Top 10 Ways to Thrive During Your Freshman Year in College

April 28, 2016

BY: Kendall Hunt

 

1. Don't skip out on orientations and welcome activities 

When you first get to campus, you will have a ton of orientations, activity fairs and all kinds of welcome events. Don’t skip them! Make the most of these organized activities. These fairs are a huge help in getting to know others on campus and find out what you would like to be involved in. Also, don’t miss an orientation. Think you don’t want to go on yet another campus tour? You may want to go. The better you know campus the easier it will be to get around when you’re rushing to class that first week.

2.      Get organized with your class work

College classes are much different than those you have taken in high school. Not only will they be more rigorous, but the entire setup is different. In high school, teachers would lead you through your due dates and offer constant reminders for assignments and tests. In college, you’ll be expected to be more independent. Make sure to look over your syllabus carefully and set reminders in your phone so you don’t miss a deadline.

3.      Figure out where and how to study best

Everyone studies differently. Don’t feel like you have to study in the same way as your classmates or roommates. Try out different settings such as the library, your dorm room, or a quiet corner in a common room. Don’t just find out where you study best, but how you study best too. For some people, it’s flashcards that make the information stick. For others, it may be studying with a group using games and group quizzing.

4.      Get to know your professors and advisors

Your advisor and professors are there to help you learn and succeed. Your advisor is a key resource that will help you resolve any scheduling conflicts or issues. Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask for additional guidance or help. If you don’t click with your assigned advisor, don’t be afraid to ask your favorite professor for guidance or asked to be assigned to a different advisor.

5. Get involved     

College is so much more than just going to class and getting your work done. Some of the best experiences are had outside the classroom. Make the most of your college experience and try out new activities or get involved in a club that is related to something you are passionate about. Unlike high school, there are usually a group of students who are interested in the same things you are. There are so many opportunities available. From service work, to Greek life, to art club, to intramural sports, there is always something for everyone. Taking on leadership roles, volunteering, and taking on an internship in addition to your school work also looks great on a resume when graduation rolls around.

6.      Have fun and relax

It’s no secret that college can become a stressful time. It’s important for you mental and emotional well-being to make time to relax and have fun. College is about the experiences and friends you make outside of classes too. When graduation rolls around and “the real world” takes over, use time in college to pursue new interests, focus on a hobby or watch every movie to come to the local theater with your student discount.

7.      Stay healthy

Between cafeteria food and free food at about every event for students, staying healthy can be especially difficult during those college years. With focus on health and wellness becoming increasingly popular, many school cafeterias are starting to provide nutrition info with the food available along with more healthy options. Find a workout buddy or attend a free fitness class at the fitness center. Whatever it is, just make sure to make exercise and healthy eating a part of your routine.

8.      Stay on campus as much as possible

For freshman especially, there are often many things pulling back home. Maybe it’s a boyfriend or girlfriend or maybe you’re just homesick. Whatever it is, try to resist the urge to go home every weekend. To truly get the full college experience stay on campus as much as possible. The more you stay on campus the more like home it will feel. Plus, there are always tons of fun events going on during the weekend. Why miss out?

9.      Seek out Career Services

Don’t feel like you have to do everything by yourself. Internships are becoming increasingly important in today’s job market and it’s never too early to start. Perfecting and keeping your resume up to date is a never ending job. Make sure you have an expert to help you out. Trust them! They know what they’re talking about and have your best interests at heart.

10.  Prioritize

College is full of temptations to pull you away from school work and studying. Make sure to prioritize throughout the week to make sure you have time for school work and fun activities too. Most students have breaks throughout the day in between classes. Try heading to your favorite study spot throughout the day and get started on homework instead of heading back to your dorm to watch another episode of Netflix. Then, when the evening rolls around you will already have a good chunk of your reading out of the way which leaves room for more activities! This will pay off in the end when you avoid all-nighters and have your paper done well before the night before it’s due.