20 Tips For the First Time College Freshman
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Student Life

20 Tips For the First Time College Freshman

College can be a scary time for some freshman.So here are some tips that will help with the college transition.

20 Tips For the First Time College Freshman

College is an exciting time because of all of the amazing opportunities and experiences that come with it. Going off to college for the first time though can be pretty scary for some people. For many people, it is their first time being away from home for a long period of time, and the thought of not really knowing anybody can be intimidating. Once you get used to your college, these feelings of hesitation go away and it basically becomes your second home. To help you with that transition process of getting used to college, here are a few tips that I learned during my first semester of college.

1. Read the syllabus for each class.

I had to learn this one the hard way during my first semester of college. I had to rush to prepare for a test because I did not read through my syllabus for that class so I did not know that one was going to happen in a few days. If I had read the syllabus beforehand, then I would have known that the test was coming up and I would have had more time to study. A college syllabus is basically your handbook for the class. It includes a ton of important information like: the professor’s office location, office hours and phone, the dates of the tests and quizzes for the class and the main topics that will be covered in the class. It might help to print them out and put them somewhere where you could easily access them, like in the front of a binder or folder, just in case you need them.

2. Buy an academic planner and actually write things down.

Planners are amazing inventions that can help you to become organized even if you are like me and are not an organized person. Write down any important test dates, project due dates, meeting times and dates or anything else that you fill like you might forget in the calendar pages. Every day write down whatever assignments you have for each class so that way you can always look back to make sure that you do not forget anything. In order to help you see what is due for each class, pick a color for each class and then color-code your planner.

3. If you are struggling in a class then meet with the professor during their office hours.

If you are not understanding something in a class, then visit your professor during their office hours to get help. Meeting with your professor one-on-one helps a lot because they can point out your mistakes and directly help you without having to worry about the other students in the class. This will allow you to not only get the help that you need in the class, it will also help the professor remember who you are. In classes with 40+ students, it can be hard for professors to remember who everyone is. So by going to office hours, they can now put your face to your name.

4. Call home every once in a while.

Yes, you might be loving the freedom away from your parents, but they are probably still getting used to not having you around anymore. It is never a bad idea to call them every once in a while. Also stay in touch with your close friends from home. Being away from each other at different colleges does not mean that you all need to stop being friends. I still try to hang out with my friends from high school whenever I am at home.

5. Don't spend all of your free time in your room.

There are a ton of things going on around the college that you will miss if you spend all of your free time in your room. During the first few weeks of school, your college should have an activity fair where they showcase all of the organizations that you can join on campus. I recommend getting involved in at least one or two organizations on campus because it will help you meet new people and have new opportunities during college.

6. Actually go class.

After figuring out where your classes are, you should go to them. One major difference between college and high school, unless you went to private school, is that you are now actually paying for your classes. Your professors also might factor attendance into your final average or might drop you from the class after a certain number of absences so it is a good idea to go to class.

7. Actually study for your classes.

Another difference between high school and college is that you actually need to study for your classes. Gone are the days when you can cram for a test the night before and expect to get a good grade. You should give yourself at least a few days in advance before a test to review the material and go to your professor's office hours if you have any questions before the test. Study your notes along with the textbook and you should be fine. Quizlet is a great website to use when trying to study.

8. Form a study group with other people from your class.

Studying with other people can help with preparing for a test because if you are able to explain a concept clearly to someone else, then it shows that you understand what you are doing. If you do not understand something then maybe one of your peers can explain it in a way that makes more sense to you than the way that the professor


9. Do laundry on the weekends, in the morning or at night in order to avoid the crowds.

The last thing you want to see after lugging your full laundry basket and detergent down the hall or stairs is all of the machines already being used. The best times to do laundry are: during the weekend when nobody is on campus, in the morning when everyone is asleep and at night when everyone is either asleep or studying. Waiting until these times to do laundry allows you to get it done much faster than if you have to keep waiting for machines to open up.

