“I wish someone would have told me this before college.”
First off Congratulation to all those who graduated, you’ve made it and now it’s time for a new era in your life! : )
I wanted to give new college freshman’s out there some helpful tips for their first year. I might have been more excited for college if I wasn’t worrying about these things. I did not live in a dorm room my first year, I commuted which means some things might be a little different for college newbies who are going to dorm this year. These tips should apply to almost any school you go to. So here we go:
1. Be on time!
College is not like high school, they will not care if you are late or early it’s your responsibility to make it there and not miss anything. Though some colleges do mark lateness, they will not tell you until you see it on your grades, (you should know that more than three lateness is bad).
Leave early enough to grab the best seat and to be prepared by the time the professor walks in.
On their first day a lot of people plan on making it on time, but unplanned things DO happen and you do not want to be the person who doesn’t get there on time, who has to find an empty seat in a packed room, somewhere that you can’t hear or see the professor. That person has already missed part of the lesson and disrupted a class. Then they will also have to take out their things, taking more of their time, using a laptop? they’ll have to find a plug, using a book? they’ll need to ask someone for the page number. Woah, too much!
– Why not just start the day a great way and be early and ready instead. They would have been much happier.
2. Buying books
Do not buy books in the college bookstore, they are way more expensive there than anywhere else. Try Amazon, Chegg, Cengage, Barnes and Noble, or other cheaper book stores.
For those of you who might not really want to buy all your books, I have great news, you do not HAVE TO order them all until your first day of school. On the first day many professors give out a syllabus, sometimes it’s online, and then they say that the book is not mandatory, it’s optional and they give a week or two for those who don’t have their books.
But if you rather be safe than sorry, I recommend you to buy all the books because there a lot of things in the books that are not covered in class and you’ll need the information for finals. But then again you can study with a friend from their book and save money. It’s up to you.
When you’ve spent $100 on a text-book that was unnecessary, that you might not be able to sell back for the same price it sucks. I have books that I bought that I haven’t even opened yet and the semester is over. I guess that’s when renting books is good.
Renting books aren’t always a good idea though, you are paying less and that’s awesome, but you can never get any of that money back like if the book were yours, you can never make marks on it, and what if you have to repeat the class, then you have to give the book back and rent it again spending much more money than if you had bought it in the first place.
Ebooks are also not the greatest thing, for those of you who love being on electronics and can manage reading on a small cellphone or on the computer screen then go ahead, otherwise it’s better to be old-fashioned with a textbook.
3. Get organized
Professors will be giving a lot of papers, a lot of books, a lot of things that seem like they’re not important right now. One day you may need them, so keep them organized. I have three folders that I label and I know where to go to look for something if I need it.
Pay attention to due dates! and take a lot of notes.
Not only should your books and papers be organized, you should be neat as well. Have you ever heard the saying, “a crowded room leads to a crowded mind”, well it’s true.
For the people dorming, Mom and Dad aren’t there to take care of you any more, college is all DIY, so start learning how to cook, how to do your laundry, and how to put your things in order, in the end it will benefit you.
There might be someone walking around with a tiny pink t-shirt and you’ll know it’s because they didn’t know how to do their laundry. Keep yourself clean, keep your room clean, and keep your bag clean.
Everyone is looking for a friend in the first few weeks of school. College is no different. In fact people are more friendly than ever because they want to meet new people and make a friend. If you have a roommate it might be easier to have a friend because you’re sort of always around each other. Be nice, be open and be yourself, I’m sure you’re a great person! If you’re still having a hard time making friends Get Involved, which leads me to the next one..
5. Get Involved
I know it’s the first year and you might want to settle in before joining any groups or teams but I think it’s better to join right away. try new things. You’ll meet new people who already know their way around the school, sometimes you’ll get to know the staff and that’s always good, and you’ll have an activity for when you have nothing to do, which believe it or not it is often, unless you want to study all day then go ahead. Maybe you can start your own club.
6. Be healthy
Don’t forget to eat breakfast – it’s not a good idea to eat in class. You don’t want to starve in the middle of a three-hour class. A healthy breakfast can last you for a long time, can wake up the brain and get your metabolism going. Drink a lot of water and maybe bring small snacks if you want. Try to stay away from foods that make you tiered and lazy. Exercise is great and very much necessary, even if you’re already fit, it’s always good to get the heart going.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP.
7. Check your school Email
There is important information and updates that you might miss because you didn’t check your school email. Also clean out your other email addresses so that you won’t miss anything important and urgent.
8. Take advantage!
Take advantage of everything your school offers. Especially take advantage of the library. Take advantage of their books and computers. Take advantage of their counseling or tutoring programs. Take advantage of the faculty that are there to help you. Take advantage of the scholarships that they offer. I think you get the point. Most importantly ask your questions and don’t hold them back, it might seem overwhelming at first to ask in front of a large crowd but you’ll get used to it.
If you know your major that is great, but if you don’t then do not worry. You have two years to experience and think about what you want to do. The sooner the better of course but you don’t need to freak out over not knowing what you want to do with your life yet. Most of the people in college have no idea what they want from their major.
10. Be happy!
Last but not least, Be happy, you made it farther than a lot of people. Do not stress out over the little things. You will definitely make lots friends, studying is not as hard as it seems, and remember to be intelligent, quick and adaptable to the different situations.
For the people who are going to live in a dorm:
“Dorming is a life experience you can not get anywhere else. It instills independence & responsibility. You build friendships that will last a lifetime.”
Good bless you all on your first year and may you all experience and learn great new things with great new people.