Freshman year of college is going to be both fun and stressful. No doubt about it, you are going to experience things you have never experienced before, meet new friends and establish lifelong relationships, and probably get into a little trouble while you’re at it. But that’s ok, that’s what living your life on your own without constant parental supervision is all about. Consider this advice to help get you through your freshman year of college.
- Balancing academics and your social life
Your social life is surely to get in the way of your studying, but try as hard as you can to stay on track. Getting behind in your classes will only hurt you in the long run. If that means you have to miss out on one party or get together so that you can study for midterms or finish a paper, your life won’t end. I promise.
Experts say you are supposed to study 2-3 hours for each credit hour you are taking, but ultimately you know what’s best for you to succeed. Always complete homework on time because a lot of professors will dock a whole letter grade if you are even one day late.
All that being said, you have to take time to enjoy yourself as well. Going to college isn’t all about passing your classes. Obviously you shouldn’t let yourself get out of hand, but you still need time to destress and relax. Your mind will be able to digest information a lot better if you get enough sleep and not get overwhelmed.
- Studying and getting good grades
Always backup your files. There is nothing worse than writing a whole paper or finishing an assignment only to spill coffee on your computer and lose everything. One of the best tips is to use Google Docs so that everything saves automatically and you can always pull up old files from any computer if you need it.
Don’t be afraid to contact your professors if you are unclear of any assignments or class material. They want to see you succeed and will do what they can to help. Another thing that can help is to converse with your classmates throughout the semester and form study groups. Studying with other people makes seem it a lot less like work.
- Staying healthy
It can be really easy your freshman year to eat unhealthy, gain a lot of weight, and not get enough sleep. Don’t just eat Ramen noodles every day; try to eat a well-balanced diet with lots of fruits and veggies. Stay active by listening to music and going for walks to clear your mind, join club sports and intramural activities, and go out dancing every once in a while. But be sure to get enough sleep as well, at least 6-8 hours a night if possible. On weekends and days off if you had a long week, catch up on your schoolwork and rest. All of these things will make you more likely to succeed.
To go along with this, make sure that you drink enough water and stay hydrated every day. Eating like crap and not drinking enough water will lower your energy and can cause acne. So if you want to look and feel your best, take care of yourself physically.
No one wants to run out of money before the end of the semester. If you need to get a part-time job, get one. There are typically a lot of small jobs for students around campus, whether it be at a fast food restaurant or on campus, like working for the student government, admissions office, or as an admin for department in your major. Not only will a job help fill your pockets, it will give you work experience that will be important to employers after you graduate.
In terms of budgeting your own finances, keep a constant eye on your checking account. No matter how broke you are, try and keep at least $100 in your account at all times, just in case something unexpected happens. If you feel you are responsible enough to have a credit card, get one and spend 20 percent of your monthly bills to help build your credit. But don’t let it get out of hand. You want to be able to pay it off every month if possible, and credit card debt can be hard to fix.
All in all, enjoy yourself, but not too much. Study hard, but don’t stress yourself out. Most importantly, do everything you can do to pass your classes with good grades. College may be hard, but having to retake classes is the worst. Good luck!