Many people say to enjoy college for as long as you can. It’s true, college goes by in a blink of an eye. Being a freshman in college is probably the most challenging yet exciting time in your life. You get to start over, meet new people and get away from home. You also get to try new things, step outside of your comfort zone and learn who you are as an individual. Make sure to enjoy every moment because years from now you’ll look back and actually miss the days you were a student. Here’s a list of advice all college freshman need to hear.
1. Take advantage of your free time
Now that high school is over, you most likely aren’t at school for 8 hours straight anymore. Take advantage of breaks between classes by doing homework or studying for a test. Netflix and YouTube can wait until the end of the day when classes are over and you get to finally relax.
2. Drink in moderation
Drinking in college is very different from high school. As a freshman, you most likely live in the dorms on campus. You also could be very far from your parents, whether it’s hours away or out of state. Always remember that everyone is looking out for themselves. Go to a party with a friend or a group of people and remember that self-control is everything. At the end of the night, the only person you can truly rely on is yourself.
3. Don’t take dating seriously
College is all about finding yourself. You have to realize that other people are finding themselves too. That’s why it’s important to not take dating seriously when away at college. Take advantage of being single! Spend your free time finding yourself and it’ll eventually help you figure out what qualities you’d like or dislike in a partner.
4. Make good impressions
Depending on your major, you’ll most likely have currently classmates in future classes as well. It’s very important to make good impressions because group projects are often assigned. It always helps to get a classmate’s phone number in case you do happen to miss class or need additional clarification on homework. Being known for being reliable and consistent rather than lazy is a good reputation to have in college! Not only do classmates talk but teachers talk too.
5. Take care of your health
Health is extremely important in college, whether its mental, physical or emotional. The amount of stress and anxiety that comes when in college is something many people have never experienced before. You’re away from home perhaps even for the first time surrounded by people you barely know and it’s extremely easy to have a breakdown. It’s important to set aside time for yourself whether it’s signing up for a yoga class at the gym or simply taking thirty minutes a day to reflect and breathe.
6. Take advantage of the resources provided
Things like the library, gym and health centers are all included in tuition. Get your money’s worth and use the resources provided for you! The library is definitely a great source for inspiration when it comes to writing papers for class. More than likely your college is subscribed to various newspapers or media outlets that you can include as sources and references in articles. It’s all included in the tuition so why not take advantage of it?
7. Make connections with classmates/teachers
College is all about networking! Especially when it comes to job searching once you graduate, it’s always beneficial to meet people and get your work out there. Teachers can write recommendation letters and refer you to people they know. Other classmates can potentially let you know when their job is hiring. Make your time in college count.
8. Do not skip class!
Nothing is more important than going to class. Most teachers grade based on participation and attendance, so while you might get amazing test scores, you could still fail the class because you didn’t show up. Also by not going, not only are you hurting yourself and education, but you’re wasting money that one day you will have to pay back!
9. Balance is everything
Simply putting in the effort and trying will get you further in college than drinking and sleeping. It’s so easy to get caught up in the party that people often fail or drop out of college because their attention and effort isn’t focused. It’s important to get enough sleep and balance your social life. During the week, focus on class. Put in enough effort for homework and studying so when the weekend comes you can relax and let loose. Balance is key.
10. Enjoy every moment
No matter how simple the moment is. Whether it’s walking home when the sun is coming up or eating Taco Bell at 4 a.m. with your best friends, these are memories you look back on and wish you could do all over again.
Is any crucial advice missing from this list? Comment below what else you think college freshmen need to know!
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Ciara Barnett is a journalism and public relations student at Columbia College Chicago. When she's not writing or at the library, Ciara pours glasses of wine at a winery in her hometown of Tinley Park, Illinois. Ciara has written for various college newspapers and her articles have also been published online. She did an editorial internship for a textbook publishing company and now freelances for Society 19. When Ciara graduates college, she wants to work for a publishing company and bring more books into the world. Ciara hopes one day to become an author. She can be found on Instagram @ciarabarnettxo or on Twitter.