10 Things Every College Freshman Should Know

10 Things Every College Freshman Should Know

7. Make time for yourself

Everyone looks back on their freshman year of college and says to themselves, "Dang, I wish I would've known that.". These are 10 things to remember as you come into college. It's a huge adjustment and these tips will help you adjust.

1. School is the MAIN FOCUS

You came and chose this school because you wanted to build your mind, get more education, and make something of yourself. You chose this school because it felt like home away from home but it’s also a place where you can make your future the one You want! When coming into a new environment, it can be hard to stay focused on your main reasons for going to college, to begin with. You have no rules, no parents telling you what to do all the time, no curfew, and so on. It can be extremely easy to get off track and take advantage of the grown-up world. Just always keep in mind school is the whole reason you are in this environment, to begin with.

2. Organization!!!

Organization is the main key. It can get difficult to stay organized with the overwhelm of assignments, papers, and exams. Especially when you have the freedom that you have. In high school, you always had the teachers constantly reminding you when you have upcoming due dates and so on. They also constantly tell you that in college, it is not going to be like that. Well, guess what, they were right! You are an ADULT now so being that, they make the assignments and due dates your full responsibility. They will usually tell you at the beginning of the semester when a big assignment is due, then it is your responsibility to take on that assignment and follow through with it! Keeping a planner or a homework/due date notebook helps you stay organized. You can write down every important date for exams, assignments, and papers. If you aren’t organized and aware of the due dates coming, it can result in bad grades in which you do not want.

3. Take advantage of your resources

Take advantage of all your resources. Library, your professors, and free tutoring are available for you to use and take full advantage of. They are there to help you succeed and using these resources will help you succeed in college. The library is a great place to study. It’s quiet and there aren’t many distractions. What else is there to do besides school work?

4. Don’t be afraid to get involved.

College is the beginning to finding yourself and seeing your true potential. These are the best memories that you can make. Getting involved on campus is truly beneficial. It helps you connect with different people from all over the world, you make true friends, and it may/can benefit in the future with your career. I personally got involved with Greek life and it is honestly the best decision I have ever made.

5. Are your friends your forever friends?

College is a whole different experience and it can be difficult to maintain friendships. As people age, they change. Your high school friends may not stick with you all the way through college. Your freshman year friends may not still be your friends when you’re a sophomore or junior. Don’t worry. College is all about experience and you’ll later realize that you bounce around a while before you find your home.

6. Go to class!

Literally, go to class. At the end of the day, you are paying to go to school so why pay to skip? In college, some professors will even fail you if you skip class more than 3 times. Besides, if you aren’t in class, what are you doing?

7. Make time for yourself

College can be very overwhelming with assignments due this week and exams next week, not mention outside activities like having a job or Greek life. It can be very busy and you never have time to sit down and relax. So, remember to set time away for yourself and maybe do activities you like. For instance, my “joy” time when I go to the gym or out with the girls.

8. Stay healthy!!

Staying healthy is an obvious fact but it can be difficult with free meals on campus or midnight cravings. Staying healthy is a good way to stay focused on school and take care of yourself. Eat healthy and good meals so you don’t gain the “freshman 15”. I know, it can be hard, but trust me, it will pay off in the end. Maintain a good amount of sleep. When your brain isn’t awake and ready for the day, you aren’t either, which can lead to a drop of grades. You wouldn’t want that to happen.

9. Don’t forget about your home.

Its college. Enjoy it while you can because before you know it, you’ll be 30 years old with six cats working your life away. There are so many memories to make from football games, tailgates, homecoming competitions, and so much more. Take advantage of this time because everyone isn’t as lucky as you are. Not everyone has the same opportunities that you do. Get the most out of this experience. Everyone says it’s the best years of your life.

Cover Image Credit: Brittany Wilbanks

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Stop Basing Your Ideal Balanced Life Off Others’

Improving your habits to live a more balanced life is always a great concept, except when you base it off someone else.

It’s that time of year again. We’ve all just returned from Spring break, burnt or refreshed. It's also the season for biggest college holiday of the year: St. Patrick’s Day. It’s the one day of the year that a frat boy will roll out of bed at 6 a.m. not to make it to his 8 a.m. class on time, but to crack open a cold one with the boys before the sun has even had a chance to shine. It’s a marathon of drinking for the average college student, and to make matters worse this year it’s on a Saturday, which means there won’t be classes to hold students back from going hard all-day long.

At my campus, an average student should expect to hear about joint or lone frat parties that are held morning, day, and night and then maybe expect a 50/50 chance of making it to the bars (which if you’ve made it that far, you deserve a medal). With all that being said, it is up to you what you wish to do with that information.

As a freshman in college, I went from going out one night every other week at the beginning of my first semester to going out Wednesday through Saturday (four nights) by the time I left for Winter break. My second semester I’d cut down to three. Last semester, two. And now in my second semester sophomore year, I only like to go out one night a week, preferably Saturday.

