10 Tips And Tricks To Hack Your Freshman Year

10 Tips And Tricks To Hack Your Freshman Year

Surefire ways to make your first year as a college student the best it can be.

So, you’re about to enter your freshman year of college, and yes, everything is about to change. As intimidating as it may be, or rather, as intimidating as it is… welcome! You’re in the right place. Having just finished my freshman year, I’ve compiled a list of some tips and tricks that are guaranteed to help you hack your first year in your new home.

1. Be open to everyone.

Everyone you meet during your first few days is in exactly the same position you are! Everyone is looking to make friends, and numerous other students looking to mark down contenders will most likely approach you.

2. Get really good at reciting, “I’m ____________, I live in _____________, and I’m interested in ____________.”

This is your first-week-as-a-freshman conversation starter.

3. Don’t be afraid to reach out.

Don’t hesitate to shoot a text to one of your orientation buddies, for example, to make lunch plans. You may feel awkward, but both of you will probably be grateful for the company. This is a great way to build a stronger bond, too!

4. Don’t be afraid to brave dining spots alone.

You’re in college now; independence is a newfound treasure! Though intimidating, it is completely acceptable to go to the caf alone. In opposition to any preconceived notions high school may have placed in your brain, no one will be looking at you and whispering “what a loser”. In fact, you’ll find yourself surrounded by other diners who are also content with their own company.

5. Get ahead of the “Sunday Scaries”.

When Sunday rolls around, you’ll probably find yourself stressing about the busy week ahead of you. This will be the case even moreso if you leave the bulk of your work until the last minute. Start assignments as soon as they are assigned, even if you only do a little bit each day. Fight your procrastination before it starts. You’ll thank yourself when that due date rolls around.

6. Sleep.

Yes, you’ll be busy. Whether it is your academic life or your social life keeping your schedule packed (hint: a healthy mix of both, pls), don’t forget to take time for yourself and give your body the rest it needs! Sleep is essential to staying healthy, happy, and motivated, and if you aren’t getting those 6-8 hours every night… well, let’s just say your dining dollars (and heart rate) will certainly take the hit when you constantly find yourself with coffee in hand.

7. Fight Your FOMO.

College is full of fun, social opportunities, and yes, you will be tempted to join in on the fun. Every. Single. Time. Just remember where your priorities fall, and make sure you are keeping them where they should be. Keep in mind that you have a whole year full of fun weekends with your friends, and you really don’t need to go to every single party, concert, or whatever other plans may arise. The world will not end if you skip out on tonight’s party to finish your 25%-of-your-grade paper, and it also won’t end if you decline that brunch invite because you’re feeling under the weather. Life goes on.


Unlike high school, a good amount of college professors will not include grades for homework. What does this mean, exactly? Your grade rests on your exams, quizzes, and papers. Unlike high school again, college exams require hard work. You cannot roll up to your test without having studied and expect an A. You can’t just “wing it”. Study. No, seriously. Study. Your GPA will thank you for your cooperation.

9. When you need help, ask for it.

Whether you are struggling in a class or dealing with something personal, do not hesitate to get help. In terms of academics, professors love to see students take the initiative and reach out in order to achieve their desired grade.

This shows motivation and dedication to your studies. On another note, if you are going through something personal, don’t suffer in silence. Confide in someone you trust, whether it is a friend or trusted adult. There are services on campus specifically for this reason, and they are more than happy to help you in whatever way you need it. Explore your school’s resources and look into speaking with someone who can provide comfort and advice.

10. Have fun.

College can be stressful, emotionally taxing at times, and exhausting, but it is also one of the most exciting and fun experiences you’ll encounter. Make the most of your next four years. Freshman year will fly by and make you realize just how important it is to live in the moment.

Enjoy the ride :)

Cover Image Credit: Indefatigable2 at English Wikipedia

Popular Right Now

To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.


As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

7 Pieces Of Advice To Help You Survive Your Very First Week of College

You got to college! Now what?


It's your first week of school and, though you've been getting advice from everyone, you still have no clue about some the most important tips to get you through your first week. This is some advice from a bunch of people who were probably just as lost as you.

1. Don't be afraid to ask for help

"Ask for help. Even if the help you need is just a phone call from home telling you everything is going to be okay, don't be afraid to ask for it. Trying to muscle through and do it all by yourself doesn't make you stronger, tougher, or more grown up; it just makes life harder. Parents, friends, and professors will all be willing to help you if you just ask."-Female, Junior

2. Get to know campus

"The faster that you explore the campus and truly see what the university has to offer, the more you will feel at home."-Female, Sophomore

"Get to know campus. It's big, it's confusing, and it's easy to get lost in if you don't know where you're going. Since you'll already have your class schedule, look up the buildings where your classes are and try walking to them. This helps you find the location and gauge how much time you need to walk."- Male, Sophomore

"Familiarize yourself with major landmarks on campus." -Female, Sophomore

"Make sure that you know where your classes are before the day of, so you aren't terribly late. Most professors are understanding, but some aren't and you want to make a good first impression."-Female, Sophomore

3. Make an effort to meet people

"Meet as many people as possible. In the first week on campus, everyone else is new and everyone else is looking for new friends. If you put yourself out there trying to make a good impression on people in your dorms or even just around campus, others will remember you. It's a great way to start friendships early."-Male, Sophomore

"When you first move in, don't be afraid to prop your door open while you unpack! If you see someone walk past your door, say hello and introduce yourself! Don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and invite someone for coffee and the opportunity to explore the university together. You won't regret it!"-Female, Sophomore

"Talk to literally everyone you meet."-Female, Sophomore

"Make an effort to try and get to know people on your floor."-Female, Sophomore

4. Stay in touch with family, but don't over do it

"Feel free to text your family, but don't overdo it on calling them. Live in the moment and try to adjust to living on your own. Fill them all in at the end of the week :)"-Female, Sophomore

5. Find your routine (but don't forget about big tests or events)

"Use a planner. I promise it'll help."-Female, Junior

"Get into a consistent routine (classes, eating, sleeping, etc.)"-Female, Sophomore

6. Go to the involvement fair

"Go to the Involvement Fair and be ready for free stuff!!!"-Female, Junior

"Involvement Fair is a must. Also, just meeting as many different people in as many different groups as possible!"-Male, Sophomore

"Go to at least one meeting for a club or group you'd like to join."-Female, Sophomore

"Go to the involvement fair!!! it's a nightmare, but it's how you find orgs that could change your life."-Female, Sophomore

7. Take advantage of every opportunity

"Have fun being in this amazing new place for the first time. There are incredible experiences and events happening in the first week that could inspire and educate you for the future. Take hold of every opportunity and remember, GO BUCKS!!"-Male, Sophomore

Related Content

Facebook Comments