Tips On How To Have The Best First Year Of College

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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I Am A College Student, And I Think Free Tuition Is Unfair To Everyone Who's Already Paid For It

Stop expecting others to pay for you.

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I attend Fordham University, a private university in the Bronx.

I commute to school because I can't afford to take out more loans than I already do.

Granted, I've received scholarships because of my grades, but they don't cover my whole tuition. I am nineteen years old and I have already amassed the debt of a 40-year-old. I work part-time and the money I make covers the bills I have to pay. I come from a middle-class family, but my dad can't afford to pay off my college loans.

I'm not complaining because I want my dad to pay my loans off for me; rather I am complaining because while my dad can't pay my loans off (which, believe me, he wants too), he's about to start paying off someone else's.

During the election, Bernie frequently advocated for free college.

Now, if he knew enough about economics he would know it simply isn't feasible. Luckily for him, he is seeing his plan enacted by Cuomo in NY. Cuomo has just announced that in NY, state public college will be free.

Before we go any further, it's important to understand what 'free' means.

Nothing is free; every single government program is paid for by the taxpayers. If you don't make enough to have to pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. If you live off welfare and don't pay taxes, then something like this doesn't bother you. When someone offers someone something free, it's easy to take it, like it, and advocate for it, simply because you are not the one paying for it.

Cuomo's free college plan will cost $163,000,000 in the first year (Did that take your breath away too?). Now, in order to pay for this, NY state will increase their spending on higher education to cover these costs. Putting two and two together, if the state decides to raise their budget, they need money. If they need money they look to the taxpayers. The taxpayers are now forced to foot the bill for this program.

I think education is extremely important and useful.

However, my feelings on the importance of education does not mean that I think it should be free. Is college expensive? Yes -- but more so for private universities. Public universities like SUNY Cortland cost around $6,470 per year for in-state residents. That is still significantly less than one of my loans for one semester.

I've been told that maybe I shouldn't have picked a private university, but like I said, I believe education is important. I want to take advantage of the education this country offers, and so I am going to choose the best university I could, which is how I ended up at Fordham. I am not knocking public universities, they are fine institutions, they are just not for me.

My problems with this new legislation lie in the following: Nowhere are there any provisions that force the student receiving aid to have a part-time job.

I work part-time, my sister works part-time, and plenty of my friends work part-time. Working and going to school is stressful, but I do it because I need money. I need money to pay my loans off and buy my textbooks, among other things. The reason I need money is because my parents can't afford to pay off my loans and textbooks as well as both of my sisters'. There is absolutely no reason why every student who will be receiving aid is not forced to have a part-time job, whether it be working in the school library or waitressing.

We are setting up these young adults up for failure, allowing them to think someone else will always be there to foot their bills. It's ridiculous. What bothers me the most, though, is that my dad has to pay for this. Not only my dad, but plenty of senior citizens who don't even have kids, among everyone else.

The cost of living is only going up, yet paychecks rarely do the same. Further taxation is not a solution. The point of free college is to help young adults join the workforce and better our economy; however, people my parents' age are also needed to help better our economy. How are they supposed to do so when they can't spend their money because they are too busy paying taxes?

Free college is not free, the same way free healthcare isn't free.

There is only so much more the taxpayers can take. So to all the students about to get free college: get a part-time job, take personal responsibility, and take out a loan — just like the rest of us do. The world isn't going to coddle you much longer, so start acting like an adult.

Cover Image Credit: https://timedotcom.files.wordpress.com/2017/04/free-college-new-york-state.jpg?quality=85

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Writing Saved My Sanity

Write it all down when you can't talk to anyone.

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I love writing.

I have since elementary school, and I've dreamed of becoming a published author. I started off writing stupid plays in elementary school, then it grew it almost writing a full-blown novel in middle school. I have no idea where that thing went to. It was all notebook paper and bad writing. In high school, my writing was kinda pushed to the side so I could focus on school. When I entered college, I started writing small poems about my now ex-boyfriend.

I was scared to express myself to him sometimes, the intensity of my feelings for him scared me. So instead of telling him, I wrote them down. When I tried to share them with him, he hated it. He thought writing down feelings was weird and creepy. So I didn't share anything else with him. When we finally broke up for good, everything just poured out of me. What I couldn't express verbally, I wrote or typed out.

I always have ideas flowing through my head. They never cease and I wouldn't want them to. Writing gives me an escape, from stress, work, school, or fights. It gives me a place to vent and to be open with everything. This is a reason I love writing for Odyssey, not only has this place brought me amazing friends but revived my love for writing. I'm never without my notebook anymore, I'd get distracted in class by an idea and have to write I think then and there.

I love sharing my more personal writing with close friends, especially my poems as of late. I found that I have a voice for young women who find themselves in a toxic relationship much like mine was. I want to speak out and show them that you can grow from the bullshit. It may take some time, but you will be better.

Writing saved my sanity. It allows me to express myself without having to use my actual voice. Anyone who knows me, knows I hate public speaking. I tend to psych myself out leading up to it. My current projects include writing for Odyssey every week, I'm in the process of trying to continue my short stories, and I'm excited to announce that I'm currently working on my very first poetry book!

Writing has given me so much, and I'm so looking forward to making a career out of something I love so much.

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