8 Secrets On how to survive your freshman year

8 Secrets On how to survive your freshman year

The best way to prepare is to listen to some advice from someone who has already made the change and loved it.

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"Oh so you're starting your freshman year of college?" This is such an intimidating topic for so many people, but it doesn't have to be as scary as it sounds. Whether you're moving far from home or just two hours away like me, the best way to prepare is to listen to some advice from someone who has already made the change and loved it.

1.Study Spot

One of the most important things I thought I fully knew about myself (but definitely confirmed in my first semester of college) was that I no matter what, can't study or do homework in my own room. The simple solution I ended up finding, was to take my homework and head to the library or nearest coffee shop. My suggestion, whether you have the same problem as me or not, is to find a nearby spot that you feel comfortable working in, with or without friends. With this idea, I look forward to getting a coffee and some studying done.

2. Be Inviting

When transitioning to a brand new place, especially a giant college, you will meet tons of new people, whether you try to or not. Something I could not stress the importance of enough is being open to talking to and becoming friends with people you meet. Beyond this, never be afraid to reach out to people first to meet up. This last year, I met most of my closest friends this way and since then, we were together almost every day.

3. Forget Procrastination

I am the absolute worst when it comes to procrastination, but this goes to say if I can do it, you can too. The best strategy I found to fight this battle with is to make a to do list. When I became overwhelmed because of procrastination, I would write down all the things I needed to finish and as I finished, I could cross them off and reward myself. The other biggest way to help this is to prioritize things. Yes, going out on a Thursday with all your new friends seems more enticing, but that test on Friday or Monday morning should be higher on the ladder.

4. Take Care Of YOU

A lot of people get sick in college and whether it be the flu or a small cold, it is so important to listen to yourself when you feel like you need to rest and take a day off because unlike being at home (unless you live at home during college) you'll have to still take care of yourself and do homework while you're sick. Another huge thing I learned was that having a good sleep, meal, and workout schedule is just as crucial as anything. Working out relieves stress and is honestly my favorite study break.

5. Find Your Passion

In college, especially at a university there will be an overwhelming amount of things to be involved in. There are clubs, intermurals, research labs, honoraries, jobs, Greek organizations, and so many others. My suggestion is to go to the club fairs you'll always hear about, ask new people what they're involved in, look online, and just do anything to get yourself involved in your school. This will expand you as a person and you are guaranteed to find something you love. For me, I realized I really enjoy writing even though my major is strictly science. Fortunately, I found the Odyssey Online and will continue to write even though I finished taking the required English classes.

6. Take A Break From School, At School

A huge piece of advice I can offer is to find balance for your studying and having fun. After you figure out what your successful studying schedule is, reward yourself when you can. In college, there will ALWAYS be something other than studying to do. It is definitely not a crime to go out and if that isn't your thing, there are so many other ways to take a break without leaving school.

7. Make Yourself Comfortable

You're going to most likely be living without your family and maybe even without any friends from home around you, so you need to find ways to make your space comfortable for you. Bring some stuff from home, like your favorite decorations or blanket and make your room somewhere you feel happy in. The rest will come naturally.

8. Don't Forget Your Friends

The last major piece of advice I have for someone who is new to college, is to keep your friends from home close. With social media especially, it is beyond easy to keep in contact with someone directly. Trust me, your friends will miss you and you will miss them and the best way to handle this is to stay in touch. You'll both have so much to tell each other, even before you reunite.

Beginning college is a very overwhelming time in anyone's life, but luckily you've read this and now know some of the secrets I learned from my first year at U of A. Good luck, you'll love it!

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.

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1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten


Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

Cover Image Credit: Authors Photos

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Coping With The Loss Of A Passion

It's hard to get it back once you lose it.

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In college, time to focus on passions seems limited. The homework, essays, group projects, and exams are never-ending.

In high school, I took my free time for granted. I was dancing four hours four nights a week, but I wasn't constantly stressed. I had time to focus on my passion, which is dance.

In college, I am a part of an amazing dance club. But I don't get to compete, take technique classes, or be with the team I was with since I was 8 years old. Now, I receive videos of my team from home's amazing performances, and it aches a bit. I am so proud and happy for their growth but jealous that they have more years than I do. It is nearly impossible to find technique classes at college to take with no car, little free time, and barely any money. I miss my team, I miss my dance teachers and choreographers, and I miss competitions, but most of all, I miss the person I was when I had the opportunity to pursue my passion several hours a week.

My passion will always be there, and I do get to pursue dance on a smaller scale with some amazing dancers in college, but I am coping with the fact that I will never do another competition with my team again, I will never be able to dance with them again, and I will never be able to learn from my dance teachers again. It's a hard loss, one that I think about every day.

To anyone who still has the opportunities to pursue their passions to the fullest extent, you are lucky. Not everyone gets the chance to keep up with their sport, passion, or activity that they dedicated all of their time to in high school. Don't take a single second of it for granted, and remember why you are doing what you are doing. Take time to reflect on why you love it so much, how it makes you feel, and how you can express yourself during it. Whatever this passion or activity is, make every second count.

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