It’s time to take your first steps towards adulthood! Yes, your college years will be some of the best years of your life but getting through your Freshman year unscathed, can be quite the challenge… That’s why we’re here to help! This is a list of the Top 10 Secrets to Winning as a Freshman, that covers all the stuff your orientation package probably forgot to mention…
1. Wait To Splurge
Buying your textbooks will take a big chunk out of that bank account so as a good rule of thumb to help soften the blow, you should wait at least a week before buying all your books. Within the first few classes you should be able to tell which books you’ll actually need and which ones will sit on your desk all semester collecting dust. Save even more by asking around to see if anyone you know is selling an older edition or used version of the book. Most of the times, the changes they make between textbook editions are tiny, so getting an older version isn’t a big deal.
2. Freshen Up Your Facebook
Delete those photos of you in middle school dressed up like one of the Spice Girls immediately. Sure they may be hilarious to laugh at with your friends from back home, but they’re people who have probably known you since diapers. Be warned that in college you will be judged by the photos and posts you share with the world via social media, it’s just the hard truth. It’s time to give your Facebook page a face lift, become a little more mysterious and be selective about what you broadcast to the world, you never know who could looking.
3. Get Out There
Time to spread those social butterfly wings of yours and put yourself out there. Networking is one of the most important parts of college and often under valued. You never know where you’ll all be in 10 years time and it really is all about who you know. Get involved with something you’re passionate about and put yourself out there. By joining clubs and organizations you’ll meet like minded people and have an outlet from your studies, so you don’t totally go mad. Try it out, stick with what you like and who knows what could happen – one thing is for sure, there’s nothing to lose and plenty to gain!
4. Solid Sleeping
It’s easy to fall into a routine of staying up late and sleeping for half of the next day, but lets be realistic, that’s really no way to live. However productive you may think you are at 4AM, you probably aren’t, so put the Red Bull down and go to bed. Statistically speaking, each student is only allotted two or three successful all-nighters, which should only be used in emergencies, and after those are used up it’s all downhill. So set a schedule for yourself to avoid late night cramming and make use of your time during the day (nights are for doing more fun things than studying anyways).
5. Hit The Gym
This is your warning: the freshman fifteen (or fifty) is a very real, very scary thing that will happen to you unless you take the necessary precautions. You’re embarking on the four most unhealthy years of your life, filled with too much pizza, beer and ramen noodle and not enough green stuff. That, combined with your slowing metabolism and lengthy hours sitting studying in the library, is a simple recipe for disaster. Working out will not only help you look good, but you’ll also feel so much better; thank you endorphins! So hit the treadmill and start sweating the junk out before it’s too late…
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6. Save The Memories
It may seem corny, but it’s true when they say that college will be some of the best years of your life and where you’ll make some lifelong friends. You’ll probably make these friendships by bonding over doing crazy stuff, stuff that you’re going to want to be able to laugh at together in 5 years. It’s worth documenting the key moments just with a couple quick photos or saving little mementos that will remind you of the good times (even if the memories themselves are a little fuzzy). That being said, broadcasting all of these memories via social media is probably not a good idea. The rest of the world wouldn’t get the jokes anyways.
7. Beware The Turkey Dump
Don’t get me wrong, it is possible to make the whole High School sweetheart thing work when you go away to college. That being said, you do have to be objective and make sure you’re staying with each other for the right reasons, not just because its convenient. Your pond will turn into an ocean when you hit College and this is the time to explore and see what else is out there. You don’t want to let the drama of a long distance relationship take over your life and be the boring one Skyping their BF/GF every night instead of doing keg stands… Or maybe you do! That’s up to you, just think it through.
8. Party Responsibly
Partying and being social is a huge part of College and will probably be your number one extra curricular activity (no, you can’t add it to your resume). That being said, in your Freshman year you need to make sure you’re doing so in a responsible and safe way. Rule number 1: pace yourself! That jungle juice is a lot stronger than you think and you really don’t want to be remembered as “that guy” from the homecoming party. You’ll have fun even if you’re sober so take it slow, don’t do anything you aren’t comfortable with and know your limits.
9. Say NO To Morning Class
8AM classes should be out-lawed, end of story. No matter how keen you are on getting a jump start to the day, it’s always going to be a painful struggle to make it to class and more often than not your snooze button will win. Showing up late to class isn’t a good look and not going to all, well that’s an even worse look. It’s great to set goals, but lets be realistic here, 11AM is the perfect time to start learning. Just think of the cost of your tuition! You should be making the most out of your class time, not struggling to keep your eyes open. (See #4 on this list – sleep is very important)
10. Online Learning Apps Are Your Friend
College classes move fast and they won’t slow down if you get left behind. Start off on the right foot by using online study tools and resources like the ones on ExamTime. It’s a fantastic, free way of keeping yourself organized and will help you study more efficiently and retain content more effectively. The site offers a ton of great tools and resources like Study Planners, Mind Maps, Flashcards and Quizzes and as a user you have access to a huge range of already made study material. You can also easily create your own personalized study resources that are all accessible on-the-go and give you the ability to track your learning progress. Did I mention ExamTime is totally free?
Now you’ve got the down low on what you really need to know as a Freshman so you can start off your College years right. If you want to be even more prepared by making sure you bring the right stuff, then check out our post on the Top 10 Things To Pack For College.