1. What’s the best way to put myself out there and meet new people?
This one really depends on how outgoing and how far out of your comfort zone you’re willing to be. My best advice is to not be afraid to talk! Everyone is in the same boat here and no one will turn down a conversation. If you’re in a big lecture hall with a terrible teacher, bond over your hatred of the class with the person sitting next to you. If you see someone sitting alone in the dining hall, sit with them! Ask them about their major, their classes, and your conversation will take off. If you want to connect with people who share the same interests as you, see number three!
2. What’s the best way to pick my classes?
This all depends on your major and the type of student you are! Most majors have “critical tracking” which is a set of required courses you need to graduate. Go to your academic adviser and ask them to create a four-year plan for you. If you’re undecided on your major, see number 5. The beauty of college is the vast variety of classes they offer. Take a look at your school’s courses in different subjects and you’ll be surprised. Take the classes that capture your attention!
3. What are the best clubs to join?
The best part about clubs and organizations is that it’s all based off what you like! In comparison to high school, you don’t join clubs in college for the sole purpose to appeal to colleges. From a classic car club, to a salsa dancing club, to underwater basket weaving, you’re guaranteed to find something that fits you. Sororities and fraternities are a great way to connect with people as well!
4. Will I be able to balance a job with my class load?
The best way to approach this is to truly assess the type of worker you are when it comes to school. Will you stay on top of things for the whole semester? Do you like to watch hours of Netflix the night before a big exam? The answer to this question also depends on the schedule of your classes.
If you have class every day at three-hour intervals throughout the day, it may be difficult to find a job that suits that schedule. If you do, you’re going to be pressed for time going back and forth. All of this comes together and the last thing you want is to be cramming for a hard exam after a long day of work. I know we’re all broke college students and need a job but don’t put too much on your plate or it won’t end in favor of your grades and your health.
5. Am I at a disadvantage if I’m undecided?
It’s okay to be undecided on your major. Not everyone knows what they want to do right off the bat and that’s okay! It is better to decide on a major as soon as you find your path so you have plenty of time to take your prerequisites and to take all of the courses on your critical tracking to ensure you’ll graduate on time with your bachelors. All in all, you’re not behind, but the sooner the better. Some advisers say to settle down with a major by no later than sophomore year to ensure your schedule will be do-able to graduate on time.
6. How much time do you actually spend studying?
College is the embodiment of the saying “you get out what you put in.” These are not your typical classes you’ve taken in high school that you can breeze through, put in minimal effort, and still manage to get an A. These are classes that require true understanding of concepts and terms and call for quite a bit of studying! One of my favorite ways to keep up with my classes to make sure I don’t fall behind is to do a little review each day. It will go a long way.
7. Is the “freshman 15” real?
The big scary myth of the “freshman 15” haunts every incoming freshman. Good news, it only exists if you let it! The aroma of Chick-fil-A every time you pass it is dauntingly tempting. While it is a quick and easy fix to your aching hunger, you can’t let the availability of fast food consume your everyday meals. You’re on your own in college and you really have to practice the healthy habits you want to instill in your lifestyle. No one is here to cook a chicken and veggie dinner for you or make you go outside for P.E. credit. Create good habits and you won’t think twice about going to the gym or about the healthy food you have in your dorm. Live the lifestyle you want to carry out.
8. Help! What do I do if I’m failing my class?
Breathe! The first step is to be honest with yourself. Are you actually failing or are you getting a B that you’re not used to? Assess where you are in terms of the course. Talk to your adviser and see what they recommend. They will be real with you if you’re real with yourself. Under the circumstance that your only option is to withdrawal, use the next semester to really kick that course’s butt. The next time around, you will know what to expect regarding the demands of the class.
9. I have a random roommate, what if I don’t like them?
Your roommate is probably worried about the same thing. If you guys meet and she or he is messy, loud, obnoxious, or rude, talk to your RA. They can help sort out the issue so that you’re comfortable. They’re not going to make you live with that person if they are unbearable. Personally, I had a great experience with my random roommate and there’s a big chance you will too!
10. What’s the best way to get around campus?
As a freshman, a car isn’t a necessity. If you decide to live in off campus apartments, the buses are great. They will take you to and from school, downtown, your favorite Target, and anywhere else in your college’s city. If you are on campus, walking is my favorite way to get around! It is great exercise and you can stop and pet the occasional dog that passes by. Many people bike or scooter around. If your campus is always busy like mine, it may be harder to get to where you want to go without bumping into other people.