As an upperclassman, I have learned from my own mistakes in the past couple of years in college. I see it as a trial-and-error period where now I know how to thrive in my college experience. I will share some tips and tricks for incoming college freshmen so you can survive and live your best life.
1. Go to class
This one is pretty obvious but let me tell you one thing, if it is in the morning, you most likely will not want to go. Wether it is cold weather, rain, or your bed is oh-so-comfortable, you may find yourself turning off your alarm and going back to sleep. Avoid the temptation and muster the will to go to class. One way to avoid skipping class is by not having classes before 10 am. Having an 8 am class may be doable, but there will be tough mornings. You do not want to get into a habit of skipping class which can result in a bad grade.
Befriend your roommate and others on your resident floor
For shy individuals, this may be a difficult task, but see it as a safety net for tough times and getting through your first year. I can promise you that people at college are nicer than high schoolers. They are at college to learn and they choose to be there. You can be yourself and find friends who are like you. Start with becoming friends with those who live on the same floor as your dorm building and open yourself up to your roommate. If you do not get along, you can always change rooms.
Meet with your professors
It may seem a little odd to some people, but meeting with your professor one-on-one can be super helpful for you. Professors are mentors who are there to guide their students. You can honestly talk to them about anything you wish especially if you need an older adult to talk to. They have office hours that you can schedule in a meeting for you and your professor. It is also really helpful to meet with them during tests and finals where you can see what you need to improve on and if you have any questions.
Being a freshman, there is no better time to get involved around campus. There are tons of clubs that colleges have available to all students. If clubs aren't your thing, try out for sports, bands, or other fun activities/ organizations that schools offer for everyone. If you do not join something your first year, you are more likely not to join anything in the future.
Always make time for you
College can be very stressful but by spending time with yourself and relaxing, you will feel much better. Make time for yourself and do what makes you happy. This can be reading, yoga, journaling, or watching movies. Give your busy mind a break for a while.
Keep track of your finances
Making a budget or writing down your expenses is super important and helpful. This is not a time to buy expensive things and avoid unnecessary purchases. Buy what you need and try not to use credit cards either. College is a time for self-discovery and making mistakes, but making money mistakes is something most people have a hard time recovering from.
Be organized/ don't procrastinate
If you never have been organized, it is time to start. Buy a planner and keep track of all of your assignments, tests, quizzes, and do not wait until the day before to complete them. No one wants to experience that type of stress. Do your work when it is assigned so you do not have to worry about it later on.
Take your time deciding on a major
I can promise you what everyone changes their major a few times while in their college career. It is totally okay to not be sure with that you want to study as your major. It is a hard decision but talking to professors and your advisor can help with making that decision.
Find your own method of taking notes and studying
Not everyone studies and takes notes the same way because their are so many types of learners out there. Some people take really detailed notes while some else might just need to listen to the lecture. Find what works best for you.
Keep in touch with your family
Being away at college can cause some feelings of homesickness and it can cause some tough times. Keep in touch with your family and schedule weekly calls with them. It can help you with the separation especially if it is the first time you have been away from them for a long period of time. Plus, it will give your parents some peace-of-mind and helps you feel close to them during stressful tests and finals week.