Transitioning from high school to college can be challenging for some students. Being in the heart of downtown Atlanta does not make it any easier. Want to survive freshman year at GSU? Keep reading for 50 life saving tips for freshmen at Georgia State!
1. Explore the campus before the first day.
Know how to get to your classes and how much time you have between classes. Getting to Aderhold can be a trek if you’re coming from the opposite side of campus. It’s definitely tricky for most freshmen at Georgia State.
2. Take advantage of office hours.
Even if you’re not struggling, get to know your professors! They can be great connections later on in your college career.
3. Don’t wait in line at Starbucks.
Right across from One Park Place, you’ll find the most welcoming coffee shop called Ebrik that serves a mean mocha frap!
4. There is no such thing as a dumb question.
Be the girl or guy to ask the question everyone laughs at. Chances are, a ton of others are wanting to ask the same thing, but won’t admit it. It’ll be to your advantage when test time rolls around.
5. Don’t forget your Panther ID in your dorm.
Chances are, you’ll need it to enter the library. Go to the University Bookstore and invest in a lanyard with a card holder so you never forget it. Yes, you’ll look like most freshmen at Georgia State, but this will save a lot of hassle.
6. Don’t use the elevator to go up one floor.
People will hate you. You will make enemies especially if you are a repeat offender and/or you do this in Langdale where the elevators are always packed.
7. Want to get a good parking spot in M Deck if you’re a commuter?
Honestly, it’s all luck and occasionally time-based. So…good luck.
8. You no longer have to avoid the GSU Bookstore.
If you want to order your books elsewhere because it is cheaper and do not want to wait for them to be shipped, remember that the bookstore now price matches with Chegg and even Amazon!
9. Get involved!
There is an organization at GSU for just about anything you could be interested in. Just check out OrgSync.
10. Try out a free fitness class at the rec center.
The rec center offers a variety of classes every day. No need to fear the freshman 15 if you maintain regular attendance in Zumba or pilates!
11. Take advantage of GSU’s location.
Atlanta has so much to offer in terms of internships and future career opportunities. Take advantage early!
12. Note-taking 101.
Always have either a pencil and paper or laptop with you. Note-taking is vital to your success as a student. Many professors only test on lectures.
13. Talk to your advisor.
Check out Paws Portal for your advisor’s name and contact information. He or she can be very helpful when scheduling classes for your second semester.
14. Check out the restaurants on Broad Street.
Some are chains and some are unique. Many even offer discounts for Georgia State students.
15. Begin group work early.
Do not wait until the last minute. Everyone has busy schedules, but it is up to each group member to make time to contribute to the project efforts.
16. Meet new people.
Your best friend from high school also chose GSU? Great, but don’t let that keep you from making new friends.
17. Always address your professor correctly.
Don’t know whether he/she has their doctorate? Address them as so anyway. Brownie points for being the only student to do so correctly!
18. Study your behind off.
Have a test a week away? Begin studying early to cut down on the stress of last-minute cramming.
19. Use Linkedin and keep it updated.
You will gain many new experiences that will prove useful to your online image. You can also use Linkedin to connect with past employers and/or teachers.
20. Get a part-time job.
In library plaza, there are always people handing out information about either on-campus or nearby jobs catering especially to GSU students. Take advantage!
21. Choose your courses based on the professor.
Though you don’t have much of a choice until sophomore year, ratemyprofessor.com can be very useful when registering for classes for the next semester!
22. Wait a few weeks before buying textbooks.
This is especially for those with a huge reading list. Wait until classes begin (unless told otherwise) so that you only purchase the books you need.
23. Explore the city.
Call those new friends and take a day to explore the campus and the Atlanta area. Do things you haven’t done before and meet even more new people.
24. Save money as a coffee fanatic.
Though the many coffee shops nearby (Saxby’s, Ebrik, and Starbucks) are all very tempting, make coffee in your room if you have the time. Invest in a yummy creamer and sugar to boost your satisfaction. Unless it’s daddy’s money, then…
25. Have a resume handy.
Keep an up-to-date resume ready to go on your computer in case an internship opportunity comes up! Freshmen at Georgia State often get great opportunities!
26. Visit the Scholarship Resource Center.
A short trip to the office in Sparks Hall can be financially helpful and the staff are always willing to chat and provide assistance.
27. Don’t shy away from online classes.
While they aren’t the most ideal, taking a history class online won’t kill you. Some students find online courses to be easier than the traditional classroom setting.
28. Bring your own laptop to school.
Because sometimes you realize you forgot to complete an assignment and it’s due in two hours.
29. Don’t study in bed.
Trust me on this one. Studying in the library or Student Center East/West will be a million times more productive.
30. Register for classes as soon as possible.
Look on Paws Portal to find out when you can register for classes for the next spring and wake up early if needed. Otherwise, you may not end up being able to take the classes you want.
31. Use a calendar or agenda.
It is very helpful for keeping up with assignments or events.
32. Make time for yourself.
College can be stressful and it’s always good to give yourself time to unwind after a busy week even if you’re just binge-watching Grey’s Anatomy by yourself.
33. Sit in the front of the class.
Don’t be shy. No one will call you nerdy for it and it will help you focus and be more engaged in the class.
34. Become close with at least one person in each class.
It will help you to expand your network of friends and help when you have to miss a class.
35. Always go to class!
You never know when a professor may drop the pop quiz bomb on you or offer extra credit (even for attendance).
36. Don’t use your phone during class.
Besides the fact that many professors will get angry, you’re paying for your college education. Why spend your time texting when you could be learning? Unless your friend is Leslie Knope, they can wait an hour and fifteen minutes for a reply.
37. Snacks in vending machines vary.
Snacks sold in the College of Education’s vending machines are personally preferred. Namely the fruit snacks that never fail to be in supply.
38. Don’t be scared to take a foreign language.
Especially if it is required for your major. A lesser known foreign language is American Sign Language. It is a very fun and interactive class!
39. Worried you’ll honestly fail a class?
You can withdraw from a maximum of 6 courses during your time at Georgia State. Additional details regarding withdrawals can be found in Paws Portal.
40. Take advantage of specially priced tickets.
The student center offers discounted tickets for Six Flags, The Georgia Aquarium, and even movie theaters among other popular Atlanta attractions.
41. Head to the 5th floor of the library to study.
But don’t be that annoying freshman that goes there to talk. People will not be happy with you if you do.
42. Don’t be late to class.
Some professors have quizzes in lieu of attendance that must be completed within the first five minute of class. Royalty is not even excused in this case.
43. Respect the diversity of GSU.
Students at GSU come from various backgrounds. Respect and understand that as you interact and meet new people.
44. Keep a mini umbrella in your backpack.
Rainy days are a nightmare at GSU. You can walk through some buildings to avoid getting wet. But remember that we don’t all look like Selena Gomez when soaked.
45. Know the short-cuts.
Again, take the time to explore campus and figure out the shortcuts like cutting through Langdale to get to Aderhold from Library South.
46. Avoid getting in a rush
Allow yourself enough time to get dressed and ready to head to classes so that you’re not running into the classroom with 20 seconds to spare.
47. Be aware of your surroundings.
Being right in the middle of downtown Atlanta, this is very important. Avoid walking alone at night if possible.
48. Take classes earlier in the day (but not 8ams).
It’s no fun getting out of class at 7pm and then having to do homework afterward.
49. Homework tips
Getting ahead on your homework when possible can make you feel 100% better.
50. Have fun!
College is a time for new experiences and making friends and connections. Take advantage of all that’s offered in the Atlanta area and enjoy your first year!