- Created on Friday, 16 August 2013 09:35
- Published on Friday, 16 August 2013 09:35
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As I am now coming up on my final year in college, I keep finding myself recollecting on the many things that I have learned thus far, not only in class, but also interacting with my peers whether it be: at a sporting event, at a party, or maybe just an event on campus. There are many things I wish people would have told me before coming to college like, “Don’t carry a map of campus around with you to each class,” people can definitely tell you’re a freshman, or “You don’t have to try so hard to fit in.” College has given
me the opportunity to see that there are so many more people that enjoy the exact same things I do.
So its freshman year, you’re just starting out. Whether you’re living in a dorm or commuting from home, you are super excited, yet super terrified for everything college entails. Transitioning from high school to college is a HUGE change up. In this article, I’m going to go through some of the things I wish someone would have helped me with when I was starting my freshman year all that time ago.
Most freshman heading off to college tend to live in the dorms their first year. One of the major things I wish someone would have told me when packing is that “less is more.” You only have so much room to fit everything. I know that I definitely over packed when I first moved. I almost had no room to even move around my dorm room. Another big thing is the infamous roommate. You’re stuck with this person for an entire year, so you better hope that you like them. You don’t have to absolutely love each other, however, you need to be able to tolerate each other and respect each other’s property. I got lucky enough to have a great roommate that I ended up living with for two years after freshman year. Having a roommate is also a plus, because you automatically have someone to go to breakfast, lunch and dinner with before you make any other friends on campus. Make sure to make friends with the people on your floor; that is 20+ people you are going to continue to run into on campus for the next four years.
Roommates are awesome and all, however, don’t forget that there are plenty of other people outside of your dorm. One of the major things in college is the many opportunities you have to get involved. *Getting involved early in college looks great on your resume. No matter what college or university you choose to attend, there are so many great clubs and organizations to join, no matter what you may be interested in. Another great way to not only get involved, but also make life-long friendships, is to join Greek life. I for one didn’t join my sorority till I was a sophomore and I regret not meeting all of those amazing women sooner. Joining a sorority helped me to mature and realize all the goals I need to set for myself. One other great way to make friends is as simple as attending sporting events. Most likely everyone on campus is going to be going to the home football, basketball, soccer games and what not.
Getting involved on campus also helps you to realize how important it is to stay organized and always keep a calendar. Make sure to enter all of your important test dates and what not on your calendar your first day. Organization isn’t the only skill you’re going to need when it comes to college; you also need to know how to set a budget plan for yourself. We are all aware of how much college costs; however there are so many hidden costs, such as food, shopping, entertainment and more.
One of the biggest costs of coming to college tends to end up in textbooks. Textbook shopping is something that should definitely not be taken lightly. I really wish someone would have told me that you don’t have to buy every textbook new, you don’t have to just buy your textbook on campus, and you don’t have to even buy a hard copy of every textbook. When you get your class schedule, the best thing to do is make a list of your classes, find out the books you need and then go online to see which places may have them the cheapest. There are websites like Chegg.com and Amazon.com that tend to have your textbooks for much less than your on-campus bookstores. Some of these sites even give you things for free just for shopping with them. Another great way to save money on your textbooks would be to just rent all of them. Most likely, you’re not going to need the textbooks again, so why would you buy them just to sell them back and get not even close to what you initially paid for it?
So it’s the first day, you’re running all over campus trying to find the right building, then the right class, and then the best seat for you. The tip here is to make sure you get there early the first week or two. You want to make sure that you have a great seat where you can see the board and have plenty of space for people to sit around you so you can make friends. Don’t be afraid to speak up in class, because, most likely there is someone else in the class that has the exact same question you do. If you are commuting to class, my tip to you is to make sure you get to campus early. Most parking lots tend to fill up very quickly. You don’t want to have to walk a mile away from campus to get to class drenched in sweat and looking a mess.
Some schools don’t allow you to choose your own classes your freshman year, however, if you get the opportunity you need to know if you are a morning person or not. I, personally, am not a morning person. My freshman year, I didn’t get to choose my schedule and I ended up with math at 8 in the morning; I was not a happy camper. After that little problem, I decided to never take any more morning classes. You need to set your schedule around you, and if you can’t wake up early enough to make it class, maybe you need to make your first class scheduled for 12pm. Your mom and dad aren’t there anymore to wake you up for class; this is all on you now. Another good thing to do when scheduling your classes is to use Rate My Professor. You don’t want to be stuck with that one professor everyone dislikes for the entire semester.
Grades, grades, grades and more grades. The most important thing when it comes to college. Whether you have a scholarship to keep or not, you have to make sure that you are keeping your grades up. Classes don’t come cheap in college, so you don’t want to have to pay to repeat a class. No matter how many other things you may think you have going on for you, you must always realize that class comes first. You may think you didn’t have to study in high school; well college is a completely different playing field. Definitely, definitely, definitely use the library, trust me, there are more than just books in there. There are resources ranging from computers, to writing centers, to tutors and more. Make sure to become good friends with your academic advisor. Every student is assigned to one on their first day. Your advisor is there for any question you may have throughout your college journey. I really don’t know what I would have done without mine personally.
College can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many ways to relieve that college stress. Always try to make sure you are getting enough sleep each night. If you think you need a nap, take a nap. Another great way to not only relieve stress, but also prevent that freshman 15 is to go to the campus recreation center. There are many great classes you can join with your friends. You can even just go do your own thing on the workout equipment they provide. Most colleges and universities include the recreation fee in your tuition, so you might as well take full advantage of the facility if you’re paying for it.
Another major thing that can lead to stress is the fact that almost every girl has the thought in her head coming to college that, “I’m going to find my true love!” Trust me, there are going to be plenty of other opportunities to find your dream guy. My advice is to stay single, have fun with your friends, and if you are meant to find your perfect match, it will just happen. You shouldn’t have to work for it.
This advice is just the tip of the iceberg. There are so many things that each individual wishes they could have known as a freshman in college, however, these are some of the general ideas. Basically, just make sure to enjoy your time in college and have fun. Go out with your friends, stay up late, remember to set your phone to vibrate before class, enjoy your independence and live it up. Your time in college is going to go by fast and in the end you’re going to look back and think, “Where did all that time go?”
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who'll decide where to go.” -Dr. Seuss