8 Pieces Of Real Advice For Incoming College Freshmen
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8 Pieces Of Real Advice For Incoming College Freshmen

Because you've probably already read all of the other lists of advice -- this one is for real.

8 Pieces Of Real Advice For Incoming College Freshmen

With summer coming to a close, I know that many of my recently graduated friends are starting to make plans for college. You’re picking out supplies, going to freshman orientations and (if you’re anything like me) scouring the internet for any and all tips about being a small freshman on a big campus.

Last summer, I read every “advice” list that I could find - I read the ones about what to bring to school, how to study and what to wear. I had expectations about orientation week and my first classes that were entirely wrong. But honestly, I can’t say that I heard much of this (very useful) advice before I arrived on campus. So here’s a (very brief) list of some college advice that might make a difference for you:

1. Use your Meals!

It might seem like common sense, but a lot of freshmen have too many meals per week, and don’t use most of them. It's nice to go out or order in sometimes, but you can also go with your friends to the cafeteria. You'll have more options, and you’re already paying for the meals! If you find yourself with quite a few extra meals each week, you should look into decreasing your meal plan. Depending on your school's plans, you might receive more “dining dollars” to spend outside the cafeteria (on campus, but not necessarily on meals)

2. Your first friends don't have to be your forever friends.

That's not to say they won't be, but rather that you should never limit yourself from branching out! It's easy to clique up quickly within the first few days or weeks of school, just so that you have people to hang out with. Whether you’re paired with a group, or you stumble across them at lunch, a routine is easier with friends. However, as the semester goes on, it's important to make new connections in each of your classes. Form study groups, start GroupMes and do whatever you can to get through even the roughest of classes. That being said...

3. Find friends you can rely on!

Some people say that it's impossible to get through college without asking for any help. I disagree. I believe it would be entirely possible….but I also believe that it would be stupid. You're surrounded by students, professors and other resources to help you achieve. There will be peer tutors, office hours and a multitude of people who want to guide you on your path to success. You can be stubborn and ignore them… or you could admit that it's easier to get through the hard times when you have people by your side.

4. Use the easy classes to build solid study habits.

It's easy to convince yourself that since you don't need to keep track of assignments yet, you don't need a planner. Even if you don't have to study often yet, I promise you will soon. It's important to start learning good time management skills so that you aren't caught off guard when your workload grows. Track your assignments, finish them ahead of time, and enjoy all the free time you’ll find yourself with!

5. Don't forget about your high school friends!

It's much more difficult to stay in touch with people when you don't see them every day. You'll start to build new relationships and find people who share the same majors and studies as you… but you'll never find new people just like the old. Your high school friends have been with you through your awkward years and supported you as you chose a college. So even if you went your separate ways, all the way across the country, it's a good idea to stay in touch. When you come home for visits (like winter and summer breaks!) you can plan your own BFNO

6. Join clubs & extracurriculars that interest you (but not too many!)

It's good to have clubs and organizations on your resume starting early freshman year. But it's not good to overcommit yourself. If you find yourself constantly running from one meeting to the next, you might have too much on your plate. It's always important to save time for homework - and it looks better if you can hold leadership positions in even just one club, rather than being a general member in multiple. Remember that freshman year is the time to explore your options, so if you take a couple weeks to settle into a routine, that's okay. Just don't let your entire semester be spent on clubs - your academics should always come first!

7. Make sure your academics come first!

This might seem like a no-brainer, but trust me, many freshmen struggle in their classes because they don't dedicate enough time to studying. You'll quickly find out that these classes are more difficult than the ones you took in high school. Your college professors expect more of you - more time reading the book, more time studying, more time on homework. The exams will be more difficult, and you probably won't get a calculator and 3x5 card. You'll get through it, I promise. But you will have to work harder.

8. Buy college gear (even if it isn't on sale - but especially if it is)

Your freshman year is the best time to buy all the gear! Unless you're planning on transferring (and if you are, you probably won’t know it yet), you'll have at least four years to wear all the gear you want. Once you get out into the real world, you won't be able to wear all the cute t-shirts and sweatshirts every day. You'll be stuck in business casual work clothing, and the college gear will be cast aside. Of course, you'll probably buy some new clothes each year, but it doesn't hurt to start right away! I usually look for sales, knowing most of the clothing is overpriced. If your bookstore (on or off-campus) has discount days, take advantage of them!

And now, you may continue reading other “advice” articles. I hope these 8 items stick in your mind as you begin this new and exciting journey!

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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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