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.
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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.

8. STUDY!

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

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To The Teacher Who Was So Much More

Thank you for everything
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I think it's fair to say that most people remember at least one teacher who had a lasting impact on them. I have been incredibly lucky to have several teachers who I will never forget, but one individual takes the cake. So here's to you: thank you for all you have done.

Thank you for teaching me lessons not just in the textbook.

Although you taught a great lecture, class was never just limited to the contents of the course. Debates and somewhat heated conversations would arise between classmates over politics and course material, and you always encouraged open discussion. You embraced the idea of always having an opinion, and always making it be heard, because why waste your voice? You taught me to fight for things I believed in, and to hold my ground in an argument. You taught me to always think of others before doing and speaking. You showed me the power of kindness. Thank you for all the important lessons that may not have been included in the curriculum.

Thank you for believing in me.

Especially in my senior year, you believed in me when other teachers didn't. You showed me just what I could accomplish with a positive and strong attitude. Your unwavering support kept me going, especially when I melted into a puddle of tears weekly in your office. You listened to my stupid complaints, understood my overwhelming stress-induced breakdowns, and told me it was going to be okay. Thank you for always being there for me.

Thank you for inspiring me.

You are the epitome of a role model. Not only are you intelligent and respected, but you have a heart of gold and emit beautiful light where ever you go. You showed me that service to others should not be looked at as a chore, but something to enjoy and find yourself in. And I have found myself in giving back to people, thanks to your spark. Thank you for showing me, and so many students, just how incredible one person can be.

Thank you for changing my life.

Without you, I truly would not be where I am today. As cliche as it sounds, you had such a remarkable impact on me and my outlook on life. Just about a year has passed since my graduation, and I'm grateful to still keep in touch. I hope you understand the impact you have made on me, and on so many other students. You are amazing, and I thank you for all you have done.

Cover Image Credit: Amy Aroune

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Five Tips to Get on Top of Your 2019: Tech Editions

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Momentum Chrome Extension

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