Top-Notch Tips for College Freshman Year

Be the best frosh you can be.

Freshman year can be one of the most exciting years of your life.

You might be moving to a new city, state or country all together. Either way you will be making new friends and learning a lot about yourself. Here are some tips on how to handle some of the biggest question marks you might run into during your freshman year:

  • Friendship: One of the most unique experiences about attending a college or university is the diverse group of people you will meet from all walks of life. The friendships that you make in college will last a lifetime. Don’t be afraid to branch out from your comfort zone when meeting new people. You'll be surprised in the variety of friends you make.
  • Roommates: Depending on the types of people you and your roommate are, you could either love or hate each other. Spend some time getting to know your roommate's likes and dislikes and don't be afraid to share yours. Living with someone else is all about give and take. Communication is key in order to survive a year in a room with someone else.
  • Homesickness: Sometimes being away from family can be tough, especially if you're not used to being away from them. Spend some time chatting to them on the phone or over Skype to help with the homesick blues. If your family is close by, have them come into town or go home for the weekend as a little getaway from college life.
  • Personal Wellness: Remember in the mix of it all to make time for you. Don't let the stress of school get in the way of your mental health and personal hygiene. It is most important to keep yourself healthy in college as it affects your ability to learn and maintain positive social interactions with others. Take a weekend to relax and get your head back in the game if you're not feeling your best.
  • Being a First-Generation Student: If you're the first person in your family to go to college, chances are that your family is just as nervous and excited as you are. Make sure you check in periodically and give them an update on what you're up to. They'll appreciate it since they don't know what the experience is like and you'll get in some family time as well.
  • Organization: Being organized in college is one of the keys to success. Even knowing your schedule and mapping out your classes before the first day will be super helpful in keeping your stress levels low. Make a calendar of your class schedule and write down times to work on homework. Just don't forget to include time for yourself and friends!
  • Getting Involved: Joining clubs, Greek life, intramurals and other campus activities are a great way to get involved on campus and meet new people. The more circles you involve yourself in, the busier you become—so keep that in mind with the amount of classes you are taking, you don't want to overload yourself.
  • Networking: Who you know is just as important as what you know in college. Take the time to get to know your professors and other faculty and staff on campus. They will be helpful connections in the future when you are looking for jobs or looking to attend graduate school. 
  • Studying: Falling behind in college is not something you want to get involved in. Getting a failing grade in class can put you on academic probation, or worse, academic suspension.  Consider teaming up with people in your classes and forming study groups. Some classes will even offer tutoring—consult your professors or academic services center for more information.
  • Using Resources: Make use of your campus resources, they are there for you. Whether it’s the campus gym, library, computer labs or equipment checkout, there are plenty of great resources ready on campus that are waiting to be used. Some schools even let you access resources over the summer, like the the gym, which is a great way to continue to stave off the Freshman 15.
  • Picking Your Major: One of the best things about being a college freshman is not having to choose a major right away—this gives you a unique opportunity of trial and error. Dabble in classes that you find interesting and if it doesn't feel right, try something else. There's no harm in being indecisive or not being able to narrow down your array of interests within your first year in school.
  • Speaking Up: It can be really easy to shy away from speaking up in class, but participation is frequently part of a professor's grade. The more you participate in class, the more the professor can see you are actively engaged. If you have questions while you are in class, don't be afraid to ask them. Chances are someone else is thinking the same thing you are.
  • Backing Up Files: Always, always back up your files, this is something that cannot be stressed enough. Computers, even if yours is relatively new, can crash. Whether you save to the cloud or on a flash drive, having a copy of a document you're working on will save you in the long run and professors will appreciate that.



College Life

Should I Join a Theatre Group in College?

Take it from a former college theatre geek, your school stage will most likely be the best and last stage you'll ever be on. 

After graduation, it’s all community theater and church ensembles, and who has the time for that? Nobody, that's who. 

Going to the farmers market is one of those things that just feels good.

They're quaint and novel, full of happy people buying hand-grown food, and sometimes, they even have a guy playing an accordian over by the pickle stand. It doesn't get better than that, my friends. 

On-Campus Farmers Markets

The lost art of growing vegitables and selling them directly to the community isn't lost yet at these awesome college, where students and professors alike are able to walk less than the length of the campus to a fresh and fantastic farmers markets.

