You did it! The moment you waited the past four years for has come and gone. You are officially a high school graduate and are preparing to head off to college. College can potentially be the best years of your life, so start it off right! Here are twenty tips for freshmen at Ole Miss.
1. College is an opportunity to start over and make a name for yourself, so take advantage of it.
Similar to many incoming college freshmen, your high school years may have been filled with drama, mistakes, and heartbreak that you are ready to leave behind in that building we all called a prison. This is your chance. While in college, you get to meet so many new people that don’t know anything about your past and, in result, cannot judge you for your mistakes or pity you for your suffering. If you weren’t proud of the person you were in high school, say goodbye to him/her and hello to the new you. Change is an amazing thing, so don’t resist it. College opens up a multitude of doors and gives you the freedom to pick which door best suits you. There are very few times in life where you have the chance to begin anew, so take advantage of the opportunity that has been given to you.
2. Start socializing now!
Making your transition into college as stress free as possible takes a high priority spot. The best way to cut stress from this process is to make some new friends in advance. First, your roommate is the person you are going to be living with for the next year, so try and get along. Some people end up hating their roommates. Pretty much every student who has been in college for a few years has a crazy roommate story, so don’t freak out if you don’t like your roommate. That is just a part of the experience, plus you will have a great story to tell one day. Other students become good friends with their roommate, which is the best case scenario. Either way, your roommate is like your built-in friend, so try your best not to kill each other. Ideally, your roommate will not be the only friend you make. The best way to ensure this is to start socializing right away. Log in to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and every other social media platform and try to find a page or group dedicated to Ole Miss and to your class. With the endless amount of social media we have at our fingertips, it won’t be hard to find. Once you get there, introduce yourself to the group, list your social media, and most importantly, join in on the conversation. The best decision I made during this process was to join in on a few Group Me group chats, four to be exact. It has given me the opportunity to bond with other students at Ole Miss before we even move in, and now we are practically a family. In the end, you will be so happy you did this because you will have a group of friends to help you ease into college life.
3. Don’t hide away in your room…
This tips for freshmen is crucial. The first night is where the bonding begins. Even if you have made friends using social media over the summer, the first night of college is where you reinforce those friendships you have made. Even if you still have a lot of unpacking to do, take a break, walk down the hall, and see if you can meet some new people to hang out with for the night. Join in on the partying and fun, the boxes will still be there to unpack in the morning. For those of us who are on the shy side, it is time to push yourself to break out of your shell. Your initial instinct will be to sit in your bed and binge watch OITNB on Netflix while eating a tub of ice cream lamenting your childhood, but you must resist this instinct, unless you gather up the rest of your hall and participate in this activity together.
4. Pack lightly!
As someone who has never experienced moving into college before, freshmen want to pack EVERYTHING. Sadly, you do not have the ability to pick up your bedroom at home and physically move it to college with you, so you have to pack the essentials and only the essentials. Remember that a dorm room is most likely smaller than your bedroom, plus you have to share it with another person. Figure out who is bringing what items with your roommate so that you don’t end up with doubles of everything, and do this a good amount of time in advance so that neither one of you wastes your money buying something that the other already bought. Actually go through your wardrobe and pick all of the clothes that you wear often to pack; if you have a shirt that you have had for five years and you’ve only worn it once, it is safe to say that you aren’t going to wear it again in the next four, so leave it at home.
5. Decorate your dorm room.
This school is supposed to be your home away from home, so make your room as comfortable and homey as possible. This is important, especially for freshmen, because it will make your room a place where you can relax and it will allow you to transition into college life easier. Also, it doesn’t hurt to have the really cute, Pinterest-worthy room that everyone wants to be in all the time.
6. Don’t buy textbooks at full price.
Textbooks are EXPENSIVE, so try your best to not buy them at full price. When you get a list of all the books you need, look them up on websites like Amazon. Look for a used one because it will save you a lot of money in the long run. Also, try finding an upperclassman that took the course and is selling their book or is willing to give it to you for free. A key benefit to buying a used textbook is the chance that there may be notes or important topics highlighted throughout, so it could be a study trick as well. Check out this site for all your discounted textbook needs!
7. Make a friend in every class.
It is inevitable that at some point during the year you will sleep through your 8 a.m. class, so accept your fate. Making a friend in every class provides a safety net to you when this occurs. This classroom friend can be your study buddy for the finals that we are all dreading, they can give you notes from that class you missed, and, you never know, you may end up having a legitimate friendship.
8. Stay organized.
You’re in college now. Your mom isn’t there to tell where to go at what time and to help you schedule your daily life. This is now your job. Get a planner and use it. Write down all of your assignments and the due dates right when you get them so that you won’t forget. Write down any events you’re going to, like when the next football game is and what color you have to wear. Trust me, this planner will save your life as long as you consistently write in it and refer to it when planning anything. Lastly, take this planner with you everywhere because you never know when something will come up that needs to be penciled in. If by some chance, you don’t have your planner with you at the moment, utilize the technology we all have at hand. Get out your cellphone and jot it down into your calendar.
