I never had a mentor going into my freshman year of college. I didn’t have anyone I could ask for advice or go to if I had questions or needed help. So when my parents dropped me off I was practically alone. Since then I have learned so much valuable information that I had to share with all of you! So here what I learned my freshman year of college.
Not all Roommates Get Along
Truth is, as much as you want to have a roommate that you’re best friends with, you might not end up that way. I heard so many roommate stories and while some of them became best friends for life, others ended in disaster. Be sure to have an open mind when you meet your roomie-to-be. If worse comes to worse, you can always switch rooms in the middle of the year.
Don’t Take 8 AM Classes
In high school my classes started at 7:20 AM, so I thought 8 AMs would be no big deal, right? Wrong. I had an 8 AM Biology class that lasted nearly two hours and I can’t tell you how painful it was waking up for that class. If you can get around it, try to avoid the 8 AMs unless you’re a morning person.
Actually Go To Class
If you’re going to college for a degree, you might want to show up for your classes. Even if attendance isn’t mandatory, you could be getting a lot of information that could help you on the tests and do better in the class in general.
Do ALL Extra Credit
Unlike in high school, extra credit isn’t given out often, so do it! No matter how much work it is or points its worth, do the extra credit! I was able to get all As my second semester because my extra credit bumped my grades up. Even if the class is an easy A, I always suggest extra credit because you never know when you might need it.
Meeting Your Professors Leaves A Great Impression
Your professors have hundreds of students they’re teaching at one time. Stand out from all the others by introducing yourself! Your professor will respect you a lot more and be more open to answering questions if they know who you are. I take the time during the first week of classes to introduce myself after every class period. Professors love this type of interaction!
Don’t Buy Books From The Bookstore
Unless your textbooks are specific to your college, don’t buy them from the bookstore unless you’re ready to overpay. There are a lot of cheaper options out there so pay attention to online sales.
Weather is Your Worst Enemy
I took having all my high school classes indoors for granted. I live in Missouri, and Missouri weather is certainly known to be unpredictable; so I had to start getting used to changing my clothes several times a day just to adjust to the weather, and never EVER get caught without an umbrella. Carry one even if the forecast says no rain. There have been times I’ve gone to class when the sun has been out and left to see a potential downpour!
You Need A Good Study Spot
I made the mistake of always studying near or around my dorm room my first semester, and I never got anything done! I finally realized I needed to get out of my room in order to get real work done, so I started looking for places around campus. Coffee shops are a great place to hang out and study, and I also found that the library has some pretty good spots. Find a spot that works for you and stick with it!
You Get Lots Of Free Stuff
There are free things everywhere! On the first week of school, my campus gave out free stuff every day from cups to t-shirts and food. Keep a look out for flyers advertising on campus events! My college hosted free movie nights, tailgates, gave away free food, and they held carnivals at the beginning and end of the year. If you’re tight on money and stuff want to do get out, these events are certainly something to look forward to.
You Won’t Need As Much As You Think
I packed away nearly my entire room at home, only to find that I didn’t need 75% of the stuff I brought. Try and ask yourself as you’re sorting things to be taken to college if you really can’t survive without the item. The less you bring with you, the quicker it takes to pack everything up when you move back home.
Networking is Key
Meet everyone you can in your major as well as other people on campus. The more people you know, the better off you’ll be in the future when you’re looking for a job and you have people to vouch that you’re a good employee.
Making Long Lasting Connections Are Worth It
Take any opportunity you can to make friends! Go to lunch with your roommate or ask that guy in your class on a study date. It’s so important to stay social in college because it’s one of the most stressful times you’ll face in your life. Getting out and socializing will help beat homesickness and help make long lasting memories.
See As Much As You Can
Go exploring! See everything that you can around your college town. It’s important to travel and experience life because you can learn so much from the sights you see and the people you meet.
The best way you can get involved in college is joining a club or organization that you’re interested in! I joined three programs in college, two Greek life events, and a mentoring program and it’s the perfect amount of events and activities to keep me busy, but not too many to overwhelm my school life. Colleges usually hold club fairs at the beginning of the year so stop by to see if you find anything that peaks your interest.
Don’t Stay In All The Time
School is important, but you should go out as often as you can! Building relationships in college are just as important as keeping your grades up. So after you’re done studying, go out! Head to the mall with your friends or see that movie you’ve been dying to see. Studying is critical, but if you don’t take a break every once in a while, you could go crazy!
Keep Up With Your Friends
Friends are important in college, and sometimes I get so caught up in my life that I forget to keep in contact with them. I’ve lost very valuable friends this way just because I was ‘too busy’ to say hi. Drop your friends a line every once in a while, they would be glad to hear from you.
Use Your School’s Gym
You’re already paying for it, so you might as well use it! The freshman fifteen is a real thing and can catch you by surprise if you’re not constantly active. Working out isn’t exactly something I enjoy doing, but even visiting the gym once a week is an achievement. One of my goals this next semester is to attempt going at least once a week!
Lock Your Door at Night
People are crazy! There are some weird people out there and I always ALWAYS recommend you lock your doors at night. For the most part, dorm security is pretty good at keeping bad people out, but you also don’t want a drunk patron stumbling into your dorm at night either (true story). To avoid any unwanted guests, keep your doors locked at night!
Find a Great Friend Group
I never had a real friend group in high school, but now in college, I don’t know how I lived without one! Having a group of friends makes the journey through college that much sweeter. You always have people to explore with and others that will have your back when you need it!
Take Care Of Those Around You
College is a learning experience, and people are bound to make mistakes. Be a good friend to those who need your help. If you see a fellow student in a bad situation, step in to make sure they’re okay. I couldn’t live with myself if I knew I could’ve prevented someone from getting hurt.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Help
There comes a time where everyone feels alone in college. The first few months I attended college I was facing a lot of emotional insecurities as well as school problems. I’m not ashamed to say I went to visit a counselor. Attending a few sessions helped me out a lot and really eased a lot of my self-doubts. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people when you need it! It can really help you in the long run and push you towards success!
Build Your Skills
The best advice I ever received from someone was to build on your skill set. Graduating from college with a degree already gives you an advantage over others, but having a unique skill set can make you stand out above the rest. Just this blog alone on my résumé already gives employers an idea that I’m good with social media, web design, and that I’m a good writer. Try out some new hobbies in college, they may help you get a job!
Some weeks I barely give my mom ten minutes of my time, other weeks I’m calling her multiple times a day! If you live far from home like I do, your parents are going to be thinking about you and miss you. Call home every once in a while. They want to hear what you’re up to and how everything is going.
Volunteer When You Can
I love giving back to my community any way I can and a great way to do this is by doing service work! My sorority holds lots of service projects like street cleanups, charity BBQs, as well as item drives. Taking part in these events makes me feel so good inside and it feels great to know that what I’m doing is helping other people. Volunteer work also looks great on résumés!
Keep Social Media Clean
This may seem silly, but keeping your social media clean is super important. College is the time to build your resume so you can get a job when you graduate. Employers are going to be examining your social media accounts to make sure you act professionally in real life and your posts don’t contain any offensive material. Bad social media can give employers the wrong impression of you. Before you post something, always ask yourself “who is going to see this and will they approve of the content?” You just never know who is watching!
What was the best college advice you’ve ever received? Leave a comment below!