How to Prepare Yourself for the First Year of University: Tips for Freshmen

Posted by Nelma Lumme
June 22, 2017

Self-Published

Starting college is one of the best things that can happen to a high school graduate. The amount of change and knowledge coming your way is overwhelming and you can easily get lost in all the new information. Luckily, there are tips that can help you stay ahead of the curve and prepare for your freshman year properly.

Get your bearings

Chances are that your college building and laboratories will be scattered all around the campus, away from your dorm room. Create a personal map and a reference guide that can help you get bearings whenever you get lost – and you will get lost. A number of students walking around the campus minding their own business can be breathtaking at times and it’s easy for a freshman to get lost.

Create a schedule

While your academic schedule should be online, you need your own schedule as well. Develop a study and break schedule as soon as possible in order to have strict times in which to do what. You will lose track of all the classes and projects relatively quickly, so writing everything down is essential if you want to pass your exams. Make sure to include your visits home as well, since they will be mandatory and chances are that you won’t do much home at work, so try to compensate when you are on the campus.

Find your class group

Make sure that you are in contact with your class group as soon as the semester starts. You can add everyone on Facebook and even be the one who takes the initiative and creates a mutual group. The importance of staying close to your class group goes far beyond socializing. You will exchange notes, books and help each other with finishing college down the line, so make sure that you are good with everyone and have clear lines of communication.

Socialize as much as possible

People who stay in the corner while everyone else gets to know one another will likely stay loners and have a hard time fitting in. Try socializing with others as much as possible once your semester starts. You never know who your next roommate or a study buddy may be, so talk to people and make idle chat. Going for drinks and watching movies together is also on the table – that is, until exams start.

Extracurricular activities

College is a beehive of extracurricular activities and you should work as hard as you can to find out what works for you. For some people, it’s sports, for others its book clubs and poetry classes. College is a far more hospitable and tolerant place than high school where everyone minds their own business most of the time and people rarely judge at first glance. Most colleges and professors offer extra points for students who are active outside of classes, so that’s another added bonus that you should consider.

Be on time

If you start being late as soon as the semester starts, you will likely keep doing it over and over again. Hang your class schedule above your desk, keep it in your phone and memorize it as soon as you can. Being punctual is a huge bonus in college where many people skip classes – and not just the students. Keep a tab on all of your college activities and make sure that you are on time since it can cost you your grade most of the time or raise it depending on the professor.

Start working early

College is what makes or breaks many people that try their hand at being students. This is because the amount of work and obligations that come with college is nowhere near the amount of work you had in high school. You can go ahead and multiply that number five or six times.

The secret of getting your exams done is starting to study and work on them as soon as you can. When the professors start handing out literature and projects, it’s about that time of the semester. If you end up slacking off, you can find some help online if you visit academic essay writers’ reviews and contact a professional writer to help you out with your papers. Make sure that you develop a healthy schedule that allows you to work bit by bit and attend all of your lectures regularly.

Balance your grades

The mistake most people make is that they aim for the highest grades right off the bat. Think about the amount of work that each professor asks for in order to give you a higher grade. Put everything on paper and make a balance of grades and work you have to do. It’s easy to pass one exam with a high grade, but what about the other two coming in a few days?

Split your attention so that you can pass everything in the semester without leaving anything behind. College is different than high school and grades are only important for scholarships and university transfers. Those that are in college to learn and find a job afterward should focus on completing everything on time.

Take time off

College can turn anyone into a workaholic and that’s not necessarily a good thing – especially for a freshman. Make sure that you take time off as much as possible, even if it’s just a few hours. Go for a walk, take a nap, and watch a TV show or make some food.

Do anything that you can to distract yourself from college work. Getting stressed over academic work can be as easy as being late to a class, so take it slowly and one step at a time. You have a few years of studying to go through and getting anxious during your first year will take you nowhere.

Stay healthy

Many people manage to worsen their diets as soon as they move out of their parent’s house. It’s the moment of clarity you have when you realize how much your mom’s cooking meant to you. Make sure that you take plenty of fruits and vegetables. Don’t live on fast food and snacks.

It can be fun to goof around and eat only snacks for the entire day but you will quickly notice that you don’t feel as well as you did. Stay healthy through eating cooked meals and exercising every once in a while. You will spend a lot of time sitting and working, so moving around is equally important.

In the end

You will experience some of the best personal development you can have during your college years. Many people come out completely different on the other side once they graduate, more responsible and mature. Start working on your future self early and do anything you can to mentally prepare for what’s coming.

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