Most of us feel excited the first week or two of college life, a new experience and freedom unlike any we have ever known; it’s a rite of passage. However, with that rite of passage comes self-doubt, a little apprehension… big changes! Just remember, given time you will settle into your new routine as a college freshman and those feelings of doubt and apprehension will soon subside! For now, just focus on making good decisions that create a routine for success in college.
TIP #1: GET INVOLVED
There are times in life when most of us feel like we want to disappear… like we don’t belong somewhere or don’t deserve to be there. This happens often for college freshman. Just remember, you do belong! You worked hard to get into the right college or university. You put a lot of effort into making your freshman dorm room into your new home, even down to picking out the color scheme. You probably even bought a new college wardrobe. So now is the time to get a return on your investment and the best way to do that is by getting involved:
Show up and participate fully in classes. Push past your fear when you are sitting in class. Push down the thought that your question is dumb and just ask it. Undoubtedly, there are several other students asking that very same question and having those same thoughts. You will gain your professors’ respect, boost your self-confidence and emerge as leader among your fellow college students.
Join or start a study group, extending your participation beyond the classroom. Join campus clubs and organizations that interest you, especially those that can make a positive impact on your future career goals. College sanctioned clubs and organizations are also a great way to meet new friends with common interests. If you haven’t selected a major, getting involved by exploring clubs and organizations on your college campus may help you gain a little insight, assist you in selecting a college major over the next year.
TIP #2: SET A SCHEDULE AND STICK TO IT
It is important to remember why we attend college in the first place… to learn and prepare ourselves for a successful future! Because there are a limited amount of hours in a college freshman’s day and juggling is difficult for most of us to master, it is important as a college freshman to set a realistic schedule for yourself that includes:
- Class time
- Study time
- Activities; and
- Personal time for doing laundry and cleaning your dorm room…
It’s all up to you now. Be forewarned, it is inevitable that you will meet an older college student who seems to party all night, blow off classes and still make good grades who will encourage you to follow in their footsteps. it’s important to remember that most of us have to put in the time and the effort to make good grades. Many college freshman who do not put in the time and effort will probably be on academic probation the next school year or worse, drop out. So schedule your priorities and time wisely then stick to it!
TIP #3: LIVE HEALTHY
Mom or dad won’t be at campus to keep you on track so it is up to you now to make smart choices to stay healthy:
- Keep your dorm room clean and organized, free of germs. Freshman dorms and residence halls are a breeding ground for bacteria and viruses.
- Don’t burn the candle at both end. Sleep is a must have essential to stay healthy and make good grades in college.
- Eat right and work out. Good eating habits and exercise are good for the mind, spirit, body and your grades!
TIP #4: STAY CONNECTED
It is essential as a college freshman to make it a habit of staying connected.
- Call, text, or Skype mom and dad at least once a week.
- Keep in touch with your friends back home.
- Reach out to new friends on campus.
And remember, when you are having a stressful time or difficulty in class, to reach out to your professors and advisors before you are in too deep. They see it all and are probably one the best resources you can have in college.
These are just a few tips to help you settle into college life! Have a happy, healthy, and successful freshman year!