Essential reading for every college student about to embark on their freshman year, 11 top tips to make your college freshman year a fun & smooth ride. This post is by guest contributor: Ciara Sebecke, a current student at Ohio University.
My first year of college was one of the best yet most difficult times of my life so far. Freshman year is filled with many challenges and new experiences but will end up being one of the best years of college. All the newfound responsibility that comes with going away for school may seem overwhelming at first but the knowledge and skills you acquire make all the difficulties worth it. Sometimes you just have to figure things out along the way. From a soon to be Junior to my future freshman classmates: Here are 11 things I wish I had known my freshman year at Ohio University.
1. It’s okay to look like a freshman.
I am always seeing advice for freshmen along the lines of “don’t walk around in big groups” or “get rid of your lanyard.” In reality no one really cares that you are a freshman. We love freshmen! We are all just jealous that we can’t relive our freshman year right there with you. Embrace your freshman status and use the excuse of being new while you still can!
2. Leave the high school drama at home.
Although many people think that the petty drama of high school disappears as soon as you walk onto campus, the sad truth is that much of it still lingers. There are tons of drama queens (and kings) in college so you must learn to pick your battles. Most people mature enough to leave the judgment and bullying at home, so don’t be that person who is always starting fights or picking on others.
3. Remember why you are here.
It can be easy to get caught up in the social aspect of college and get carried away. Don’t forget that the purpose of college is for you to learn and earn your degree. That means going to class! Way too many people flunk out their first year because they are too focused on socializing and not on hitting the books. Keep up with your schoolwork and remember to actually show up.
4. Get involved.
I’m sure you have heard this before but don’t take it lightly. Joining clubs and organizations is one of the best ways to meet people and will give you an academic advantage over your classmates. Many people say to just join fun clubs freshman year but I disagree! I have met more people and have had more fun in the academic organizations than the “fun” or non-academic ones. Not getting more involved my freshman year is something I regret!
5. Study, study, study.
Studying in college is so different than high school! You actually have to do it no matter how fine you think you will be. Not the day of or the night before. You need to sit down for an extended period of time and go over your notes. Make Quizlets! Even if you know you are going to pass your exam, a few extra hours of studying during the week might make the difference between a C and an A.
6. Work out.
If you are someone who had a strict exercise routine or played sports in high school you can andwill gain weight in college unless you work out. All the added stress in college combined with buffet style dining halls and a lack of time to exercise makes for a lot of chubby freshmen. The freshman 15 is real but you can beat it by hitting the gym. Most schools have a rec center on campus so take advantage of it while you don’t have to pay upfront.
7. Get out of your comfort zone.
College is a huge new place with tons of new faces and experiences so it can be hard to break out of your shell sometimes. Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Talk to people you wouldn’t normally talk to and be the one to introduce yourself first. Try something you have never done before, even if it means just asking a question in a large classroom. College is full of amazing new opportunities and experiences; you just have to learn to take them.
8. Know your limits.
Many people can get carried away in the party scene at school and end up doing things they regret or getting hurt. It may seem like you have the freedom to do whatever you want in college but you have to consider the real life consequences for your actions. Remember your morals and let them guide your decisions. Don’t overindulge or go past your boundaries. Unfortunately there are bad people out there, so stay alert. Don’t get yourself into a bad situation or put someone else into one.
9. Befriend your professors.
It may sound silly but it is absolutely necessary to get to know your teachers. If you don’t, there willbe a time when you need letters of recommendation and you will find yourself in a pickle. They know what they are talking about and are most likely more than willing to help if needed. Knowing your professors will help not only at school but also after you graduate. They are great to have in your network and tend to be interesting people to talk to. When you ask your professor to round your 89.5% to a 90 at the end of the year they are more likely to help out a familiar face!
10. Utilize your resources on campus.
Take advantage of the dining halls and dorms while you can! Paying for your own food and rent sucks. You are paying for a ton of resources and services with your tuition so use them! Many colleges offer writing assistance or free/ discounted tutoring so use those services if necessary. Don’t be afraid to get campus counseling or go to the health center if you think you need it. That’s why it’s there! (and it will be much more expensive after you graduate.)
11. Take a deep breath…. And relax. 🙂
Such a big change can be overwhelming and stressful so make sure to leave some time for yourself. Don’t feel guilty for taking a day off every once in a while. College can definitely be tough sometimes but don’t let it get to you. We all make it out in the end! Don’t forget to enjoy this amazing time of your life. You’ve made it through the hardest part already! Get ready for the best four years of your life (so far). And don’t forget to have fun!
Be sure to check out Ciara’s awesome lifestyle blog Caffeine& Daydreams .
Author: Ciara Sebecke ,
Header photo from ohio.edu
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