Freshman year of college is quite literally the biggest amalgamations of emotions – you’re sad to leave home, but then incredibly excited to be free and independent. You’re stressed with all of your work, you’re tired from all of the dorm parties, you’re super happy to be able to eat pizza for every meal and get away with it, yet you’re also worried about your future and feel like dropping out is the only option. We get it – it’s hard. But here are five tips to help you survive and thrive your freshman year.
Get to know your roommates
When it comes to your roommates, they can make or break your college experience. Whether you become best friends with each other or get along amicably, it’s so important to get to know them even just a little bit. And this doesn’t just stop with those you share a room with. Get to know the other people in your residence hall, as these are your main safety net. They’re there all the time, they are the same age as you (mostly), and they are going through exactly the same experiences. You do not want to be lonely in your first year of college.
Find your own study space
As much as university is all about your experiences, making friends, living the party lifestyle and rocking up hungover to your 9 am lectures – it’s also about the work. At the end of the day, you need to study to pass your exams and complete your degree. It’s important to find your own personal study space where you can take yourself to complete your work and extra reading, without getting distracted. This could be the library, your room, a nearby coffee shop, the park, or anywhere where you feel comfortable and can get lots done.
Get to know your academic advisor
When you get to college, you will be assigned an academic advisor – a professor who will be devoted to your college career throughout your experience. This is the one person you can go to for literally anything, and will help you through each step of the way – through deciding which subject to major in, what subjects to take and for advice. But it is your responsibility to meet up with them and get acquainted, so make sure you do.
Get involved in the college community
One of the main reasons people quit college is because they feel a disconnect with their campus and the other people they live with. A way to combat this is to get involved with extracurricular activities. This could be joining a sports team, a club, a fraternity or a sorority, or student organizations. Or you could Pitch Perfect it and join an acapella group! Not only will this get you connected to your college, but you will also meet new people, learn new skills and have fun.
Prioritize your life
Sounds intense, huh? Well, it shouldn’t be. College is a world away from living at home with your mom or dad and going to school. At college, you need to keep on top of your school work, socialize, make your own meals, clean your own space, do your washing and more – and it can quickly dawn on you that you just have no time for anything, especially if you have a job on top of that. The best way to combat this is to prioritize what you need to do. Eating and studying are the two important things that you need to do every day, everything else you can dedicate to another day of the week – try and make yourself a rota to make it easier.