Advice: Ten Tips for Every Freshman to Take to Heart

By Nicole Conte
SC Staff Writer

Being nervous about starting college shows that you want to succeed. The transition may be difficult for students coming straight from high school or even older students.

Luckily, college is a clean slate for everyone: a new beginning where no one knows who you are or what you have done.  If you didn’t succeed as you wanted to in other academics, now is your chance to make up for it.

At first, the thought of living on your own and being independent may come as exciting or scary.

Here are a few tips to help you with a successful freshman year (in no particular order).

1. Don’t be intimidated

Everything is new to you, but don’t be afraid to ask an upper classman where a building is. They were once a freshman too and in the same position. Also, don’t be afraid to ask professors a question if you’re not able to grasp concepts; they’re here to help you learn both in class and during their office hours.

2. Stay organized.

Keeping a planner helps you stay organized, whether it’s for projects, tests or a school football game. Investing in a planner will help you keep track of everything that’s going on so you don’t forget a big test.

3. Learn life’s basics.

You’re going to need to learn how to cook, clean and do laundry in order to survive your new independent life style.

I’m not saying you need to learn how to cook steak and potatoes, but if you’re capable of making Easy Mac or Ramen Noodles, then you’ll be fine. You want to keep your dorm room as clean as possible to prevent any little creatures coming in your room. Don’t do your laundry on the weekend either. This is when everyone else will be doing it. Try to do it during the week.

4. Make new friends.

Try to befriend people besides your roommate and those who live on your floor. Get out and get to know people in your classes. This way you’ll have people to not only hang out with but you’ll have someone to help you if you get stuck on some schoolwork and the professor isn’t around.

5. Get involved.

Joining clubs can help you decide what you want to do with your life after college. If you don’t like a club you join, you can stop attending meetings. Getting involved with clubs, intermural sports, and Greek Life help you make friends and become more involved with your school. This also helps a lot when it comes to finding jobs and internships.

6. Go to class. 

This is a crucial part of you college career. This is essentially why you pay all that money to go to college. You may be tempted to sleep in and skip your 8 A.M. but try not to. Sometimes going to class can earn you extra credit and hints on tests or quizzes.

7. Get sleep. 

Just because you’re in college doesn’t mean you can’t take naps. Naps are almost necessary. When you have class all day and then study groups all night, you need to take the time to power nap and re-energize yourself.

Since you’ll be re-energized you’ll be able to get more work done without thinking about how tired you are.

8. Books can be expensive.

There are alternatives to buying your textbooks from the bookstore. For starters, you’re able to rent some textbooks and return them at the end of the semester. This is a cheaper alternative.

Another alternative to buying books from the bookstore is buying them from or renting them from Chegg, online.

9. Use your E-card.

You’re able to put extra money on your e-card and use it almost like a debit/credit card, and some places like Friendly’s give out a student discount. Other places like Kasa’s and Cluck–U will take your e-card as a form of debit/credit, so you don’t have to go out of your way to spend money if you already have some on your e-card.

10. Maintain a balance between schoolwork and your social life. 

When you first start school, you may think it’s important to go out every night and see your friends as opposed to doing schoolwork. You need to set aside time to fit both things into your life. If you get all of your work done during the week, you’ll have time to go out and see your friends during the weekend. This way you won’t have to worry about a boatload of homework to do come Sunday night.

You made it through the hard part of being a freshman: acceptance into the college of your choice.  Keep up the hard work and use these tips to help make your freshman year a success. Have fun while learning and get the most out of your college experience.

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