Transitioning from high school to college may be a dramatic change for those who are leaving home. The combination of a new school, different people, and the new-found freedom can be a bit overwhelming at times. Here are a few tips to help you survive freshman year:
1. The friends you make freshman year will most likely not be your life-long friends.
However, don’t let this discourage you! It is still important to get out of your bubble and meet new people. Don’t be afraid to start conversations with classmates, hall mates, and upperclassmen. I recommend leaving the door to your room wide open, when safe of course, for those passing by to say hi.
2. Pizza is not a food group.
Ever heard of the Freshman 15? It’s a real thing if you let it happen. You can add as much pineapple as you want to that pizza, but it doesn’t become any healthier. My advice is to check out the cafeteria for healthier alternatives.
3. Roommates don’t have to be your best friends, but they should at least be your acquaintances.
It’s not easy leaving home and living with a stranger, but remember it’s just as nerve-racking for your roommate as it is for you. A good relationship between roommates leads to a better overall living condition. So don’t be afraid to get to know your roommate. Who knows, they might even become your best friend.
4. A relationship is not required.
This is the time to figure out yourself, as an individual. I promise that the male population will not disappear if you do not date all of them in the first year. I met too many girls who were not attending class and failing, because of “flings” that they felt were more important than class. Do not let this be you!
5. The gym is not a scary place.
When I first started going to the gym, I was intimidated by others who were clearly more fit than myself. My advice is to forget about that girl who’s running 5-minute miles on the treadmill next to you. Focus on yourself, and go at your own pace. Not only will working out make you more physically fit, but it will also relieve stress.
6. Don’t party too hard.
Parties can be fun, but you need to know how to successfully balance work and play. Alcohol has negative effects on your education and personal life when used irresponsibly. According to About Parenting, 90% of all campus rapes involved one of the parties being intoxicated. Parties don’t have to end this way. Have drinks with friends who you can trust, and designate a sober driver who will get you home safely.
7. Get to know professors.
Getting to know your professors outside of the classroom will enhance your college education. You can attend their office hours scheduled during the week if you need further explanation of a topic discussed in class. They also have resources and connections that will be of benefit to you during college, and may lead to careers after graduation. Remember that professors are more likely to write letters of recommendation for students they know on a personal level, rather than those they know solely in the classroom.
8. Location. Location. Location.
When it comes to studying, you need to find a place that best suits you and your studying style. Your dorm room may not always be the most effective place to study. Try studying in places with less noise such as the library, designated study rooms in dorms, or the local coffee shop. It has been proven that studying in different locations improves the amount of information retained. So don’t spend three hours sitting at the desk in your room. Rather, grab some coffee and finish your studying somewhere else.
Starting college can be stressful, challenging, and enjoyable all at the same time. Don’t panic when times are tough, because in the end, the experience is worth it. Above all, remember to have fun!
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