Don’t be that typical freshman who thinks they know everything. You Don’t. You will have challenges and struggles and life won’t be easy. Follow this guide to help make your college experience a little better.
1. Take a Campus Tour.
– With this, do the overnight orientation. Take your normal campus tour led by some admissions rep. Ask all the questions you can from the people who want you to come to their school.
– Then I challenge you to get a map of the campus. Hold onto that map. Take a tour by yourself. It is okay to get lost on the campus. Explore wander into every building. Ask current students on the sidewalk for their opinions. Don’t just settle for the first campus you tour.
2. Living on Campus.
– You will learn more about the campus by living on it your freshman year. Don’t be fooled by what you have seen on TV. Real life residence halls are not always filled with parties and drunk people hanging off of balconies.
– Take advantage of having a randomly selected roommate. Go with an open mind. You will probably like living with a complete stranger, than living with your best friend.
– More roommate conflicts occur with someone you already know because of preset expectations. 9 out of 10 times you will end up losing a best friend because of said conflicts.
– Have what you need to live. Clothes, bedding, random apartment type of things. Look into what your school provides and then go from there. If you have a roommate talk to them about who will buy the toilet paper or to split the groceries.
3. Map out your classes.
– Know where your classes are before that first day of classes. Remember that map? Use it now!
– Figure out where your classes are and how long it takes to get there. If you leave 10 minutes before class and it takes 20 minutes to walk there, you’ll be late. Professors hate late students and class disruptions. Avoid being late at all costs.
– Academically, professionally, personally, don’t be late for anything. Always arrive early!
4. Make sure you are prepared!
– Bring everything that you think you would need and then some. Make sure you have school supplies, basic ones will do. Paper, pens, pencils, 3-ring binders. You know the typical I will need this for class type of thing. Some professors will tell you what you will need for class if it is beyond that.
– Get mentally prepared for class. Meaning, do the homework, read the chapters, before class. Do not procrastinate on anything.
5. Get organized.
– If you are the type of person who forgets things easily, get a planner or calendar. Write down all assignments, their due dates, exams, parties, birthdays. Plan out your life. Set your goals, and your daily tasks to achieve them.
– You can buy a calendar at the local store or print off your own for free. Organize your dates by color or highlight important things to remember.
– Ask classmates or your professors for different ways to get organized and stay that way.
6. Talk to your professors.
– Your professors are there to help you. Use their knowledge in and out of the classroom. They have been there done that. Take advantage of their experiences! Ask them questions.
– Take advantage of office hours. They are there to help you! Professors will always tell you that their door is open. They are mostly friendly. It will help you out in the long run.
– Professors are more willing to sympathize and empathize with the students who attend office hours or talk to them after class. This will help when you get sick or have to miss class because of some life event.
7. Invest in yourself.
– Buy professional wear. Dress the part for your career. Get a pair of khaki pants and a button down shirt with nice shoes. That is the minimum. Dress for the type of career you want.
– Buy a laptop, tablet, whatever gadget you will need to be successful. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to get quality. Make sure you have what you need in order to be successful in everything.
8. Take care of yourself mentally and physically.
– You never know what will happen. If you aren’t mentally strong, the pressures of college and life in general will get to you. This happens to everyone. How you deal with those pressures will either help your future or send you to a less desirable place.
– Go to counseling if you need it. Mental health is more important than you would think. It takes a lot of courage and strength to admit something isn’t right mentally and actively be working to improve it. Positive thoughts in, positive thoughts out.
– Same goes for physical health. Do what you need to do to be healthy for you. Some universities and colleges offer free gym memberships to their faculty and staff. Take advantage of it. Take up group fitness classes. Or join your local gym. You do what is best for you.
9. Take up a hobby.
– This is something that you like to do for fun. It can be anything: painting, hiking, drawing, watching movies, running, crocheting. Pick a hobby that you want to do. Use it to unwind and relax. You do not have to be good at it either. You can paint like a 3-year old and still have it as a hobby.
– Do something you have never done before. Plan an activity for you and your friends to do together. Build memories and try new things. This is your time to explore and live your life.
– When you pick an activity, ask yourself if you would want your grandmother or whomever is important to you finding out about it. Same goes for any risky business or parties you get invited to.
10. Know who you are.
– This is most important. Knowing yourself. You cannot grow or learn anything or in any way unless you know yourself. Know the type of student you are. Know if you are a morning person or not when creating your class schedule.
– Know what you want to do in life. Where do you see yourself when you graduate? What type of career do you want? What is it that you stand for? Do you stand for anything? What are your morals? Are you willing to stand by your own set of morals? Do you have ethics? Are you acting in an ethical manner?
– Know your limits. Know your mental and physical limits. Do not be a say yes type of person. That is good in certain circumstances, but if you can’t say no people will take advantage and walk all over you.
Live your life. Live it to the very fullest. Believe in yourself, always! People will doubt you, and at times you will fail. Do not be afraid to fail. It builds to your character when you get up and keep on living. You have one life to achieve your goals, do not squander it. Believe in who you are and where you are going in life. Trust your instincts. These 10 basic things are not the end all be all questions. They are merely 10 of the many questions and things you will encounter in college. Take this as guidelines from someone who has been there and lived a lot of life.