10 Things All College Freshman Need To Know

Joseph Meyer

Attending college is one of the most important times in one’s life and for many there is so much you need to know to prepare for that first year and every year after that. College is somewhat like a jungle at first, so welcome to the jungle, but don’t fret I got you covered. Here are 20 tips to assist you get through.

1. Go To Class

I know it goes without saying but it has to be said, yes you are an adult now, responsible for yourself in a sense of going to class. I know it may seem strange if you just graduate secondary school/High School and be able to cut class but be warned there are consequences to cutting just like in High school.

You spend money to attend college, a lot of money and cutting class is like throwing money down the drain, so don’t do it. It’s understandable you will have days you miss like sickness.

2. Buying your books

Having taught college, I can tell you, you have choices how and when to buy your books. Books are probably the costliest items you will buy in college. It’s always great to be prepared, but I have found that most faculty want to help their students save a buck or two.  You have the option to buy the book before class or wait until your instructor instructs you, there may be times a book is assigned but the professor may decide not to use the book or a different book.

As a student, you will need to do everything in your power to save money, books can literally cost hundreds of dollars each semester. In addition there may be other options like used books, e-books and rent a book which saves a great deal of money. If you have concerns speak with the professor teaching your course and get their feedback. If the process absolutely says you need the text before class starts, get used or rent.

3. Do your research on the course before you start or sign up

Every college has a set curriculum you will need to take to graduate and most courses there is no wiggle room like general ed courses. Do your research on what the course is about, who teaches the course and even get professor reviews if you. With your research you will get in the habit of researching and making decisions. Other types of research include speaking with past students, using social media where previous students may say “Easy A”, “Good Professor” or “Stay Away”.  All of this research will help you navigate who to choose as a professor and what course to take, but mind you, you will get a professor who many students don’t want to take, that’s all part of the experience.

4. Make an appointment with your Adviser

Your college adviser is the person who will help guide you to graduation, they normally would be the person who would stick with you until the end, but its possible they could change. They will guide over what courses to take, If you have enough credits to graduate and progressing through your college career.  I would recommend meeting him or her each semester and really try to build a relationship with your adviser.

5. Talk with your professors

As once a college professor, all too often students did not make the effort to speak with me although I very much care about them as students. But building that student teacher relationship is key to success in college. Most professors want to work with you if something comes up, so instead of coming to class and leaving, talk to us, we are very much interested in your life as you may be about ours.

6. If you going to have a roommate, be considerate

Living off campus is another challenge, so there may times you will have a roommate. Be respectful of your roommate, learn their sleeping patterns, don’t play loud music while they are studying, or barge in late hours making a lot of noise. You are now responsible and although you are paying too, doesn’t give you the right to disturb that other person.  If you are someone who does require special attention to your needs, it’s maybe best you live on your own if you are unable to accommodate a roommate.

7. If your living in a dorm, get to know your RA (resident Assistant)

RA’s are your go to person if you need something, get to know them, at least their name. Living in dorms can have many challenges, because you are also living with someone in your dorm and sometimes it great to talk to someone. While I living in my dorms, I wish I had gotten to know my RA better, they are a great resource to what goes on in the dorm like events.

8. Stay on Campus

As much as you want to head home for the weekend, staying on campus can be just great to get away and relax from family life. Having lived in the dorms myself, I was too far from home to go, so I had t stay on campus and it was great to stay in and not feel the stress of driving or taking a plane home, this is why you build your independence.

9. Save your money

College life can be very expensive, going out, hanging out with friends, partying whatever you do in your free time can add up. Save as much as you can, learn to save if you haven’t already. If you have an option to eat in and cook, do it.  It’s perfectly possible to cook your own meals, get a Netflix subscription and stay in, it will save you a ton.

10. Exercise

I can not stress this enough, get off the couch and take a walk, then a jog and then a run or some other form of exercise, it will do wonders for your mind. Try to begin healthy habits if you haven’t already, like eating healthier meals, it will pay off in the end, you will feel better, function better in the end.

Onward and Upward

You made it to the end, but there is so much more than 10 things you need to know, but felt these would help you get on a great start. It’s important to remember college has many different experiences especially trying to discover who you are. Make your own path, don’t be swayed to follow others unless you want to, you have a few years to figure it out, but then you have a lifetime to figure out new skills.

College is meant to be enjoyed, so enjoy the experience, you will meet a lot of new people, friends, future colleagues and many who will help you on your journey, no need to try to get to know everyone, focus on your studies, get through those magical years and be patient with yourself.

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