Fall is just around the corner and with this comes the Class of 2020. The idea of college is both an exciting and nerve-wracking experience. In one thought, you’re finally tasting the freedom of deciding what you want to do without the influence of your parents but on the other you are facing uncharted territory in a place that is sometimes hundreds, or thousands, of miles away from home. For the person who wants some helpful hints before getting dropped off at your new university for the next four years we have prepared you 21 tips for FSU freshmen to mastering college, that no one has probably ever told you. Keep reading!
1. Don’t over pack!
This happens a lot. During my freshman year, I practically packed everything and the kitchen sink. All you need are the essentials and if I’m being honest you’ll be living in either sweatpants or gym shorts for most of the year, so there is no need to bring your whole closet with you.
2. The first month away will be hard.
The first month away is always an adjustment and it will be difficult, there is no hiding from this fact. Only in time it will fade and you will soon love the new place you call home. This comes when you start to feel comfortable and build yourself a reliable friend group that becomes your family on campus.
3. Be prepared to feel overwhelmed.
College is a big step in a person’s life and it’s a lot to take in at once. You’re living away from home, going to school, and trying to find your passion, all-the-while planning out what you’re supposed to do for the rest of your life. No pressure right? Yes of course pressure, this can get to your head every now and then but that’s absolutely all right and totally normal. Take some time to breathe and decompress.
4. Call your parents.
In the beginning you’ll be calling your parents like crazy but after you get used to the college life your frequent calls home might become a little less frequent. Remember to always make time to give your parents a call, if you’re missing them you know for sure they’re missing you more.
5. Asking for help is allowed.
A big university might feel intimidating since there are so many people living and participating on campus. You might feel like there is no place to go if you’re struggling but in all honesty your college has many resources to help you out in any way you need. They provide tutoring, office hours with professors, time with your advisors if you have scheduling conflicts, and counseling if you need someone to talk to. Just ask!
6. Go to the involvement fair.
How do you know if you don’t like something if you don’t try it first? FSU offers hundreds of clubs that range all different interests so there is no excuse to not be involved from your very first semester on campus.
Listen up, FSU freshmen, because you will appreciate this very early on as you will soon learn that networking is one of the top keys to success.
8. Go to the career center.
Don’t just be planning what you want to do your very last year of college, be prepared and seek out your career center during freshman year. It’ll make landing your dream internship all-the-more easier when it comes time to apply.
9. Get a job on campus.
Need extra cash? See if your school has any jobs on campus or offers work study. The jobs can range from anything from working as a waitress in the on-campus restaurant, being a RA, or to being a group fitness instructor at the university’s gym.
10. Keep track of your money.
This is an easy one to lose sight of. Make sure to check your accounts at least bi-weekly to see your standing and how much you are able to spend.
11. Try to get your best GPA during freshman year.
No one really tells you, but your first GPA is your most important one. It sets you up for the rest of your college career. It’s a lot easier to start off strong and remain constant than come in your first semester with weak grades and try to build yourself up from there. Trust me.
12. You don’t need your car… but it would help.
It is completely doable not living with a car in college since public transportation is usually provided and is pretty reliable. However, having a car would make life easier when trying to do anything that isn’t on campus.
13. Bring your bike to school.
You might think that it would be pointless to bring your bike, but it’s honestly one of the quickest ways to get around when you’re on campus.
14. You will gain weight.
This is inevitable. You don’t have your parents to tell you “no” and your meal plan offers you unlimited pizza and cookies. There is no avoiding the fact that you will be bringing home at least 5 extra pounds with you when you come home for Christmas.
15. Take advantage of the free gym membership.
Speaking of gaining weight, you might as well take advantage of the free gym while you can. Not only is the gym membership provided but all the group classes are included and sometimes time with a one-on-one personal trainer.
16. Live in a dorm your first year.
Living your first year on campus just gives you the ability to easily get involved and know what’s happening around your university. It makes you feel like your closer to the school which in turns makes your homesickness disappear more easily.
17. Opt for a roommate.
My freshman year I had a single room. It was beautiful and I did appreciate my own space but living by yourself the first time away from home is hard and sharing that experience with someone who is feeling the exact same way would have make the process a little less difficult.
18. Schedule meetings with your advisor ahead of time.
Choosing your next schedule can be hectic and everyone goes through it so make sure you have time to discuss some options with your advisor before the time comes to finalize your classes. Advising fills up quick around these times so make sure to schedule early.
19. Avoid 8ams at all costs.
20. Have fun, but don’t forget about your grades.
I know that during your freshman year you’ll want to go a bit crazy and experience the night life, but always make sure that school comes first. After all, you are paying for your education.