Was going out that often freshman year good for my health? Probably not. Am I living a more balanced life now prioritizing school and a healthy lifestyle but still making time for fun? For sure!

I still don’t regret going out that much freshman year because it’s normal for students away from home for the first time in a new environment to try taking on new things. For you, that could have looked like my freshman year or it could have looked completely different (or could be if you’re still in your first year). The point I’m trying to make here is that it’s normal to boomerang between different extremes trying to find your perfect balance between responsibility and fun that will bring you success while still bringing you happiness.

Today, I am most certain that the lifestyle I’m living fits my current goals for success and happiness, but that doesn’t mean that your ideal lifestyle at the moment is the same as mine. Why is that? Well besides the obvious that we all have different priorities, it is what those priorities are built upon — values. Most of our values won’t actually ever change, because we adopted them from a young age; however, the experiences we transition through especially during our young adult life will shift around our rankings and prioritization of those values.

For example, one of my larger values is being super socially involved. I’m involved in a social sorority, a professional business fraternity, the honors community, and The Odyssey, but starting as a freshman I didn’t have all these groups and connections. Instead, I became socially involved by going out, which you can meet many new people through. Gradually as I joined these organizations, my network grew quickly and my social bucket was starting to overflow.

My purpose in going out to meet new people quickly diminished because my value for being super socially involved was already being fulfilled. So why do I continue to still go out once a week? Other values that’s purpose also existed in going out was over-shined by my value of being super socially involved. These other values still exist for me, such as letting loose my pent-up energy from the week. It’s nice to have a night out to force you to forget your pressures from the previous week and the week yet to come, but I don’t need more than one night a week to do so. Do you see the balance yet?

Let’s look at another end of the spectrum. Another extremely large value I hold is enjoying my academic success. I prefer to view academia as a gift rather than a burden. By viewing newly learned knowledge as a gift, I may spend more time viewing the material and studying it, but it leaves me feeling up-to-date with my classes and extra-gifted by receiving a better grade.

It’s by my perception of this value that I don’t feel bummed staying in doing homework than going out with my friends. Maybe you don’t have this value and that’s okay! If you don’t have this value and maybe your workload is quite light, then where your larger values do lie are areas to give your time to in one way or another.

Balance is different for every individual. This St. Patrick’s Day, I will not be waking up before the sun to crack open a cold one. I’ll be waking up at my regular 7:30 a.m. alarm to eat a healthy breakfast and workout in my dorm room — which will be followed up with getting glammed up and ready for the St. Patrick’s Day parties that follow. A friend of mine plans on waking up at 4 a.m. (!) while another won’t be drinking at all that day but has offered to take care of anyone that needs a ride.

All our values and value rankings differ substantially, but in our own ways, we are living a balanced life. It’s all in your values.

Cover Image Credit: J Bradley Snyder / Flickr

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10 Things That Can Go Wrong Before 10 AM

Sometimes the morning just makes me want to sleep until next week.

When things just aren't working out before 10 a.m., it is easy to want to crawl back into bed and sleep until Saturday.

1. Bedhead

Everybody has their fair share of bed head, but the kind that needs a shower to fix. Really hair?! Why today! It's too early to be soaking wet!

2. Waking up to a school email

Sometimes, this is good news, snow day anyone? But when a teacher is sending out emails early in the morning there is a chance is it is something about assignments done incorrectly — and nobody wants to wake up to that.

3. Waking up to your roommate in the bathroom

Roommate, I love you — but why do we always seem to need the bathroom in the same moments?

4. Checking your phone to see many missed calls or texts from a family member

The first thing to think is — oh no! Who died? That is never a good way to start a day.

5. Waking up to Snapchats from guys

Hate to break it to you — but the midnight booty call looks especially trashy when it's read at 7 a.m. Also, if you knew the first thing about me — you would know that I am rarely awake after 11 p.m.

6. Oversleeping

*Wakes up at 9:15 a.m.* Well it's not worth it to go to my 9 a.m. now!

7. Realizing in the morning that you forgot an assignment

Rather it was due last night or in my 9 a.m. class, I'm probably going to get a late grade on it now!

8. Car troubles

When the morning is going perfectly — until the car won't start! Sorry boss, sorry professor; I had to walk because my car is a piece of junk!

9. Getting locked out

I had a plan to be productive this morning. But I guess I don't have a choice but to sit around and wait until the front desk opens because my life is behind my locked door!

10.Remembering something unpleasant as soon as the alarm goes off

I wanted the first ten minutes of my day to not worry about the big exam coming up. Thanks, brain!

The bright side is the day can only get better from here! Since it is before 10 a.m., there is still plenty of time to carpe this diem!

Cover Image Credit: Picjumbo

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