Freshman Year Advice

It is the start of a new year, and many students are about to embark on their first college experience. There is often much uncertainty when entering a totally new environment. You may be visualizing one thing and experience another. You may have friends that are going to the same school or you may not. This is a time of change and many people do not deal with change very well. As a current graduate student, I have been through a similar situation and have a few tips that may help ease your transition.

Meet people – Whether you live on-campus or off-campus, find time to be around fellow classmates. Go to the cafeteria or any other place you see a good deal of people socializing. Start some conversations. This will increase your confidence immediately.

It is time to work – If your high school experience was similar to mine, you did not have to work too hard to get that A or B. You will learn quickly that this is not the case in college. Go in with the mindset that you will have to set aside a descent portion of your time to study. Which brings me to my next point:

Coffee is good – I am not saying that everyone should drink coffee, but it has helped me get through some tough exams. Find your way to stay awake and alert and stick with it.

Don’t be afraid of the library – The library is a great place to get some stuff done. Trying to do homework in your dorm or apartment can be done, but often there are a great amount of distractions. Find your silent place.

Ease your nervousness – First of all, do not think people are out to get you. The way I thought of being a freshman was that no one even knew I was a freshman. This helped out a lot.

Schedule your classes wisely – Make sure you have a long enough break in between classes. Also, check to see where you’re classes are before you go to them. My first class I ever had in college, I sat through a lecture for an Economics class that I wasn’t even in. The teacher switched classrooms on me. So do a little research before you make the same mistake.

Learn to save money – Many freshman have been using mom and dad’s money their whole life. This trend may continue in college for a little while, but it is important to not blow all of your money quickly. Instead, focus more on what you need and try and budget.

Use your advisors – You won’t believe how many people I have heard of that have lost a lot of money or got set back by not going to their advisors. It is important to have an idea of what you want to do before you talk to them. Being clear and specific may save you a lot of time and money.

And most importantly

Have fun – You are only in college for a few years and trust me they fly by. Enjoy them as much as you can and make some lasting memories. You start some great friendships and learn a lot through the years. Enjoy these moments as they come because they may only happen once. Live in the present and find happiness every day.