Dear incoming Freshmen, you are about to embark on a crazy journey; a journey that will have twists and turns and more ups and downs than you can imagine. Starting college can be a stressful and nerve-wracking thing. You are given the freedom you have been dreaming of since you were a child, yet you are realizing that you will no longer have parents to rely on to do things for you. College life can be tricky, but it can also be a lot of fun. I know I made many mistakes when I started college, too many to list; however, I have made a list of some tips so that you will not make my mistakes.

1. Get an alarm and USE IT

You will not have your parents to wake you up in the morning. If you are a heavy sleeper, like me, you will need to have alarms set up every 5-10 minutes in order to wake up. Alarms on your phone are useful, but technology can malfunction, so I recommend getting a small alarm clock to put next to your bed. These are super cheap and will wake you up no matter what. I suggest getting one that is battery powered as well, because this way if the electricity goes out in the middle of the night, you'll still be woken up. Don't let yourself have a Home Alone situation and end up being late.

2. Plan time for commutes

If you are living off campus, you need to make sure that you plan out your commutes. You need to account for traffic, bus schedule times, or distance you need walk. Traffic can be awful sometimes and in some areas which can be a hassle when you are in a rush. Do not be like me and leave 10 minutes before something because the place is 5 minutes away on a good day, because on a bad traffic day, the place is around 30 minutes away. Always plan for these things and make sure to leave as early as you can so that you won't be stressed trying to arrive on time!

3. Eat healthy

Please make sure you are having balanced meals. There is nothing worse that you can do for your body than feeding it badly. I know that college campuses have tons of eating options on or around campus, and that they are convenient and tasty, but these options may not always be good for you. Try cooking your own meals if you have a kitchen space, or make healthy choices in the dining halls. Also, drink a ton of water! Continuously eating greasy fast food will most likely lead your to having health problems and to weight gain. The freshman 15 can easily be avoided if you avoid these places. So don't be like me, and start out right. It took me an entire year at college to realize that eating fast food most of the time was awful for me. But I finally did and am here to tell you that nothing is better for you and your metabolism than making healthy choices.

4. Check your emails avidly

Your school email is a place that you should visit everyday, as much as you can. Turn on notifications for it and make sure you are always tuned into the email and to canvas. You never know when your professors might cancel class, or extend a deadline. This will save you a lot of time and will allow you to get more sleep in some instances. Don't forget about this email because it will save you a lot of trouble in the long run.

5. Exercise

Make time! I already know that most of you will read this and say that you don't have the time to work out, but there is always time for things that matter. Your health is more important than anything, and working out even a few days a week can make a world of difference for your body. Most universities have gyms that you are paying to use with your tuition money, so take advantage of that and use them! If you don't like going to gyms, you can workout in your room while watching workout videos on Youtube (I highly recommend LSF!) Time is always able to be made. Don't waste your time doing nothing when you could be helping your body. Also, don't make plans to work out and then cancel; you wouldn't cancel plans with a good friend for no reason, so treat your workout times like this and always show up when possible!

I hope these tips will help someone out there who is trying to find their way through their first year of college. It's tricky and confusing; balancing everything is hard, but very possible. I highly recommend that you do all the things I have listed here so that you can have a great first year.