Your freshman year of college is an exciting time. You are starting a new adventure, and the next four years are probably going to be some of the best ones of your life. However, it is crucial to start out on the right track so you can make the most of your freshman year and the rest of your years in college. Here's how to start off college the right way.
Attend all classes. It's very tempting to skip that 8am Biology lecture, especially if it's a big class and your professor doesn't take role. However, if you get into the habit of skipping classes, your grades will really suffer. Professors often test you on information from their lectures rather than on info from textbooks. Furthermore, since you are paying for a college education, you need to attend all of your classes (even the boring ones) and soak up as much information as possible. Otherwise, you are just wasting your money.
Get to know your professors. Take advantage of every opportunity to meet with your professors, so you can get to know them and vice versa. Go to their office hours or meet up with them after class. You never know when you will need to ask them to be your reference or write letters of recommendation for you.
Make at least two friends in each class. This will pertain to you throughout your college career. It's always good to make at least two friends in each class in case you miss a meeting and have to copy notes. You don't have to become best friends with these people but engaging in small talk about the class will help you form a tiny bond. It's just always easier asking someone you know for a favor than it is asking a complete stranger.
Learn how to manage your time. As an entering college freshman, you may at first have difficulty with time management because your schedule is more flexible than it was in high school. So, the earlier you learn how to balance your college schedule, the better off you will be. Just remember that time management is all about prioritizing your goals and sticking to the schedule you have laid out.
Get involved in at least one club. By being involved in at least one or two clubs, you will have the opportunity to meet tons of other students while being active in something that you enjoy. Don't over commit to a bunch of different clubs though; doing so will only make you stressed out.
Take advantage of support and services. Colleges offer an abundance of services to their students. If you are having trouble in a class, inquire about a tutor. If you can't decide on a major, visit your school's Career Services Department. Learning disabled? Find out what learning disability services are provided at your school.
Keep your finances in check. Your freshman year of college is probably the first time you will be managing your money without the supervision of your parents. Therefore, you need to create a college budget and stick to it. As a freshman, you will also be showered with credit card applications, so it's crucial for you to learn how to avoid credit card woes. Learning money management skills early on will help you make responsible financial decisions throughout college and on.
Respect your roommate. Respect and communication are the two most important factors when it comes to successfully living with a roommate. Of course, you will not agree with everything that your roommate says or does. However, if you show him respect and communicate openly about issues that bother you, then problems should be resolved easily and quickly. Read Roommate Matchmaking for more tips on living with a roommate.
Stay healthy. Transitioning from high school to college can sometimes be stressful for students, so you may turn to food for comfort. It's very common for students to gain between 10 to 15 pounds during their freshman year. Staying active and eating right will help stop that weight gain. Learn about other ways of beating the freshman 15.
Be true to your school. Maintaining school spirit throughout your college years will help you form a stronger bond with the school and your peers. Get involved in school activities. Attend sporting events. Show support for your school by wearing and using fan gear with your school's name and logo.
The first semester of your freshman year in college is the most critical because it usually sets the pace for how the rest of your college experience will be. If you start off your first year of college the right way, you will be more inclined to stay on track and get your degree. Good luck in your first year endeavors!