Starting college soon and looking for some college tips for freshman? Here are some of my best tips for college freshman and some of the most important things I learned my first year of college.
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If you’re starting college soon, you’re probably looking for some college tips for freshman.
Before you actually go to college, it can be hard to know what to expect. You’re told all of these stories about how college is by your high school teachers, and honestly, some people make college sound pretty scary.
As someone who has been in your shoes and has since graduated college, here are some of the most important tips I’d give my freshman self with some of the most important things I learned my first year of college.
This post is all about the college tips for freshman.
The Best College Tips For Freshman
1. The Professors Care More Than You’d Think
For some reason a lot of my teachers in high school made college professors seem like they were monsters from hell who just do not care about their students.
I think they say that to scare us, but still–it’s not at all true! Of course there are going to be some professors who are just mean, but most of the professors that I have had have been very caring and understanding. Don’t be afraid to communicate with the professor if you’re having trouble in the class or need help.
2. Most People Are Trying To Make Friends
The concept of making friends in college can be scary. You’re in this new place where you don’t know anyone, and it can be intimidating. It’s important to remember that a lot of people are in the same boat, though, and are trying to make friends! Don’t be afraid to try to make friends in your classes.
3. Life Is Easier If You Get Along With Your Roommates
Living with a random stranger can be really awkward at times. Life is a lot easier if everyone makes an effort to get along and communicate with each other about any issues.
4. Being An Adult Is Expensive
There are so many expenses in college that seem to come out of nowhere. I would definitely recommend trying to plan for expenses beforehand and overestimating because the expenses will likely be higher than you think.
5. Time Management Is Crucial
College is an insanely busy time of your life. Between assignments, social events, work, etc, it can be really hard to prioritize and figure out what is actually worth spending time on.
I would HIGHLY recommend investing in a planner. Writing down everything you have to do and seeing it all in one place makes it a lot easier to prioritize. I literally would not have made it through college without using a planner.
6. Walking Across Campus Takes Longer Than You’d Think
Always overestimate how long you think it is going to take you to walk to class. I would always leave 10-15 minutes earlier than I thought I needed to because it takes much longer than you’d think. Whether you have to stop at crosswalks, get stuck behind people walking super slow, or have to go around stuff they’re setting up on campus, you’ll probably need more time than you think.
7. Making A Good Class Schedule Is So Important
I had no clue how to schedule my classes my first year of college and because of that my schedule was HORRIBLE. I had really long gaps between classes, but they weren’t long enough for me to go back to my dorm, so I would basically just sit around twiddling my thumbs wasting time until my next class.
My biggest piece of advice when creating your schedule is to schedule your classes back to back. If you have big gaps between them you’ll feel like you are wasting the entire day like I did. Also, make sure you create a break for lunch if you need to, and don’t schedule classes too early if you don’t have to. Getting up for an 8am class is literally the worst.
8. Participating In Campus Activities Can Be Fun
Participating in campus activities can seem really tedious and silly and like a waste of time. However, being active on campus, whether it’s through joining a club, going to campus events, or joining greek life, can be a really great way to make friends your first year of college. And it can be fun! I’m gonna be honest, some events ARE dumb and silly and tedious, but there are some that are fun.
9. Living In The Dorms As An Introvert Can Be Rough
I had SUCH a hard time living in the dorms at first. I’m so introverted that being around people 24/7 was just completely energy draining. However, I did figure out some things that helped. If you’re an introvert and are worried about living in the dorms, I have a post on my best tips I learned for living in the dorms as an introvert.
10. It Is Possible To Bring Your Pet To Campus As An ESA
Something I didn’t know before college is that it’s possible to bring your pet to campus as an Emotional Support Animal. If you struggle with your mental health and think bringing your pet to live on campus with you is something that would help, I’d definitely recommend looking into it.
However, there are some really important things to know before bringing your pet to college with you! Also, it’s important not to do this if you don’t genuinely need an emotional support animal.
11. Good Habits Are Important
Having good habits in college is crucial if you want to meet your goals.
I recently read this book, and it really shifted my mindset on the importance of practicing good habits and how they can help you be successful when it comes to achieving goals (such as getting all A’s, having good mental health, getting enough sleep, etc). Highly recommend!!
13. Eating In The Meal Hall With Dietary Restrictions Can Be Rough
If you’re like me and have dietary restrictions, eating in the cafeteria/ meal hall can be rough. I’m a vegetarian, and there was hardly ever anything for me to eat when I went to the meal hall. I ended up cooking in my dorm most days, so buying a meal plan was a complete waste of money (and it was a lot of money).
If you have dietary restrictions, I’d recommend seeing if they can make a special menu for you at the meal hall or just making food in your dorm room.
14. It’s Okay To Visit Home As Much As You Want
When I first went to college, I thought that going home too often made you a loser or something (this idea had been put in my mind by other high school students before I even went to college). So, when I wanted to go home any time my first year of college, I would feel guilty and like I was a loser.
This isn’t true!!! As someone who has since been through 4 years of college and graduated, literally no one cares if you visit home. If you have a good home life and want to visit home, do it as much as you want! If people try to make you feel bad about it… maybe those people aren’t ones you want to be around. Go home and snuggle your dog and spend time with family. You have your entire life to be an adult and live away from home.
15. You absolutely don’t have to pull all nighters
I went into college thinking that all nighters were a given. However, I quickly realized that most of the people who pulled all nighters were the ones who always waited until the very last second to do their homework.
I did not once have to pull an all nighter during my first year of college. Looking back, I don’t think I ever did all 4 years of college.
Like, yes I understand that sometimes it is just necessary to pull an all nighter because, well, life happens, but if you don’t procrastinate, then you shouldn’t need to pull an all nighter every time you have a test. Getting enough sleep is seriously important when it comes to doing well in school. Again, learning how to manage your time is crucial!
16. Exercise is so helpful if you’re stressed
When you’re in college, it can be super easy to stop being active. You’re going to spend so much time sitting down and doing homework, so it is really important to move your body a little bit every day. Even just 20 minutes of walking can have a really positive effect on your mental health!
Also, most colleges offer free gym memberships to students, so you can utilize that if you’d like.
17. Don’t Be Afraid To Utilize The Free/ Cheap Counseling
Most schools have either free, or super cheap, counseling. Going to counseling can help everyone, but especially college students. College is a time of life where you have literally so much going on, whether it’s being stressed with school, relationship trouble, financial anxiety, etc. Don’t be ashamed to ask for help! Especially when help is free.
18. It’s Important To Find Ways To Relax Guilt-Free
This is probably the single most important thing that I learned in my first year of college. I actually learned it in one of my psychology courses, and I’m so happy that I did.
A lot of college students are busy literally all of the time with homework and work, and a lot of us don’t prioritize self care nearly enough. Before I learned this, I always felt guilty relaxing when I had so many other things to do. However, I found out that in order to keep performing your best, it is absolutely critical that you take some time to relax every day to offset stress.
My professor told us that it has to be guilt-free relaxing though, so it’s best to use relaxation as a reward for doing work. This means it is important to get done what you need to get done first, and then you’ll feel accomplished and will be able to actually relax instead of thinking about what you should be doing instead.
This post was all about the best college tips for freshman.
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