Freshman year at UConn is an exciting time for any newcomer. Enjoy it even more keeping these pieces of advice in mind.
1. You should try to avoid over packing.
UConn’s campus tends to have small first year student residence hall rooms. The more stuff you bring, the less room you’ll have to breathe. I know you’ll want to bring everything, because you’ll be living away from home. But fight the urge to bring those sweet Converse shoes that you never wear, or that beanbag chair that has a stain on it. Just bring the essential things you’ll need to live by on your own during your freshman year at UConn.
2. You’ll need to adjust to living with someone else.
If you’ve had your own room your whole life, be prepared for a 50/50 chance of not becoming best friends with your roommate during your freshman year at UConn (or not getting along at all). It’s essential to try to get in contact with them before the semester starts so you could coordinate who will bring what, such as a fridge or microwave, for example. It also gives you the chance to get to know each other to see if you may click once you move in together. Although, if things do not work out, remain positive and try to work it out. In even the worst case scenario, your RA will be there to help you along the way.
3. Balancing social life, academics, and sleep is extremely difficult.
I’m still working on it to this day. You may never be able to have that perfect balance in college. The main focus is to try and always work toward a healthy you. If you’re focusing too much on social life and sleep, and you’re struggling to get the good grades, try to focus a little less on the partying and socializing and more on doing homework right after class, before the night starts. If you have no time for anything and you think you have the right balance because you’re doing everything, take a step back to see if you’re overloaded on your schedule. Don’t put too much stress on yourself. You’re already a college student! That’s stress enough.
4. You don’t have to know what you’re doing for the rest of your life once you step onto campus.
Don’t be afraid to start as undecided, change your major, or even graduate with one major, and start a career in something completely different. The main reason why you’re going to school is so that you can start a career in something you enjoy and are potentially good at. Don’t spend your college years taking classes in a major you hate, only to hate the next 60 years of your life. Try some classes out to see what fits you!
5. You should avoid partying every weekend.
Moving into a freshmen only residential area, everyone wants that college experience around you of going to parties, drinking, and just going crazy. Be mindful that whatever decisions you make, they’ll affect you somehow. You may party every weekend and start to realize your grades are getting low because you’re not putting much time into studying. You also may notice some of your friends are only your friends because you like to go out on weekends. There are so many things you can do on weekends. Attend Late Night and get some free stuff, walk the trails along Horsebarn Hill, or even go to the recreation center! Utilize your time in college to make fun and safe memories.
6. You shouldn’t get emotionally or sexually involved with people you live with.
You live in the same building/floor as these other students for a whole academic year. Although it may be fun at the moment, try to stay friends with as many people around you as possible. There’s room for love later, when you’re not all high on freedom.
7. You need to read the syllabus and actually do the work to be successful.
It will be extremely difficult when it’s the middle of your freshman year at UConn, you haven’t been keeping up with any of the readings, you fail the midterm, and your grade is based only on exams. Not many professors offer extra credit, nor do they like you to approach them in the middle of the semester – knowing you haven’t been participating – and ask for help. Take initiative early. Get to know your professors and show them you want to get good grades and that you’ll work towards them.
8. It’s smart to recognize your study habits.
It may be difficult to transition from high school work to college work. Try to learn in the beginning of the semester which study habits work best for you. Utilize the Academic Achievement Center! That’s what they’re there for.
9. Friends from high school are great, but sprout your wings.
UConn has SO many students. Don’t just pass everyone by during your freshman year at UConn (and regret later in life that you only had two friends while in college). Talk to people in your classes, say hello to the hot guy in the elevator, or even sit next to a new person at the library. There are so many ways you can meet new people. UConn also has many clubs and extracurricular activities for you to get involved in, and there are countless amounts of students involved in them. You’ll get to meet people with similar interests as you!
10. Study abroad.
College has so many opportunities for you to learn new things, meet new people, and make many memories. Studying abroad will give you the opportunity to go to a new place, experience a new culture, meet more people, and get college credits! It’s like a vacation, but while in school. You could even learn a new language and use it for your future career. The locations are endless!