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