Disc Golf is Everwhere on a College Campus

What do a statue of a university founder, a liberal arts building and an on-campus coffee shop have in common? They can all be disc golf targets.

That’s right, practically every college campus can and should be used as a disc golf course. It’s done at St. Mary’s University, where students get to throw over streams and historic graveyards. And it’s done at the University of Oregon, where students shoot through skinny, sprawling oak trees.

Why Chess is Such a Great Game

Chess may be one of the most important games in humanity.

It has taken geniuses and robots to master, has lasted through centuries of sporting, permeated across the globe and found its way onto almost every college campus in the country. Yet despite its prodigious back story, it is still one of the most democratic games, funneling down to just two individuals and their wits. 

Who is Wes Anderson?

Wes Anderson is half-average guy half-magician. His fashion, visual style, films and characters are all relatable, genuine, cool and absurdly different. He’s been making amazing cult films since the late 80’s, attracting fans of all ages and backgrounds. But at one point he was nothing more than a dude sitting in the back of a college play-write class, looking to make friends and talk movies. 

Having something you wrote with your name attached to it on a website that you didn’t create is resume gold. I'm not talking about your personal blog (which can still be very impressive), I'm talking about guest blogging. 

Guest blogging shows initiative, skill, and business cunning. And although it seems like everyone’s doing it, trust me, it’ll still make you stand out.

The best thing about SpoonUniversity is that its writers understand students. 

College students go to class. College students study in libraries. College students go on $3 hot dog runs at 2 a.m. What they don’t do—is cook. At least not as much as they could.

SpoonUniversity is fixing that.

Having trouble making friends in college?

Worry not - you're not alone! Making friends at any stage of life is a challenge, especially if you're somewhat shy, introverted, or -- we're just going to come out and say it -- "picky". 

Some think it should be easy to make friends in college since there are so many people around, but that's not true. If anything, the amount of options and directions students are pulled in can make it harder to find someone you can really get along with. 

Alright, if our calculations are correct then between move-in day and graduation day you could meet a Prince, a future American President, a surfer musician, a quarterback, or a genius.

You could also meet some other non-famous cutie hanging out around campus, but that wouldn't be as exciting. 

Competitive people can’t help being competitive just like lazy people can’t help being lazy. It’s simply in the blood. But for obvious (and unfortunate) culturally American reasons, teachers, parents and honest friends will berate you for being lazy, but wont for being overly competitive. That’s because competitive people tend to excel: top percentile grades, multiple extracurricular activities and popularized class rank are among some of the achievements of those who win at school.

Should You Listen to Your Parents College Advice?

For the most part, yes. When it comes to picking a degree or figuring out the finances then your parents can be a huge help.

But there are other things about they don't know a whole lot about, and that's because college has changed so much since they went. 

The basics are the same—find a subject you like and excel at it, enjoy your social life but don’t get carried away, try to get a degree in four years—but some of what they tell you will only get your hopes up or stress you out. Here's what's changed. 

College is Full of Surprises

There are a lot of cliches about college. Even friends, family, and former students can give you false information.

Every school (and people's perceptions of them) are different. And sometimes people just flat out embellish (you know those people). 

They say that Life doesn’t come with an instruction manual, but they're wrong, it’s called Google.

Everything you need to know to be able to write a good research paper, bring relatable current news to your classroom, back up your arguments and lead a rewarding life you can be found through Google.

Unfortunately, there’s a lot of bad information out there that will clutter your search results and force you to miss the good stuff. We don't want you to miss the good stuff. 

The End of Winter Break...

The start of the second semester is a strange time to be a student. For the past several weeks, your lifestyle has been the complete antithesis to educational development—you’ve probably finished a shameful number of Netflix shows, spent some quality time with hometown friends, and haven’t been waking up before 10 or reading from a textbook.

Now, you'll soon be going back to campus where you'll be asked to do the total opposite.

If you don’t start a club in college, chances are you never will. That’s just the truth. I mean it’s the perfect place. It’s full of active, fun-seeking, mostly adventurous students—enough to flock around most obscure/unique/weird interests you may have.

If you’re down with all this and want to continue or start an epic tradition, then listen up, because there are still some things that can go way wrong.