Student Life

What I Learned Freshman Year of College

Mary Bellm, Student Contributor

May 13, 2019

What I Learned Freshman Year of College
Discover what this student contributor learned during her freshman year of college.
I’m saying goodbye to the friends I’ve made, at least for the summer, and now goodbye to my freshman year of college. I’ve learned a lot going headfirst into college, and here’s my advice to survive your freshman year, along with what I’ve learned along the way!
• Please, please, please get a planner or have some way to keep track of assignments! This is a lifesaver during the easy (and the crazy) months, and that way, you can keep your grades up by turning in all of your assignments!
• Classes in general are much different from high school - grades can be based on much more than just homework, like participation and labs, and much more of your grade can be based on essays. Some teachers take attendance, and some don’t, which means it’s up to you to go to class and pay attention, to get your notes, and know what will be on the test. The same with extra credit - some classes offer a lot of extra credit, and some offer none.
• Whatever easy points you can get from doing extra assignments or going to events, don’t pass up! They could end up saving your grade if you don’t do so well on a test.
• Professors will usually work with you on due dates and essays if you’re a busy person or all of your assignments seem to fall on the same due date. Don’t be afraid to ask for extensions if you truly need them.
• Your plans can - and will - change, even if it’s just what you’re going to do that night, or your entire major and switching to a new minor. Even your day to day schedule can change by adding last minute plans with friends, staying up late to knock out that essay or study, and sleeping in or taking a nap. Don’t be alarmed if you end up in a different place by the end of your freshman year that you thought you’d be at.
College Life
• You will bring (and accumulate) a whole lot more stuff than you will ever need. If you’re close to home, I strongly recommend seeing what you actually use the first few months and take back everything else you won’t be using for the rest of the year. It will help when you’re packing everything up to leave at the end of both semesters of your freshman year.
• Always have extra food, pens (or pencils), paper, and money on you when you leave for class or are studying - you never know when you’re going to want a snack or your pencil runs out of lead!
• Always have a phone charger on you. If your life is on your phone, you probably already do, but there’s always outlets wherever you are on campus to charge your phone in case you can’t make it back to your dorm.
• Your friends from high school may or may not stay in touch. If they do, make the effort to talk to them in the beginning of the year before school gets hectic, and you’ll have a good support system that might help you with your homework if you ask them nicely. Keep in touch with your family, too, since they will miss you as much as you miss them!
• Find joy in the small things, whether that’s watching a movie with friends, enjoying a dinner of off-campus food, or whatever else you like to do to relax! It helps make the year a lot less stressful and a lot more fun!
Your freshman year will go by fast - make the most of it with this advice!

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