Here we go, guys. Welcome! I'm here to inform you of many mistakes I made my first year of college that affected me throughout the course of my college career. So I've decided to make a step by step guide to help you survive your freshman year at LSU. These are all things I wish someone had told me when I was in your shoes. And while things are already underway for the fall semester, it's never too early to start preparing for the spring! So freshmen, or struggling students, listen up. This one is for you!
1. Make friends
I know it's difficult being in large classes and intimidating to talk to the person sitting next to you in class. Trust me on this one though, you will need at least one reliable person in every class.
2. Rent books on Amazon
Rent books on Amazon if you can. Save the money. If you can not find the specific book your professor asks for, check out LSU's (or whatever school's) Facebook page to search for upperclassmen selling the books you need.
3. Take early classes
Take early classes. I know it sucks waking up early and staying awake through that horrible Spanish class but do it. I promise, less traffic and actually getting a parking spot closer to campus is so much more enjoyable than sitting in 9:00 AM traffic and being late to classes. Nobody wants to be that awkward person walking in late to a quiet class.
4. Pack food
Pack your lunch. Always keep granola bars in your book sack. Save money and do not plan to eat in the union every day. I know Chick Fil A always sounds appealing, but trust me that money will begin to add up a lot faster than you think.
5. Budget, budget, budget
On that note, try to keep a somewhat spreadsheet budget. Showing cash flow coming in and cash flow going out. Use it to be smart and make sure that you will never not have money. That being said, yes treat your self. However, you don't need that new comfy color's T-shirt in the bookstore as much as you think you do.
6. Stay healthy
Watch your health. Believe it or not, college is extremely hard and stressful. The stress you feel 24/7 can make you physically sick. It can make you feel like you're dying sometimes, or if you're like me, make you puke in the bathroom right before exams. Try to find ways to reduce stress. Running, yoga, going to the UREC, find your thing.
7. GO TO CLASS (TAKE THIS SERIOUSLY)
I think this is one of the most common mistakes. You do not realize at first just how valuable listening to your professor teach is. Skipping that and just getting notes from someone else, well that's completely different. Most students need to actually hear it come out of the professors' mouth in order to comprehend it and put it into your memory.
8. Carpool with friends when you can
Carpool. When you can, catch rides with friends. One, it can be so very convenient at times and it will totally save you gas money which could be used to buy your coffee in the morning at Starbucks instead. It's easy. I promise you will find a friend and quickly bond and begin to do things together. Why waste even more money when you don't have to?
Always check Ratemyprofessor.com or even just ask upperclassmen what they think about specific professors. The key to success and good grades is finding a teacher that cares about your grades and want you to succeed as much as you do. Don't just take a professor because that's the only class time that fits in your schedule, you'll regret it once you quickly realize the professor could not care less about who succeeds or who fails.
10. Step out of your comfort zone
Attend campus activities. That's all the fun of college! Go to "fall day" and events like that, free merchandise and food like crazy! Get student section football tickets, there really is no better feeling than being in a college stadium on a Saturday night during the fall. Or my personal favorite, all the fun baseball games in the spring. Oh, and of course all the traditional "concession stand" food. I promise you won't even be thinking about all the other things you have to do as you are scarfing down those nachos during the game.
11. Take pictures, write down memories, live it up
Lastly, write it all done. Have fun. Make memories. Keep in touch with the person you became friends with your freshman year. Be kind. Speak up to others in your classes. Don't hold yourself back. College is definitely not the time for that. Be you, and you will find people who think and love things just as much as you do. I promise, those memories will last you forever. You will not want to forget one single event.
Lastly, just get ready for the best four years of your life at the best university in the nation.