Freshman year is an exciting time, everything is new and your curiosity sparks. There are so many new aspects of freshman year that I wish I had known about or had been told when entering college.
This is a list of 15 things that will help you excel as a freshman in college:
I wish I had spent more time with my roommate at the beginning of the semester. We made different groups of friends and did not hang out much outside of our dorm.
Going out really pays off. Even if you are an introvert, go bowling or visit your local museum; you get to hang out with friends and get the college experience.
Do not just sit in your room, whether it is in a dorm or your house, during the weekend. Go for a run or a walk. Get to know your campus; explore academic buildings you don’t usually go to.
Know which building you will be living in. In my experience, they can either be quieter, loud or something in the middle – make sure yours suits your specific needs.
Meet your neighbors! They can be very resourceful; from hanging out on the weekends to helping you get a stapler, or to print something you need at the last minute.
Get to know students from your freshman orientation; they will probably be your first friends in college.
Getting a credit card (if you are 17, co-sign it with a parent), but be very careful with it. Only spend it on things you really need or keep it for emergency purposes.
Do not borrow more money than you actually need in college loans. The interest will make it so that when you pay it back, it would be at least twice as much of what you spend.
Be ready before the first day of classes. If you are taking a class about a subject you have never seen before, make sure to read about the topic in a book, Google Search and/or YouTube.
If you do not like a class, there is a possibility of changing the class for one you actually will enjoy. However, make sure to read your school policies to make sure your financial aid is not affected by the changes.
Make friends with the students who are sitting next to you in class. They will make your classroom experience so much better, and you can borrow class notes from them if you get sick.
Say hello to your professors! Chances are you will have them again later on in your college career. Even if you are in a class with over 100 students, if they already know who you are and know you by name, meeting them during office hours will be so much easier.
Remember how important professors’ office hours are for a student academic life. You can make job connections, obtain internship opportunities and get recommendation letters by showing to your professor that you are actually interested in their class.
Join clubs that are not on top of your list. I joined a few clubs I knew I would like, but did not join clubs from hobbies I have never done. If you ever had a small interest in something, but never got around to it and there is a club for it on your campus, join it!
This is obvious but it needs to be said: Balancing school work and activities outside of classes. Many of the most successful people I met in the last two years know how to have fun, but also do all their work on time and do well on tests. Doing too much of one will have consequences.
These are some of the personal experiences I had during my freshman year. I only noticed how important they were by my second semester or afterwards. Hopefully, this will help you get the most out of your freshman year and have a successful college career. Best wishes!