My Advice To Incoming Freshmen
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Student Life

My Advice To Incoming Freshmen

Are you feeling a little nervous for your first year at college?

My Advice To Incoming Freshmen

Dear Class of 2020,

You made it!! I just want to congratulate you for surviving either homeschooling or high school. It was a long couple of years filled with late nights, studying, drama, and much more, but you did it, and everyone is so unbelievably proud of you. If you have found a school to attend and are attending college this upcoming fall, then I would like to give you some advice for this upcoming semester. It’s your choice if you would like to take it or not, but if you decide to take it, I hope it will help you out in some way!

1. Classroom and Teachers

When you first arrive to class, make sure that you make a point to get there a little bit early. It will impress your professor if they are there early setting up. If you want to find a good seat (or if you have a preference to where you sit), most professors do not have a seating arrangement and you will be in charge of where you sit. I normally pick the front two rows because it forces me to keep up with my notes and look at the professor when they are talking. When you get the chance, make sure that you go and introduce yourself to your professor. If you want to, some people like to shake their professor’s hand when they first introduce themselves, but that is up to you and your professor.

2. Read the syllabi

Each teacher will hand you a syllabus or instruct you on how to find one online. Some professors are not very strict about their syllabus while others follow theirs (almost) religiously. Either way, it’s good to read through it and examine the teacher’s rules about turning things, taking tests, grading systems, and extra credit. Some teachers will expect you to have read it before your first class (especially if it’s online) so give it a brief look-through.

3. Do the extra credit

Even if you don’t need any extra points, make sure that you make an effort to do extra credit. Make sure that you read all that applies with extra credit, as well. Last semester, I had a class where you could get extra credit by attending speeches by special guests, so I attended them and expected the extra credit to apply to me because I attended. Later, I realized that if I wanted to get the extra credit, then I needed to write a paper about what the special guest was all about and what I gained from attending the speech, which I did not do at all. I was a little disappointed.

4. School email

You are going to get a student email to use for classes, and you should try your best to check it regularly. Try to make it a habit to check it, because there is always going to be a new email being sent to you and there will be a huge chance that it is either a notice from the school, an opportunity, or an email from one of your professors. Also, make sure that you try your best to keep your school email strictly for school emails only. I signed up to get deals from nearby pizza places to get coupons and online deals from other online shopping stores and they have taken over my inbox. Check your junk mail to make sure your emails aren’t heading there accidentally. If you decide to hook your email up to your phone to get notifications, you will not get a notification from junk mail, so if your professor’s emails are heading to your junk mail, then be prepared to either check it your junk mail a lot or fix it so they go directly to your inbox instead. Another pointer for your email is to look into creating a professional signature for your email. If you look in the settings, there should be a way to include a signature, which looks professional when you include your name, your class year, your major(s) and minor.

5. Textbooks

If you didn’t already know, college textbooks are really expensive. If you get the chance to, check out your school’s online library and find out what books you need to have and then go to and compare the prices. Also, you can look into renting them through Amazon. You don’t get the chance to write in them if you rent them, but in most cases I’ve seen, they do come a lot cheaper and you end up saving hundreds of dollars even. If you do rent them, you will want to try to do it a couple weeks in advance before school starts (now is a good time) so you can get them before classes begin.

6. Attending the club fair

When you first come to your college, there is often a club fair that offers all of the clubs available for you to join on campus. Most freshmen sign up for a ton of clubs, but by the end of the year they only end up participating in one or two clubs. If you want to sign up for a bunch of clubs, it’s really fun to attend a couple of the meetings, but after a while, it’s really difficult to make it to even one club regularly. If you decide to attend club fair, then try to be honest and ask yourself, “Will I want to be a part of this group after a couple of weeks?” and if you can’t see yourself remaining interested in it, then I wouldn’t suggest it. If you want to dabble, give it a go then!

7. Packing list

If your school provides one, if you look at student or resident life, there should be a list of items that they suggest you bring. They also have a list of items that are not allowed, such as toasters. I suggest talking to your roommate beforehand and seeing what they are bringing with them so you don’t bring the same items, for example, if you both brought a mini fridge or both brought a television. It can be manageable and you both can bring them if you’d like to, but it all depends on the size of the room and if you get along well (or if you only have one other roommate). Try not to buy school supplies until you know what you need and know what is allowed.

8. Food, The Freshmen Fifteen, and Exercise

The freshmen fifteen is real. If anyone tries to tell you that it’s not real, they are liars and cannot be trusted. If you don’t know what the freshmen fifteen is, I will explain it through my own experience: Once I got to school, I didn’t really think about how unhealthy it was to eat a dessert after every meal until around when the school year ended. I also ordered a pizza at least once a week, which was not very healthy for me or my wallet. I advise that you try to eat healthy snacks and you eat only when you are hungry. Also, try your best to limit yourself to buying a pizza just once a week if you must order a pizza at all. School food can be really tasty and is really easy to eat until you feel sick to your stomach. Try to pace yourself and set limits. Don’t eat ice cream before you go to bed or before you take a nap because there is a good chance you will get a stomachache. If you want to, a really nice to way to help yourself escape the freshmen fifteen is by exercising or going for a run before or after classes. Exercise is a really nice way to relieve tension and stress as well, and that is really nice for when you get stressed with work during the school year.

9. Homework, Tests, and Projects

In the case of homework, try your best to write time into your schedule to complete it. The same thing goes for studying for tests and working on papers and projects. I try to finish my homework between my classes, but a lot of people have classes back to back so they can’t complete it between them. If you keep an agenda book or a schedule (which is really good to have by the way), the syllabi given out in the beginning of the year often have the dates of projects and tests already written in them, so if you get the chance, I strongly suggest writing those dates in and scheduling time to study for or work on them.

10. Trying New Things

Walking into a new place can be really intimidating. There are going to be a bunch of new people and you might feel really nervous, but remember this; everyone else is really nervous too. You’re not alone on this and remember to own who you are, because you do. You are going to a brand new place where there might not be a whole bunch of people who already know you, so use that to your advantage and show everyone what you are made of in the best ways. Don’t be afraid to try new food, speak up in class, start running, join a chemistry club, or do whatever you find interesting and more. Your school will become your home (even more so if you live on campus) and try to make the most out of it. Look for new opportunities, search for new friends that will bring out the best of you and help you become a better you, and try your best to have fun. Embrace yourself and the times you will have there.

11. A Few Extra Pointers

I hope this article has helped you in some way. I wish you all the best of luck! Here are the last few pointers I would like to give (they are random and not in order): Remember to be safe and to always travel with a friend or two if you decide to go off campus. If you decide to go to parties, also travel with friends and never set your cup down if you have one. Trust your instincts and know when it’s a good time to leave if you feel like the party is no longer safe. Put Safety and Security into your favorite contacts in case you need an escort home from a night class (they will give you one). My favorite purchase from school is my re-useable water bottle and I just recently ordered cat ear brass knuckles off of amazon (they are cheap and can be used to defend yourself). Go to financial aid and career services as often as you can to check out opportunities. Remember to learn a lot, be safe, and inspire people! Good luck!

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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