How To Survive Freshman Year Of College

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Freshman year of college is a memorable one. For many, freshman year represents the beginning of a new chapter, a step toward adulthood that prepares a student for the professional landscape that awaits them. New friends are made, new concepts are introduced, and social and educational strengths unify and become fine-tuned. That being said, freshman year can also be one of the tougher years of college so it’s important to properly anticipate and prepare for the challenges that lie ahead.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the most common issues freshmen face, freshman year college tips, as well as answer the age-old question, “What classes should I take freshman year of college?” With these helpful suggestions, any future freshman will be prepared to navigate their college experiences successfully.

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8 Great Freshman Year of College Tips

Freshman year can be a unifying experience for many, but ultimately every student’s journey will look a little different. These eight tips will help with some of the most commonly experienced issues, from avoiding bad grades in the freshman year of college as well as what to expect from your first year of college.

1. Stay organized

College is one of the first times a student is exposed to a substantial amount of diverse and exciting new information. While this is one of the best parts about pursuing a degree, these new classes, schedules, and personal liberties can become overwhelming quickly without getting a proper handle on them. A freshman’s top priority within the first few weeks of college should be to get an idea of what their semester will require, and organize that information within a system that keeps them organized. Freshman year can be exciting, so all new college students need to make sure to prioritize the appropriate items to set themselves up for success.

2. Get involved!

Even when pursuing an online degree, it’s best to graduate having taken advantage of everything that those college years have to offer. The social advantages of going to college are countless, internship opportunities, greek life, and academic clubs are just a few of the many ways to get involved around campus. These can lead to making new friends, valuable networking opportunities, as well as help freshmen gain new perspectives that can help them in their progressional development.

3. Go to class 

One of the most common tips for freshman year of college is to attend class. This may seem obvious or redundant, but one of the most common issues that freshmen face upon entering college is their newfound freedom. Freshmen often experience difficulty developing a healthy relationship with motivation, and can easily fall into a habit of skipping or neglecting class to do other things simply because no authority figure reminds them to always attend. It’s easy to fall behind on schoolwork without being present, so we can’t stress enough how important it is to attend class and be an active participant in studies. After all, this is a well-known college tip for a reason. 

4. Attend school or campus events

Along with the idea of attending class, it’s also a smart idea for freshmen to have a strong awareness of the campus and school events that will be taking place. School events allow freshmen to connect with other students, learn new things in the process, as well get out of their comfort zone and try new things every once in a while. Community is one of the largest benefits of attending college, and experiencing campus events is a wonderful way to make sure freshmen don’t regret missing out on special events later on down the line. 

5. Don’t forget about your mental health!

While our physical health tends to be a consistent priority in our lives, college can provide many stressful situations that are important to find healthy coping tools to properly handle. Mental health is just as important as physical health but tends to be thrown on the back burner amid busy class schedules, exams and assignments, and new professional developments. Freshman year can be one of the tougher years because all of this is new, so making sure to take time out of each week to relax and unwind is strongly suggested. Additionally, if students ever feel that they are too overwhelmed and would like additional support, many schools feature mental health resources that can help navigate students to healthy solutions. 

6. Get to know your counselors or advisors 

One of the disadvantages of the sprawling new community gained from going to college is that during your freshman year it can be easy to feel isolated and alone. Support is a valuable resource during college years, so freshmen should strongly consider developing strong relationships with their department advisors and school counselors to get the help they may need along the way. Whether that assistance is mental health-related, or simply regarding choosing a major, these are investment professionals that are invested in seeing their students find success. Having them as a trusted resource can be beneficial down the line. 

7. Develop your personal study practice

A common phenomenon for new college students to experience their freshman year is that their study habits and classroom practices are more complex and difficult than their previous academic experience. Students will likely need to study more while in college than they did in high school, especially if they’re trying to avoid getting bad grades during the freshman year of college. Each student is different, but developing a consistent and reliable study system that leads to positive grades is a great way to maintain good academic marks and ensure freshmen get the most out of their experience. 

8. Make time to keep in touch with high school friends and family

Just because a student may be heading away from home to attend school doesn’t mean that these homestead connections are suddenly unimportant. Especially when considering how isolating freshman year can be, keeping in touch with friends and family back home is a great way for new college students to remind themselves of what motivated them to go to college to begin. The additional support along the way is sure to prove valuable. 

In Summary: Surviving Freshman Year of College

With these helpful freshman year of college tips, any future student can be properly prepared for their first year of college. Whether they’re attending school online or in-person, the challenges freshmen face may be difficult but can be more effectively handled by anticipating them with these tips. Knowing how to survive freshman year of college is all about developing a strong network of support, in the classroom and out.

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