10. Get to know the upperclassmen in your classes.

Getting to know the upperclassmen in your classes can be a major benefit for you in the long run because they know a thing or two about how everything works. They can help you with a class that you are struggling in if they have had the class before. They can also give you advice about college, recommend classes, recommend professors and sell or give you their old textbooks.

11. Attend some of the hall socials that your RA puts together for your hall.

One part of your RA's job is to put together small socials for your hall, which can be anything from baking cookies to watching a movie. These are a great way to meet and get to know your hall mates. Your hall mates are your neighbors so it is probably a good idea to know who they are.

12. Don't lose your student I.D. card.

This card basically has your life on it in college because it does everything from getting you into your dorm building to getting you food in the dining hall, if you have a meal plan. If you do end up loosing your student I.D. card, then you can get another one from card services but they will charge you for it.

13. Avoid the dining hall during the lunch and dinner rushes.

At UNG, these happen from 12:00 to 12:30 p.m. and 5:30 to around 6:15 p.m.. Basically, if you can avoid the dining hall during these times do so unless you want to get stuck in a bunch of lines. These times are when a lot of people have a break between their classes, or are finished with class and have a meeting to go to, so they are grabbing a quick bite to eat. If you wait about ten minutes after the rush, then the lines typically die down.

14. Get to know the area around your college campus.

If your campus is located in a college town like mine, then take the time to explore it because you never know what you might find. You might find your new favorite boutique or restaurant. You might even find a peaceful study spot that you can go to in order to study in peace away from campus. A lot of restaurants and stores in college towns give discounts to students attending the nearby college so be sure to take advantage of those while you can.

15. Try to stay organized throughout the school year.

You will thank yourself for this when you are rushing ten minutes before you have to leave for your class and cannot find your paper that is due that day for class. Keep your papers organized in a location where you know that you will be able to find them, like in a certain section in a binder. Make sure that you have everything that you need for a class laid out somewhere in advance so you will not be running around your dorm room trying to find everything that you need. Been there, done that and it is not fun.

16. Don't buy your textbooks from the bookstore unless you absolutely have to.

The school bookstore is very expensive and if you try to sell your textbooks back to them then you will barely get any money back. After my second semester at UNG, I discovered Dorks Bookstore and that is pretty much where I go to buy my books now, unless the bookstore is the only one that carries them. They are a lot cheaper and they give you more money back when you sell your books. If you prefer to rent your textbooks, then you can use Chegg or Amazon to get them for a much cheaper price than is offered at the bookstore. The cheapest way to get books though is probably buying them from someone who has already taken the class, unless your friend wants to give you their old textbook for free.

17. Try to sit near the front of the classroom.

Sitting in the front of the classroom allows you to not only be able to see the board better, but it also helps you stay focused. It is easy to get distracted by the people around you or to zone out during the class if you sit in the back of the classroom. The zoning out part is especially true for morning classes.

18. Take notes during your classes.

Unless you record the lecture, it is probably close to impossible to remember every little detail that your professor mentioned during the fifty minute lecture. Sometimes one of those little details might be a test question so it is a good idea to write down some of the stuff that your professor says. Afterwards, you should compare your notes with another student's notes to see if they wrote down anything important that you might have missed.

19. Find things that help you to relax and do them often.

College can be stressful at times so it is good to know a few things that help you to relax so you will not become overly stressed. Some of my personal favorites include: reading, swimming, going for walks, coloring, Netflix and taking breaks from studying to hang out with friends. Knowing what you can do to help yourself relax before you start college will benefit you in the long run for sure.

20. Stay true to yourself.

When you first get to college, almost nobody will know who you are. College gives you the opportunity to redefine yourself, but by doing so you should not lose yourself. Back home, people loved you for who you are so why should you try to change that in order to try to make people at your new school love you. Believe me when I say you will find people there who will love you for who you are as a person without having to change yourself in order to fit in.
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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