Seeing all of the new people on campus today really brought me back to 2011 when I was in their shoes. I remember being so concerned & worried over the littlest things, only to find out later, they didn’t matter.
Here’s some facts & advice to all of the freshmen out there:
1) Know that this is NOT High School:
I remember being so nervous about (literally) EVERYTHING during my first week on campus. Granted, I’m a commuter, so I didn’t have half of the worries some others did, but still.
I had to keep reminding myself that college was NOT like high school. People really could have cared less about what I wore or what my book bag looked like. They were not as judgmental as in high school.
2) Maturity is key:
I seriously cannot stress this enough. You’re in college now. Act like it. The main difference between high school & college is that college is a voluntary experience. No one is forcing you to go. You’re there because you want to be. So, it’s time to lace up those maturity pants, ladies & gents!
3) Don’t abuse your freedom:
With college, comes a lot of freedom. You have the power over what classes you want to take, the time you want them or if you even want to go to class that day. The point: go to class. It is so unbelievably tempting not to, but you’re only hurting yourself.
4) Take complete advantage of Amazon:
Here’s one thing that I wish I knew back then! Unless you like spending oodles of dollars on textbooks & pouring your money down the drain, DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT buy from the bookstore. Sure, there are some rare occasions when the bookstore is actually cheaper than Amazon, but trust me when I say rare. Do yourself a favor: AMAZON.
5) Plan. Plan. Plan.
College has definitely turned me into quite the planner. It’s so important to grab those skills. As soon as I see the syllabus, I try to see what assignments I can get done in advance, so I’m not bombarded later. Plus, it saves me from those dreaded all nighters. (PS: I have yet to do one!)
6) Learn organization!
My first semester of freshmen year, I was probably the most unorganized person on earth. Papers everywhere. From notebooks, to just being thrown in my bag. I was still in that adjustment period obviously! Don’t be like that. Organize your materials. Life will be much easier.
7) Be yourself:
Nothing is better than going through life than simply being you. Not putting on a show or a fake appearance…nobody appreciates that. At all. College is the time to expand your mind, expand yourself & to get out of your comfort zone, NOT to worry about fitting in with the rest of the crowd.
8) Keep an open mind:
You’re going to meet so many new & exciting people in your first year. People from all over the country, even people from all over the world. Keep an open mind & good perspective. You never know what you can learn from someone.
9) Utilize Pinterest:
Oddly enough, if you’re looking for great study tips, or even great study apps to download, hit up Pinterest! Seriously, you can find out a plethora of information on that site simply by typing what you need in the search bar.
10) The Library will become your friend:
This applies to every single student, commuters included. You’ll probably spend more time in the library than you will in class itself! Between research papers, study groups, etc, it’s going to quickly become a familiar place.
11) Utilize your professors:
Your professors are there to help & guide you. If you need help, don’t be afraid to go to them. Go to the office hours, meet with them after class, e-mail them. Don’t just go through the motions, especially if you’re struggling in a course.
12) Do your research:
No, not just the assignments your professors give you. You just picked a major, you’re starting in on a whole new journey, make sure it’s the one you want to take. Research what the major entails. Research the courses & read what they’re all about. Research the job market & future opportunities. You may be surprised by what you find.
13) Make smart mistakes.
Mistakes are inevitable in this thing we call life. The thing is, don’t be stupid about them. Don’t do things that you’ll regret because you have this new found freedom. Have fun, but really, don’t be stupid.
14) Don’t give in to pressure:
College is all about opening yourself up & enjoying life, but never compromise yourself. If you go to a party & don’t want to drink, don’t do it. Plain & simple. If people can’t accept that, so be it. That’s their problem, not yours.
15) Get involved:
The only way to experience everything that college has to offer is by getting involved in sports or organizations. Joining Circle K was a great decision I made!