Freshmen year of college is exciting and scary at the same time. I remember going into my freshman year not knowing what to expect. As the start of school creeps closer, college freshmen will be taking their first college courses, moving to their first dorm room, and more. Here's some advice from current college students and graduated students across the country!
1. "Take advantage of office hours"
Margaret, from the class of 2021 at the University of Northern Colorado, says: "Take advantage of office hours, if you need to. They can be a huge help and it shows the professor that you are really dedicated to doing your best in their class."
2. "Don't be afraid to attend the different events that the school is planning for students"
Hailee, from the class of 2021 at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, says: "Don't be afraid to attend the different events that the school is planning for students! There can be new people to meet, opportunities that can help grow your major and interests even more, or even just small free things (that everyone loves anyways)!"
3. "Don't be afraid of questions, and don't be afraid of your teachers"
4. "Don't be scared of college, everyone there is also trying to figure things out"
Connie, from the class of 2020 at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, says: "Go to office hours and get to know your professors. If you ever need help or a small grade boast they're always willing if they know your work ethic outside of class. Don't be afraid to ask classmates for help, learn and teach each other. Make good use of the study rooms and campus facilities. Don't take afternoon labs if circumstances permit. Always check rate my professor. If a class is full and you can't register for it, email the professor or sit in the class and ask the professor for an override. Wait till the first class before getting textbooks, sometimes the professor provides a free version or upperclassmen may vouch that the book isn't used at all (also check online resources for textbooks i.e library genesis). Don't be scared of college, everyone there is also trying to figure things out. Good luck!"
5. "Take 15 credits over the summer"
6. "Be open minded"
7. "Do your work to the best of your ability, but don't stress out too much"
Victoria, from the class of 2022 at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, says: "Do your work to the best of your ability, but don't stress out too much. I promise you it will not make a difference if you get an A or a C (depending on your field and I'm a straight A student). Have a support and study network of friends. Be open to trying new things, take as many classes as you can/are interested in, try to learn some independence and look to build your future (get a credit card for students, maybe job). It's ok to question your major and change your mind. You have so many years ahead of you and making mistakes will be part of your journey, you don't have to know your career yet and you don't have to graduate in 4 years. You always have options as an adult to do whatever you want to make you happy. Most importantly make good memories and have fun!"
8. "Check in with your advisor every semester to ensure you're on track and not missing anything"
9. "Find balance between life and school and work"
Lauren, from the class of 2020 at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, says: "When looking for friends, find people who remind you of how awesome you are and who make you feel valued. It's OKAY and NORMAL to be homesick. Don't let that freak you out. Have some pictures or things that remind you of home. Find community outside of academic stuff. As great as it is to have study buddies, it's important to have friends who allow you to do things other than school. Set your boundaries now. Know what you are comfortable with. It's easy to be persuaded in the moment. Find balance between life and school and work. It's not worth it to overwork yourself now at the expense of your health. Take care of yourself. Enjoy it. I know that's cliche but it flies by. Get to know your professors. Ask them questions. They love questions, especially about their own research. I'm a Marine Bio major so this is more aimed at STEM students, but try and work in a lab early on. This will help give you direction. And your boss and mentor will become such a resource for you. Celebrate the little things. Find something to be joyful about every day. The first semester a lot is going to happen. Things are going to change. It can be overwhelming. In the beginning you're decisions are not final. Things will change. So don't stress now about what classes you'll be taking your final semester. Finals are most stressful if you don't put effort in during the semester. Save yourself and put a little more effort in throughout the semester so that when you reach finals you aren't stressed if you'll get a high enough grade to pass. Make memories."
10. "Don't let anyone discourage you from following your dreams"
11. "Make friends, meet people you could be friends with...the first couple of weeks is important"
Elizabeth, from the class of 2021 at the University of Hawaii at Mānoa, says: "Make friends, meet people you could be friends with...the first couple of weeks is important. This year, set up video/voice calls for studying together since we cannot all be together. Reaching out to your professors early means they'll know your name and be more willing to work with you if you have problems during the course. If you do not yet know how to study effectively, look up tutorials and pick out 2 methods you can see yourself doing. If writing papers is scary for you, most universities have writing centers that will help you!"
You can also read my open letter to incoming freshmen to hear my advice for you! Good luck in college, you'll do great!