Freshman year of college is almost certainly going to be nerve-wracking. It’s likely the first time you will be living without your parents, and you are quickly thrown into adulthood. With this much freedom comes equally as much needed responsibility. Here’s how to make the most out of your freshman year.
1. Find friends
This one may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people go through college without making any friends. Take advantage of the first few weeks, where everyone is in the same boat and looking for friends. Don’t be afraid to approach people and ask them if they want to hang out, once again, everyone is in the same boat during this time and it won’t be awkward. You can also utilize social media to connect with people at your school. Having a friend group is a great way to have fun throughout freshman year. Having a group to have your back, attend social gatherings, and look after you is essential for your well-being. Also, don’t expect to have a set-in-stone friend group after your first week. It could be well into your second semester before you have a friend group that you can count on. The important thing is to always be looking for a group that you know will have your back.
2. Study every single day
It may seem odd to study every day, but it is an easy way to stay on top of school work and avoid cramming. After each class or lecture, go home, to a coffee shop, or study group, and study your notes. By studying while the material is still fresh in your mind, you are more likely to remember it in the long term. Studying every day, even if for just 20 minutes, will make you feel more productive. This is important, because it allows you not to feel guilty about hanging out with your friends later in the day, and perhaps into the night. Overall, studying every day will ultimately save time. You will gradually commit all the material to memory rather than cramming everything into one night right before the exam. This will give you more time to hang out with friends – and experience college life!
3. Join a club
Joining a club is a great way to explore your interests, even if they are not conducive to your major. A club allows you to pursue your hobbies, and possibly make new friends in the process. For example, I joined the theatre organization at my school and was able to make new friends right at the beginning of the semester. On top of that, I was able to do something that I enjoy, which is acting and performing. Doing what you love is a great stress reliever, and trust me, a stress-reliever is essential in college. The best time to join a club is freshman year.
It’s going to introduce you to new people, introduce you to new hobbies, or reintroduce you to old hobbies. College is the time to try new things, and clubs are the perfect arena to experiment. Ultimately, joining a club is a great thing to do in the early weeks of your freshman year. It provides a way for you to try new things or do the things that you already know that you enjoy. This is a great way to ease your transition into college life. Joining a club also provides an easy way for you to meet and make new friends that share your interests. All of these things make joining a club a wonderful way to start your freshman year.
4. Explore the campus
Your first few weeks or months, you are likely not going to have much to do, or any friends to hang out with. A great way to spend this time alone is to explore your campus. If you go to a university, your campus is probably huge, meaning there is plenty of places to walk around and clear your mind. Putting on some chill music and walking around is still one of my favorite things to do clear my mind and lift my mood.
By walking around campus, you can become acclimated to the many different areas of campus and learn how to better navigate yourself. You may find a cool place to study, or an outdoor space to relax in. Don’t be afraid to walk into the many different buildings as well. Once again, you may find the perfect spot to study in isolation. If you go to college in an urban area, walking around the city will offer hours of exploration. Overall, your campus or city is something begging to be explored. Walking around and taking everything in, especially in those first few weeks, is a great way to clear your mind, become more acclimated to your new community, and learn where everything is located.
5. Stay healthy
Too many college students tend to forsake their health as they transition to college life. If you want to make your college experience enjoyable, making your health a priority will serve you well. Food is often one of the biggest things that college students stop caring about once they are on their own. To overcome this, try to see what healthier options your school cafeteria offers, or if you’re not on a meal plan, make healthier choices at the grocery store. Consuming healthy food is essential to maintaining overall health in college.
Of course, this is reality, and you are likely going to have nights where you are up late and succumb to the age-old college meal: Ramen Noodles. This is okay, and it’s not something you should beat yourself up about, but try to eat healthy the majority of the time, so that eating Ramen doesn’t become your go-to meal. Also, exercise is important. Try to get up early in the morning and go for a run. This is a great way to clear your mind and keep your body healthy. Overall, staying healthy is going to make your freshman year much more enjoyable, and will impact your grades positively. Freshman year is the time where you set all your new habits, so make sure staying healthy is one of them.