9. Work hard.
Senior year of high school is a breeze for most due to the mental state we all experience called senioritis. Don’t let this nonchalant and lazy attitude continue. You have now stepped up to the next level of your education and it is going to be hard work. You are going to experience a work load you never have before and you need to have the will power and the determination to get through it. Remember, you are learning the information you need in the specific major you picked, so it is something you will be doing for the rest of your life. Take it seriously and put your best foot forward when it comes to your work.
10. Ask for help.
One of the most important tips for freshmen is knowing that asking for help is not a sign of weakness or stupidity; it is a sign that you are motivated and that you want to improve yourself, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. Your professors are there to help you get through the year. If you are struggling to understand a concept, ask your professor and they re-explain it to you. If you are too terrified to go straight to your professor, call that classroom friend up and get together for a study session or join a study group. Chances are you are not the only one struggling.
11. Don’t skip class.
We all have those days where we don’t want to get out of bed and deal with the world, but you need to go to class. Since it isn’t high school and you aren’t in class every single day, and the classes are much longer than a typical high school class, there is a very high chance that you will miss A LOT of information when skipping. Of course, you have your classroom friend that can give you notes and you can go to your professor for help, but nothing will help you to understand better than actually being in class and learning. Sometimes there are legitimate reasons to miss a class, but, when you can go, go.
12. Get to know your professors!
Each professor teaches so many students that they will most likely not remember everyone. The best way to get yourself noticed is to introduce yourself to your professor. Go visit them to introduce yourself or send them a quick email. This may help in the future when you need a recommendation or a mentor. Also, if you do go to them for a little extra help, they will know you and your learning style better and be able to help you more.
13. Don’t forget about your family and friends back home.
You know what they say, out of sight, out of mind. Your family and friends are going to miss you while you are away. They will be wondering what’s happening in your life and how you are doing, so do them a favor and spare you parents their worrying and call home. Don’t forget about the people that made you who you are and helped to raise you. I’m not saying that you have to call every day and have a 2-hour conversation with them, but every once in a while give them call, skype with them, shoot them a text. Your parents are especially going to be worried about you, so make sure that you contact them in some way every so often.
14. Try new things.
College is the time in your life where you have the chance to try new things and not be judged for it. Push yourself outside of your boundaries and do something crazy before you really become a full-fledged adult. Make insane memories and do insane things just so that you can say you did it and so you can tell that story to your kids someday. You might find a new passion or discover more about yourself and that is one of the most important parts of college.
15. Get involved.
Find what your passionate about and join a club or a sport about that thing or start one of your own. Take advantage of the new experiences that are presenting themselves right in front of you. Being involved can allow you to travel, go to events you wouldn’t have gone to before, meet even more new people, and maybe even discover what you want to do for the rest of your life.
16. Get a job
On top of all of your schoolwork, extracurriculars, and socializing, it is good to have a job. Yes, it is a lot to balance, but the balancing act is something that you are going to have to learn how to do as you get older. When you are a broke college student, you are going to be happy that you have some type of cash flow. This is also another step to further your independence. You don’t want to have to rely on your parents to send you money when you need to go shopping. After moving in, one of the first things on your to-do list should be to look for a job. The sooner you get one, the better.
17. Don’t be nervous about being on your own for the first time
It is everyone’s first time being on their own, so you have a support system. Just like with your life before, take it one day at a time. It may be a little hectic when you are first starting out, but you will soon get the hang of it. If you are homesick, call home and talk it out with your mom or dad, talk to a friend going through the same thing, or just give yourself a day to relax and de-stress. Don’t worry, you will survive.
18. Take all the opportunities you are given
Throughout your time in college, many opportunities will arise. As these opportunities come, take them. If you know that is something that will benefit you, then why not?! Once again, this really comes down to giving yourself the best college experience possible. These opportunities will only come once in your life, so take a chance and accept the offers given to you. If nothing else comes from it, at least you can say you tried.
19. Go to as many sporting/school/social events as possible
We all know, Ole Miss is known for the sports, the traditions that go along with the sports, the Grove, and just having all around an amazing college experience. Go to all of these events because there is nothing else like it. Ole Miss is the place to be for all of these things so don’t waste it. Go out with a group of your friends and check out the events going on even if you are not sure it is your scene. Just go and give it a try; you may end up having a fantastic time, which you most likely will.
20. Have fun, but do so responsibly.
Of course, college in general is known for the parties and you should go to them. You should have endless amounts of fun and you should savor every minute of it, but, as always, party responsibly. Never drive while under the influence of drugs or alcohol, get a DD or call for an Uber, don’t go to a party alone, be careful with what you are drinking and how much, and be cautious. Even on the safest campus, you must use caution. You’re and adult now, so act like one and be responsible.
Can you add any more tips for freshmen at Ole Miss? Comment below!
Featured image: infolink-usa.com, shminhe.com
Emily is leaving her hometown of Keyport, NJ to study English 18 hours away at Ole Miss. Her favorite things include Grey's Anatomy, food, sleeping, and reading, and her least favorite thing is the beach. She would like to make a huge shout out to the people that kept her sane for the past 18 years; you know who you are.