Freshman year is one of the greatest. However, it was definitely a culture shock. I grew up in a small town and had about 80 people graduate with me. I then went to a school that could have more than 100 people in each class. It took some getting used to for sure. I created this in order to help incoming freshman.
Here are 22 things incoming freshmen need to know before their first semester at LSU!
1. Do not buy books from the bookstore.
The bookstore is way overpriced. Most schools, including LSU, use price match so definitely use price match to buy books. You could also even buy ebooks and used books at half the price.
2. Look up professors before you put them on your schedule.
Rate my Professors is an amazing site that will help you when selecting a professor. Also, ask friends or other classmates for their advice from past professors.
3. Invest in a good planner and a dry erase calendar.
Planners and the calendar will allow you to write down homework and test dates so you won't get confused or lost. It will only take missing one or two homework assignments that will drop your grade drastically.
4. Take advantage of the academic advisors.
Their job is to help you stay focused and know what classes are coming ahead. Take advantage of this.
5. Free tutoring, use it.
If you ever feel like you need a little extra help GO GET IT. Do not wait until you are almost failing a class. Get help about a week and a half before the exam and study! LSU's Center for Academic Success is super helpful, so be sure to check them out if you ever feel like you're falling behind.
6. Use office hours.
Professors have office hours for a reason. Please use them. If you feel like they made a mistake grading, you want to see your exam, or even just wondering what you are doing wrong, MEET WITH YOUR PROFESSOR.
7. Study in a place you feel comfortable.
People have different study techniques. Do what you know works for you. Make sure you are comfortable too. Many students cannot study in their rooms. The campus has tons of places to study. In the Union, Club Mid, private study rooms, or even the BEC. Find the place you feel most comfortable!
8. Use the textbook to study.
Many people like to say the books are useless but I can promise you I have had professors that use the book more than their own notes. Take notes and use the textbook. It will help. Some professors even pull questions straight from the text.
9. If there are pretests or example questions use them!
Many professors set up a pretest you can take in the Himes that closely resembles the exam. This will help you know how to prepare and what material you will need to focus on. If there are example questions, print them out and use them as a study tool!
10. Make your meal plan last!
Save the Paw Points and try to eat at The 5 or 459 as much as possible. Save Paw Points towards the end of the semester when you are up all night studying for finals and the dining halls are closed.
11. Have time management skills.
Use your time wisely. You will need time management skills for literally everything in college. You should know about how long it takes you to get to class from a certain start location, do homework, study, and even how long it will take you to get lunch in between classes.
12. DO NOT SCHEDULE AN 8 A.M.
Even though you woke up at 6:30 a.m. in high school you will not want to wake up before 8 a.m. I made the mistake of scheduling an 8 a.m. my first semester and ended up dropping the class. If the class is only available at 8 a.m. and you HAVE to take it, go to sleep at a reasonable time, set alarms, and eat breakfast. Also, good luck.
13. Make time for a social life.
Yes, grades and school are important but so is being a human. Even if you have to study take a short study break and interact with friends. Take advantage of that hard exam being over and celebrate. You don't have to go wild but treat yourself to hanging out with your friends.
14. Get out of your comfort zone.
Go and meet new people. So what if some high school friends are at your new university. MEET PEOPLE. College is full of great people. I suggest starting with people who live in your dorm. You probably have plenty in common.
15. Stop visiting home so much!
College is great for a reason and you will miss it if you go home every weekend. The first month will be filled with events, free food, and learning. Bond with your new friends over this. I went to every event with my best friend. She and I did not know each other well but the first month we bonded and are now best friends.
16. Go to class.
Many people say that class is not a necessity but it is. Even if attendance is not required, the professor will mention valuable things that may be on the exam.
17. Get a job.
I used the first semester to get used to school and studying and then second semester found a job. I recommend getting an on-campus job. They will be closed on the weekend, close at around 5 p.m. on weekdays, and are really good with scheduling. They understand you are a student, and they try to help you. Also, if you get a job it helps you learn some independence and will help your parents.
18. Invest in a good water bottle.
You will use this every day. It also helps save on plastic usage and will help you through the hot Louisiana days of walking to class.
19. Go to sporting events.
So what if you don't like sports? Go anyways. It is all about the experience and getting out of your comfort zone. And I mean, who can truly resist a Saturday night in Death Valley? Geaux Tigs, am I right?
20. Get a good umbrella.
Your school is located in Louisiana, so you can probably relate to this. Get an umbrella and leave it in your backpack. It wasn't raining when you left your dorm, but it probably will be before you get to class.
21. C's get degrees.
You will not be the same straight A student you were in high school and that is okay. It's normal. Do not get frustrated if you fail an exam. Just study a little harder and use your resources for the next one.
22. Love every minute of it.
College is much better than high school but also very difficult. However, you will absolutely love it. LSU allows you to get the full experience of college. It will not last forever so soak it up.
These are some useful things I learned in my first year. Hopefully, it helps all the incoming freshman on their struggles and concerns. However, jump in head first and don't hesitate to get to know someone. Good luck and have fun!