How to survive my first year of college?
Start writing a post
Student Life

10 Things Every College Freshman Should Know By February At The Latest

I thought I had college all figured out until I actually got there.

10 Things Every College Freshman Should Know By February At The Latest
Personal Photo

Going through such a big transition can be hard, so here are some tips on how to navigate it all.

1. Don't stretch yourself too thin

You have four years to get involved in your school, so don't jump right into doing all the clubs you're interested in, trying out for sports teams, volunteering, interning, etc. while you're still balancing your class load. College classes are an adjustment and those should be your priority, especially during your first year while you are figuring out how things work. Getting involved is exciting, but can make your first year overwhelming rather than a fun adventure.

2. Do not study the night before an exam, no matter how well it worked for you in high school

High school was very easy to me and it was shocking coming to college and actually having to work hard for my grades. I got my first C+ in college because of my bad studying habits, so don't make the same mistake as me! Even if it's just an hour a night, start studying a week or so out from a big exam. It will make such a huge difference in your grades and really reduce your stress when it comes to studying. Cramming the night before will not only stress you out, but you will probably end up staying up all night, which is not helpful for your brain during an exam.

3. A healthy sleeping/eating schedule is so important

My sleeping habits were so weird my first semester of college. Sleeping in a room with someone else with noises I wasn't used to and a weird bed made it hard for me to sleep well at nights, so after awhile I stopped trying to go to sleep at a decent time. This made me too tired to function well throughout my day, which ending up making things worse for me in the long run classes wise. Not to mention, it made it a whole lot easier for me to skip my morning classes. Keep a consistent sleep schedule as much as you can because sleep may be the one thing that keeps you sane and it is so important to fuel your brain.

I had days where I would completely forget to eat at all because I was so busy. Some days, all I did was eat a lot of junk food and microwaveable snacks instead of real, decent meals. I have never had my face break out the way it did my freshman year, mostly because of my nasty eating habits. It is so easy to forget to eat when you have so much to do, but eating, and eating healthy, is also very important to fuel your brain and your body to the point it needs to be to keep you at your best for your classes.


I was always too prideful, and afraid, to go to my professors' office hours. I wouldn't admit when I was struggling and needed help until it was too late to get it. Plus, professors outside of class are just really intimidating. But they have these office hours to help you, IT'S THEIR JOB! And most professors will appreciate you making the effort to get help when you need it. It gives you an opportunity to get more help in a more personal setting. I have yet to have a negative experience with professors' office hours.

5. You will meet so many people in college, don't stress over friendships that don't work out

Oh, man, did I freak out when the group of friends I hung out with the first couple of weeks parted ways. I thought I would never have anyone to go out with again or eat lunch with. Boy, was I wrong! College is like an endless sea of friendships, there are so many opportunities to meet new people and even some that share the same interests as you. Don't fret over lost friendships because there are so many more around the corner.

6. One failed exam doesn't mean you're screwed

Yep, I cried the first time I got a failing grade. For days. But it is really NOT the end of the world. Go to office hours and talk to your professor about where you went wrong, learn from your mistakes so you can do better next time. It doesn't mean you will fail the class or fail out of college. Sure, it sucks, but definitely view it as a learning opportunity rather than a failure. But don't make it a habit and think you can get out of it every time! Too many failing grades will affect you negatively in the long run.

7. Talk to your parents every night

After a bad day, talking to my mom could be my saving grace. Your parents may be far away, but it's important to keep in touch with them throughout your journey. Not only will it make you feel better, but it will make them feel a whole lot better too.

8. College isn't meant to be all about work

Yes, it's very important to focus on your classes and get good grades while you're at college. But it's also supposed to a new adventure. You are on your own for the first time, all the decisions you make are completely of your own will and it's an exciting new time of fun and freedom. You don't need to spend all four years of college in the library. Go out with your friends and have a good time at least every once in a while! Every college freshman needs to experience a frat party at some point. But make sure to balance fun and studies!

9. Now is the time to learn to BUDGET

There are so many expenses in college, whether your parents help you or not. And a lot of freshmen won't have jobs their first year of college, making budgeting even more important. Definitely treat yourself here and there, you're working hard and you deserve it! But your days of stress shopping need to end. You have textbooks, planners, and homework access codes to purchase now.

10. It will go by so fast, so cherish it.

I am already halfway through my sophomore year and it feels like just yesterday I was moving into my dorm. These years in college are truly the best years of your life, through the struggles, finding yourself, and the adventure. Cherish living in the dorms, a few feet away from your best friends and anything you need on campus. Cherish the crazy parties and the movie nights in with your friends. Cherish the study groups, the late nights, and the victorious feeling when you get back a good grade. Don't wish it away because after college comes the real world.

Report this Content
beer on the beach

Summer is hot and humid, and it's almost like summer was made specifically to drink the refreshing, cold, crisp wonderful, delicious, nutritious nectar of the gods. Which is none other than beer; wonderful cold beer. With summer playing peek-a-boo around the corner while we finish up this semester, it's time to discuss the only important part of summer. And if you haven't already guessed, it's beer. There are few things I take more seriously than my beer, in order are: sports... and beer. Here are my favorite summer brews:

Keep Reading...Show less

7 Reasons SoCal Rocks!

75 degrees and sunny, plus, no humidity. I mean do I really need to say more?

woman in black and white long sleeve shirt carrying girl in red jacket in Venice beach
Photo by Jeff Hopper on Unsplash

SoCal summers are the best summers by far, and honestly, no argument is needed. But, if you aren't sure why SoCal summers are the best, here are 7 reasons why!

Keep Reading...Show less

25 Lyrics for Selfie Captions

Because let's be honest, we all use lyrics.

woman takes a selfie for social media

Sometimes you can't think of the perfect caption for your Instagram post. I love using lyrics as my captions because there's so many great lines in songs that just seem to fit in the moment. Here are some lyrics that could work for your selfie or pictures of you with your friends!

Keep Reading...Show less

Bruce Springsteen's Top 7 Lyrics

Everything Bruce says in his classic rock songs.

bruce springsteen album cover born in the usa

Anyone who was born and raised in New Jersey (or anywhere really) knows of Bruce Springsteen, whether or not they like him is a whole other situation. I hope that his hundreds of classic rock songs and famous high energy performances, even in his sixties he can put on better concerts than people half his age, are at least recognizable to people of all ages. Love him or hate him (I identify with the former) you have to admit that some of his songs and interviews have inspirational quotes and lyrics.

Keep Reading...Show less

New England Summers Are The BEST Summers

Why you should spend your next summer in New England.

Marconi Beach

Three years ago, I chose to attend college in Philadelphia, approximately 360 miles away from my small town in New Hampshire. I have learned many valuable lessons away from home, and have thoroughly enjoyed my time spent in Pennsylvania. One thing that my experience has taught me, however, is that it is absolutely impossible to beat a New England summer.

You cannot beat the beach. Believe it or not (which many people may not), New England has a long and beautiful coastline. Most of my high school summers were spent sitting on the Wall at Hampton Beach, getting sunburnt and eating Acai bowls from The Secret Spot. The Wall was the place to be both during the day and at night. We begin our days there with a KB's bagel and coffee, and end them with pizza and ice cream. It’s not a New England summer without that 4 p.m. text from someone, “Who wants to meet at the Wall tonight?” Nighttime is for Tripoli’s Pizza, the sound of waves, and wishes on shooting stars. Wednesday nights are especially important, as those are the nights that Hampton Beach sets off the weekly firework display.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments