My first day of college was, in a word, terrifying. Never have I felt so adult and so out of my comfort zone. It is so hard being a freshman and not knowing what to expect on this very different first day of school, but throughout my freshman year, I picked up these 7 tips along the way.
1. Don't buy your textbooks beforehand.Giphy
College textbooks are much, much different than the dingy, twenty-year-old books that your high school book keeper assigned you. First of all, they're expensive. Second of all? They rarely EVER get used. Definitely wait until your professor explicitly tells you to buy a textbook for your class so your money doesn't go to waste.
2. PAY ATTENTION TO LECTURES.Giphy
Yes, they're painfully boring. Yes, your professor has been speaking in that dreadful monotone voice for ten minutes now. However, lectures can be so, so important. If a class isn't using a textbook, professors often rely on what they say in class for material to test on. I know it's hard, but wake yourself up and pay attention: it'll do wonders for you in the long run.
3. Try not to skip class too much.Giphy
There were definitely mornings freshman year where I just could not get up for my 9 am English class; it felt physically impossible. It's okay to skip once in a while, as long as you don't make it a habit. I made up a rule for myself to allow one skip per class every semester. It was a good way to make sure I didn't go overboard.
4. Keep an agenda.Giphy
Between dates of football games, tests, date nights, essay deadlines, and every other important event under the sun, it's important to get your life organized before you lose track of it all. Keep an agenda (or just an extremely updated calendar in your phone) and set reminders for dates and deadlines you know you'll forget.
5. Study for tests a week or more in advance.Giphy
I cannot stress this one enough. College exams often cover weeks of material and there are only 3 or 4 of them a semester, so you have to make each one count. I always study at least a few days in advance, just to give myself time to absorb all of the lectures and quizzes covered in class.
6. Make a group chat.Giphy
I do not recommend using these to send test answers (cheating is bad, people), but group chats for classes can be super helpful come test time. You'll be surprised at how many people will drop everything and join your impromptu study session (read: cram fest) at the library.
7. Go to office hours.Giphy
This is a popular piece of advice, but it's so true. More often than not, professors just want to see you succeed. It's a good way to get your face known in a 300 person lecture hall and it also helps out your grade. Win-win.