Last year at the end of March and beginning of April, I was trying to decide which college I wanted to attend. It is an exciting to think about but it can also be nerve-wracking as you may have no idea what to expect or how to succeed in your first semester of college. I was terrified leaving my small town in Illinois and moving to Milwaukee to live in a big city.
So here are the things that helped me succeed and make it through my first semester of freshman year at a university. Hopefully this article can help you or someone you know better prepare themselves for what to expect going into freshman year.
1. Go to class
No matter how tempting it is to stay in your room and sleep. You are paying for college and for every class you plan to take. Some teachers even put attendance into their grading. That extra thirty minutes you decided to sleep in just cost you a lot of money. College is not cheap and you are there for a reason so go to class.
2. Do your homework
Homework in high school and college are completely different. Professors do not accept late or uncompleted homework. In the majority of my class homework is the largest portion of my grade. Not only is homework counted for a grade in some classes it can also help you study or prepare for a quiz or an exam that will be coming up.
3. Stay organized
This is probably the thing that helped me keep my sanity. Investing in a planner and a dry erase calendar board would be encouraged. When the teacher post the syllabus it is important to put all the deadlines and test dates into a planner so you are not surprised with an exam walking into class when it was on the syllabus. Planners are also important to keep your schedule and plans organized.
I cannot stress this one enough. Studying is extremely important and don't wait till the day right before the exam as you will regret it. A lot of classes I have taken it involved applying the material learned to real scenarios. Also learning the material is important as the majority of the classes you take are related to your major or minor so you will need to know the information.
5. Find your support
Whether it be one person or a group, find a way to receive and find support. Using free counselor opportunities and surrounding yourself with people who truly care about is an important step while looking for this kind of support on campus. My support ended up being my on-campus job. I was in a very low sad stage but once I got a job that I love everything changed.
6. Be proactive
Reflecting back on the studying and doing your homework, don't wait till 11:30 the night before a paper is due or if something is do at 11:59pm don't wait till the very last minute to start as it will stress you out. College students are more prone to anxiety and depression so please don't wait till last minute.
7. Go to welcome week activities
I didn't go to many welcome week activities and I regret it. I didn't have any friends outside of classes and I didn't have as many experiences as everyone else did. I ended up staying in my room during welcome week sleeping, eating junk food, and watching Netflix. Go to welcome activities, you will regret it if you don't.
Freshman year of college is honestly tough. After graduating you pack up your life and do something you are not used to. Professors grade harder, push you harder, but classes may also be easier. So don't allow yourself to lose motivation to try your best at everything you decide to do.