20 Tips for Freshman Knights & Others College Freshmen

20 Tips for Freshman Knights & Others College Freshmen

Advice from a Mount Saint Mary College student on how to survive the first year the right way
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1. Pack Whatever You Want

Time and time again I've heard people tell me to not pack a lot *Eye Roll*

Hell with that, I didn't listen; I packed two car loads worth of stuff and I'm Incredibly happy with it because my dorm room felt like home, I was comfortable, and I had whatever I needed.

I walked into most students' rooms and found that they look almost empty and sad. Get comfortable, bring what you want, but also remember how much space you have so make sure it will fit too. I've found that students with more things that make them happy have less homesickness. Make it work the way you want so that you are prepared for anything.


2. Ditch Old Attitudes

Ditch attitudes that really do put you at a disadvantage, in general.

Ditch laziness, ditch being nasty, ditch "playing tough."

Bad attitudes towards everything do nothing but harm you.

Replace the bad with good for a fresh start.

3. Take Advantage of Open Swim, the Gym and Fitness Classes

Freshman 15 is real. Everyone's metabolism is slowing down, stress is higher and junk food is more abundant. Also, while you do this, you should eat the healthier foods in the cafeteria. Take at least 1 hour a day to work at your body.


4. Learn to put down your cellphone

Phones are a giant distraction to life.

*Do not look at your phone during class

*Do not be absorbed into your phone while eating with your friends

*Do not touch your phone while you are studying

Your phone should be a minimum part of your life and should be used in free-time only

5. Become friendly with non-Professor Staff

The staff are there to serve you as their job and you should be grateful to them. Greet them with a smile, thank them for the actions they do. You could make their day a whole lot better and maybe they will even be there when you need a friend.

6. Do Not Fear Four Roommates/Suite-mates

You all share the room, and living with a bunch of new girls can be really tough especially if they are complete bullies and people from hell. If the situation can't be solved by yourself, get residence life. If they don't help then move out cause it's not worth the misery


7. Prepare a First-Aid Kit

Not a small one either, Put in cough syrup, cough drops, Aspirin, eye drops, Nasal Spray, allergy medication, bandaids, bandages, ointment and any other important medications.

Save yourself a sick trip to the store when Health Services isn't available.


8. Learn to be Clean

Living in a pig pen of a room is NOT a good idea. You want to be able to have visitors and finding time to just clean up is easy since you'll only be living in a small room. No one wants to see your gross room, especially your roommates.

LEARN TO DO LAUNDRY CORRECTLY, that means not leaving it there in the washer for a full day because it will either get stolen or thrown out.

9. Understand that you came for an education not a social life

Sorry to say but students who only cared for the party life of college never last in the long run. Partying is ok but only in moderation and not when you have exams coming up.

10. Be Money Smart

College is costly so it's not a time to be going on shopping sprees

If you do have to shop, always compare prices and use coupons.

Learn about FAFSA and scholarships

Also, this is a time to get a credit card and start building credit to counter balance your loans

Check if your available for a part-time job or work study, the extra money helps.

11. Take your Classes Seriously

Failure is not the same as it was in high school, you lose more money and time.

DO NOT SKIP CLASSES

DO NOT SLEEP IN CLASSES

DO NOT GET DISTRACTED

Sick days are understandable but even then you are responsible for missed lessons.

12. Find a fail-proof plan to waking up on time

8 am classes happen often, learn to go to sleep on time and especially wake up on time

Most professors hate the student who walks in late

If that means putting the alarm clock across the room, do it.

13. Make a Plan

Some students manage their time without even thinking about it but that's not the case for the other 90%. Collect all the syllabuses and make a calendar, then off that calendar make a weekly plan to manage your studying/working times along with everything else. It will actually create more free time and keep you less stressed.


14. Call your Family

Just because you went to college doesn't mean it's time to pretend that your family doesn't exist, and it especially doesn't mean it's time to disrespect them because you are "adult."

They have been there in your beginning so don't forget to send cards and make calls.


15. Learn to Study Properly

Most freshman students never studied before they got into college. But studying is mandatory in college due to large amounts of content and a fast pace itinerary.

Learn if you are a Visual, Auditory or Physical Learner and then find what strategy works for you. Once you find it, use it.

16. Never be afraid to Ask Questions

About Anything! If your lost, ask! If you don't know the rules, ask! If you have no clue what your professor just taught, ask! Someone has to have an answer for you.

There's no such thing as a stupid question. If someone is nasty to you for asking, ignore them, It never hurts to be more educated on topics you don't understand, that's what college is all about; learning.


17. Don't Do things that will get you kicked out of Campus

Hugs Not Drugs, Stay away from Physical Fights, Don't Harass, Don't Vandalize or Steal

I honestly shouldn't even have to write this but people are still out there losing their education over worthless moments. Do to others as you would want done to you and respect the law and rules even if they can be unfair.


18. Take Advantage of the Services College Provides

Mental Counseling, IT support, Tutors, Academic Counseling, Career Center

Your tuition pays for these services, don't let them go to waste.

19. Have your Campus Memorized

Almost everyone will expect you to know where to go on the first day and it's even worse to get lost if you live on a large campus.

Before the first day of classes, take your schedule and walk through it.

After that, learn to memorize all the other places such as the cafeteria, library, any services and the fastest routes to get to them. It is important to know.


20. Prepare for the First Month of Tears

99% of students during the first month have some sort of sudden breakdown, which ends with getting dessert in the cafeteria and sleeping.

And it will be triggered by almost anything, my roommate's breakdown was triggered by burnt popcorn. Mine was smelling pot in my dorm room.

Cover Image Credit: Angelica

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Goodbye School, Hello Real World

I'm ready for ya!

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It's starting to hit me.

I've been in school, year after year, since kindergarten. Maybe even pre-school!

Now, I'm about to graduate with my bachelors in communication and I couldn't be more proud of myself. I'll say it. I often sugarcoat it or suppress it but d*mn it. I'm going to applaud myself. It was hard work. It took a lot of motivation, determination, (caffeine), and willpower to get to where I am today. I worked my ass off.

That being said, I can't help but think... What is life without due dates? What is life like without scrambling to turn in an assignment that's due at 11:59 PM? What is life like with actual sleep? Sleep? I don't know her.

Like I keep telling my boyfriend and my parents, I don't have it all figured out. At least not right now. But I will, and I'm in no rush to land my dream job right now. If anything, I want to take a year to myself. I want to travel. I want to sleep in if I d*mn well please! I want to read as many books as I want. I want to write till my fingers fall off (OK, maybe not that).

You get the jist.

I'm free. I can do and be whatever I want. And you know what? That's terrifying.

I'm lost. I've followed this structure for so long. Now what?

I don't have all the answers yet. But for now, at least right at this very moment, I'm so thankful to have been able to receive such an amazing education. And to be able to say I'm graduating with my bachelors in communication at 21 is an accomplishment in itself.

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