wish I did in college was get more involved. I was not involved with any sorority or clubs, which I wish I would have pushed myself out to do. Joining an organization is a great way to make new friends.
18. Make a Friend in Each Class
I recommended having a friend in each class. This will be your person that if you need notes from a class you miss, a study partner, or have any questions.
19. Start Budgeting
Figure out how you want to manage your money. I wish someone would have stressed this to me. It is so important to learn how to budget.
You should figure out where your money should go: savings, gas, groceries, upcoming plans, and etc.
20. Student Discounts
Did you know there are discounts for students? This is probably one of the best things about being a college student. Many stores offer student discounts to help you save money.
Here is the ultimate list of student discounts that you should utilize.
21. Utilize your Professor's Office Hours
The best college tip for success is communicating with your professor. They have open office hours for a reason. They want you to come in and talk to them if you have any questions.
Also, building that relationship with your professor will be greatly appreciated when you need a recommendation letter.
22. It's Okay Not to be Friends with Your Roommates
Not everyone is friends with their roommates. I was very fortunate to go to college with my high school best friend my freshman year and we still live together.
However, people have different experiences and not everyone is best friends with their roommates. That is okay as long as you are civilized and able to communicate if you have any problems.
If you need helping finding roommates here are great potential roommate questions to ask.
23. Keep Your Space Clean
Take time to clean your dorm and bathroom if you have one with a dorm cleaning schedule. Clean out your refrigerator that has old food, dust your room, and vacuum your floor. Having a new clean room will help keep you organized and more productive.
24. Find out How Are You Going to Financially Support Yourself.
Before you go to college, talk with your parents about how you will support yourself throughout the year financially. Are they going to give you an allowance or look into a part-time job while you are in school?
25. Don't Cheat
As tempting as it sounds to cheat, I do not recommend it. If you get caught cheating, it could affect you and your classmates.
Cheating in college is nearly impossible with all the technology and different versions of tests. So even if you think you will get away with it, it is not a good idea to try. You could lose your scholarship money or, even worse, be expelled.
When it comes to textbooks, I would wait and see if you need the textbooks because I have bought some textbooks that I did not even open the entire semester.
If you have to get a book, look into a rental at your bookstore or on Amazon.
27. Push Yourself Outside of Your Comfort Zone
While you are in college, push yourself to go out of your comfort zone. You will be able to try new experiences that you would not have thought you would have liked. It shapes yourself as a person and grow.
28. It's Okay to Say No
However, it is good to push yourself out of your comfort zone. It is okay to say no.
I know that idea of going to college you should say yes to everything, but in reality, it is okay to say no if you do not want to go somewhere or if you have a test in the morning and you want to stay at home and get some rest before. The best tips for incoming college freshman is:don't give in to pressure.
29. Go to Networking Events
This is a crucial college tip that I wish I would have known about. Networking is everything in college. It is all about whom you know that will help you gain internships and possible careers after college. It's better to start early than to wait to the last-minute.
So look into your college career center to see if they have any networking events that you could look into to help build your LinkedIn profile and talk to companies that you potentially want to work with.
30. Attend a Sports Game
Sports games are so much fun to attend in college. If you have the chance, try to go to a sports event go.
31. Always Attend Class
As tempting as staying at home and skipping class, do not do it. Most classes have an attendance policy, and it will bite you at the end of the semester. Unless you are sick and you have a doctor's note to prove it, I would try to go as much as you can.
32. Avoid 8 a.m Classes if Possible
For some reason, I thought 8 a.m. classes would be just the same as in high school, and I was utterly wrong. If you could avoid 8 a.m. classes, I would not take them.
Because for some reason, it is so hard to get up at 8 a.m., and you are more likely to skip.
33. Create a Healthy Life and School Balance
Do not spend all your time studying and stressing yourself out. There is such thing as over studying, and it is good to have a healthy balance and go out.
34. Become BFF's with Your Advisor
Talk to your advisor. Whether you are talking to your academic or career advisor, talk with them and get as much advice as you can. They will help you plan out your classes and potential internships. At this point, I am on a first-name basis with my advisor.
35. Take Good Notes
Make sure you understand them and ride it the best way that you feel you can attain information. if your looking for some more study tips for college freshman, here are the best study tips that I learned that gave me a 3.7 GPA first year.
36. Be Safe
Make sure you stay safe while you are in college.
Unfortunately there at times, you might be in an uncomfortable situation, especially for girls.
37. Be Smart Scheduling Your Classes
When planning your classes out for the semester, tailor them for your needs.
If you are the most productive in the morning, have your classes in the morning back to back with enough time for you to go to each class without rushing across campus.
Here is my ultimate guide to plan out your perfect college schedule.
38. Be Yourself
As cheesy as this may sound, being yourself will get you so far in college. So do not worry what others may think about you. Be the person you want to be and not what others want you to be.
Wow, that was a lot of information. If you have any additional advice that you have learned, I would love to hear about it in the comments below.
This post showed you 38 College Tips Freshman Need to Know to Survive First Year
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