College is really intimidating, and it’s a huge transition. Here’s a list I compiled of advice to help you out your freshman year.
- Study in the library
If I had any advice to give to freshmen, it’s to avoid studying in your dorm or apartment. I find I’m much more motivated and efficient working on the quiet floor of the library with my earbuds in and zero distractions. With some coffee, of course.
- Work everything out with your roommate.
I’m serious on this one. Have a conversation with your roomie about how your expectations for your shared living space. Work out a chore schedule and tape it to the wall where each of you can see it. If something isn’t working out, then tell your roommate(s). Living with someone else can be fun, but the reality is it’s not always easy.
3. Buy textbooks online, and always do price comparisons.
Repeat after me: your university bookstore is not your friend. It’s convenient, but it’s really expensive. I recommend buying your required textbooks from Amazon or Chegg.com. Sometimes universities have Facebook groups for your class where people sell old textbooks cheap as well. (Just be sure to meet in a public area on campus if you plan to do this.)
4. Go to class.
I don’t care if it’s early. I don’t care if it’s boring. I don’t care if your professor drones on and on. When it comes to having all the information you need for your assignments, good attendance grades, and finding someone to write a letter of recommendation, you’ll be glad you got up for your nine AM. I promise.
5. Put effort into your new friendships.
Once you meet new people, ask them to go do stuff with you outside of class or clubs. This one was hard for me because I’m introverted and kind of awkward, but I white-knuckled through and now I have great friends in college, and I can’t wait to meet more.
6. Keep up with your old friends from high school.
The first few weeks of uni are really hard on all new students. Don’t get me wrong; college is loads of fun. But you might actually miss your family and your old friends, and talking to or even snapchatting them is a great pick me up. Just be sure not to rely on this too heavily, and remember to put yourself out there in college!
7. Go to sleep.
College is a lot more responsibility than you’re probably used to. Do not let it affect your sleep. I did more procrastinating than sleeping, and I was a total mess. Five hours a night is not enough. There is not enough coffee in the world to fuel you on really-low sleep. Your grades will be better if you catch more Zs, I promise.
8. Take some keepsakes.
I know you have a lot to pack, but grab a few cute photos and some frames. I have friends that tape entire walls of photos in their room of their friends and family. It makes them feel better and it’s really cool looking. Either way, grab some photos.
9. Take some to-go coffee mugs.
I became a coffee drinker in college, and I sadly owned only one to-go mug. This summer, I’ve been stockpiling cute, cheap mugs for the on the go to take with me to class, the library, and meetings. I know it’ll be worth it.
10. Get a planner.
I mean a real, pen and paper planner. A big one. In my experience, it’s too hard to keep that on your laptop or phone, because they’re chock full of distractions. Plus, a lot of professors do not appreciate devices in class, and taking your cell out to make note of an upcoming test or assignment may prompt unwanted attention from your prof.
11. Take time to yourself every day.
With your social life, school work, job, and coffee brewing, it might seem difficult to find time for you. So make it a priority to spend at least half an hour doing something you love. Like reading my blog.
That’s all the advice I have for you! Feel free to ask me questions or add in what you find helpful. Or whatever, it’s your GPA.