It’s here: the moment many high school seniors wait for. The mail had come and the acceptance letters to those dream colleges have begun pouring in. Over the next few months as high school graduation approaches and freshman year in college gets closer, new students should plan for success.
As you piece together your fall schedule and organize your wardrobe, keep these tips for success in mind as you enter freshman year in college.
Schedule your day: Work an eight hour shift that includes classes and classwork. If you start at 9, finish your day at 5. If you start at 10, go until 6pm. But keep a regular schedule of studying which excludes vegging on the couch between class.
Eat meals with different people: It’s best to stay social and really extend yourself to meet new people. By having meals with different groups, you can meet new friends and friends of friends.
Take a variety of classes: Get those pre-requisites out of the way. Register for a full class load that includes a balance between science and math with the liberal arts. Take a few challenge courses too, maybe graphic design, computer science or expository writing. Many students suffer later in their college careers because they need more credits or they need to transfer to another college because of prerequisites. Long story short, keep your bases covered.
Ask for care packages from home: It’s best to stay in contact with home and in the first few weeks of college, you can get homesick fast. Ask friends and family to send little care packages through the mail. They could be as simple as a card and box of chocolate. The sentiment will keep you fueled through all the freshmen change.
Make time for yourself: Get some down time to listen to music, hit the gym or take a yoga class. Meditation, reflection, and prayer will boost you through the long weeks of study.
Ease Up on the Credit Card: Be responsible with your credit. Don’t rack up charges on new clothes, a new TV or smart phone. Weigh out each purchase and only buy what you can afford. Better yet, use cash. That way when you’re out of money, you are done.
Eat Salads at Lunch and Dinner: French fries and pizza are tempting but eating them at every meal is the fast track to the dreaded freshman-15. Make a habit of always putting salad on your cafeteria tray. Don’t think about it. Just do it and eat up the veggie goodness.
Stock Your Room with Water and Good Snacks: Late night munchies come on without warning. While you’re studying or watching TV, you might get thirsty or hungry at random hours past midnight. Make sure you’ve always something stashed away–preferably healthy choices like water, granola bars, and maybe some fruit you snagged from dinner.
Buy Used Books: Now that you’ve a full class load, it’s time to buy all the textbooks for them. Check the bookstore for used copies and then surf the internet. Amazon and other websites have used bookstores. Be careful to order books in time for class. When in doubt, get the first required reading in the bookstore and then order the rest online.
Visit Every Professor’s Office Hours at least Once: All your teachers are required to be in their offices during the week. On the syllabus, check out the times they’ll be available. Around week three, make an appointment and prepare a question related to the material. By using office hours, you’ll get some extra instruction on the coursework and also begin building a relationship with your professor.
The first year of college is a transitional moment for most young adults. They begin their studies so that one day they can become professionals in the workplace. But before any of that can happen, each freshman has to navigate through the months of hard work, socializing, self-discovery, and even weight gain. How would you advise a new student in their first year of college?