It's almost that time! If you're an incoming college freshman this is an exciting time for you. You are about to embark on a new journey and start a new chapter in your life. Here are my top 10 tips for you to make your year a little easier. I'm being completely honest with all of these and I hope that they help as you begin your first year.
What I mean by this is to make sure you are focused on your work. Do not forget to have a social life and be involved in campus clubs as well. It's easy to get caught up in school but if you don't have a social life and clubs that you are involved in the experience won't be as fulfilling. However, don't be someone that doesn't prioritize their school work either and only cares about having fun all the time. Have balance (or at least try) and you will hopefully have a good school year.
2. Get to Know Your Professors.
I cannot stress this point enough. Professors are there to help you. If you find that you're not doing well in a particular class go to your professor and ask about ways that you can improve. But don't only tell them that you want to raise your grade because what they're going to ask you (nine times out of ten) is what are you willing to do to get there. You need to be willing to do the work. If professors see that you are taking the initiative and getting the help that you need to improve, they'll most likely bump that grade up a little.
3. Don't Overwhelm Yourself.
As a freshman in my second semester, I took 17 credit hours. That was a rough time for me because I was overwhelmed. Although I made it through and did well, when I look back, I can say that I was constantly stressed. If you know that you can take 15 plus credit hours that's great. However, if you know that it might not be the best option for you, think twice about it and how it will affect you.
4. Manage Your Time Wisely.
Along with the last point mentioned, managing your time is just as important. If I didn't manage my time the way I did while taking those 17 credit hours, I most likely would not have done as well. I use a physical planner and Google Calendar to fill in the times of my classes, projects, homework, activities that I have to attend for clubs, etc. I found those to both be very helpful when it came to managing my time and fitting in class assignments or events.
You've probably heard this a lot but it is so important. Getting an adequate amount of sleep is what will help you have energy and be able to function well the next morning. Also, not getting enough sleep can affect many other aspects of your life such as your mood, immune system, and growth. Overall, you need sleep to be at your best.
6. Go to Campus Events!
Going to campus events is fun and will allow you to meet new people. As I said before, having a social life is important and so is having fun as long as there is a balance.
7. Don't Be Afraid to Put Yourself Out There.
I struggled with this as a freshman mainly because I am incredibly shy around people. Once I found my friend group and campus organizations that I was passionate about I began to loosen up. This is where you're going to meet like-minded people who may share the same interests that you have and is an opportunity to network. All of this isn't going to present itself to you. You have to be willing to put yourself out there. Even if it's just a little bit.
8. Take Advantage of Campus Resources.
Campus resources are included in your tuition so why not take advantage of them? Most of them are very helpful. Also, don't be afraid to ask for help when you need it!
9. Be Yourself.
I know that this is very cliché but it's true. There are people out there who are going to want to know you for the person that you are. You do not have to change yourself to fit what may be "popular" on campus. Do you. I guarantee you that there are like-minded people around you who will like you for you.
10. Put Yourself First!
This is another point that I cannot stress enough! Mentally, physically, and emotionally it's important that you prioritize yourself and your health. Take care of you first. Again, if you need help, there are campus resources that are out there for you. If campus resources aren't cutting it, ask for recommendations of outside resources that are off campus. Do what you have to do to make it through. And most importantly love on yourself as well. We all need it. Not just every once in a while, but constantly.
I hope that these tips are helpful as you start this new chapter in your life. I've written many articles about my college experience so far such as 4 Things That I've Learned as a College Freshmen, Being a 21st Century College Student Is Like Living In a Bubble, 4 Tips for Productivity in College, 4 Tips on How to De-Stress In College, and 5 Reasons I Chose to Attend UNCG (shameless plug for those who are attending this fall). Check these out! Hopefully, they can be of some assistance as you begin your freshman year. Good luck!