It’s August which means it is officially back to school season! If you’re starting your college career this month you’ve probably signed up for classes, ordered your textbooks, and you might even have moved into your dorm by this point. You’re probably also feeling a whirlwind of excitement and anxiety at the unknown that is your freshman year. Trust me, it’s really not as scary as it seems right now. I’m entering my 4th year of attending college classes in one way or another and I’ve learned a few things that I think are helpful for any college freshman, whether you are moving across the country or attending community college. Read this list, then take a deep breath. You’ve got this; you’re going to do great. Good luck!
- Get to know your professors 2 things are true about college professors. 1. They want you to succeed; 2. If you don’t act like you care, neither will they. Going to office hours, speaking up in class, and emailing your professor with questions even if you feel confident with the material will be sooo helpful when you aren’t sure about something, and can make a few points’ worth of difference when it comes to that major assignment you really need to do well on. Professors are great people to write letters of recommendation and some will have a huge influence on your entire academic and possibly professional career so its good to make a good impression early.
- Identify study spaces Every campus has three different kinds of public areas: Social spaces (abandon all hope ye who study here), Casual study spaces (you might get some work done but let’s be real you’re just here because your friends are), and Serious study spaces (this is where you go to really get stuff done). You’ll be able to focus better in some areas than others so find out where those spaces are at the beginning of the semester to make life way easier when midterms hit.
- Don’t dismiss the easy classes You took calc 2 back in high school but for some reason, they put you back in pre-calc. Or maybe you took the easiest science class because you’re an English major so whatever but now you’re bored out of your mind. You could skip class or treat these courses as nap time or can say “Yay! Free GPA boost!”, actually put in the effort, and not be kicking yourself when you barely pass Anatomy and Physiology and your grades could really use some cushion.
- Get involved Your roommates or sorority sisters might end up being the best friends you ever have but is that a reason to pass up the opportunity to connect with that girl who loves historically accurate baking as much as you? Of course not! Try out any and all of the clubs and events that interest you. You don’t have to stay involved with all of them but its healthy (and fun) to connect with several groups that you have something in common with.
- Budget Its college, you have freedom and social events every weekend and the credit card companies won’t stop sending you offers. Use this time to learn how to handle your money while you still have a safety net and your 22-year-old recently graduated self will thank you.
Are you a freshman? What do you think will be most useful to you from this list? Have you been in college for a while? What would you add?
Unless I let you know otherwise, my posts aren’t sponsored by any of the companies whose products I mention. I won’t accept sponsorships from companies whose products I don’t truly think are really great. However, links marked with an * are affiliate links. Should you click on the links and make a purchase, at no extra cost to you, I’ll go add to my growing stash of tea, or yarn, or pay the fines on that library book that I couldn’t put down for a month.