Ahhh freshman year: the beginning of the rest of your life! You’ve gone to school your whole life to prepare you for this year but are you really ready? Sure your grades are in check and you got accepted somewhere (hopefully, if not hang in there), but what should you really expect from your freshman year of college?
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Here is a list of 7 things you should know before your freshman year in no particular order!
1) Be confident!
Whether you’re going to school as a social experience or to get that doctorate you’ve sought after your whole life, it is important to keep your head up! A little bit of confidence can go a long way. If you aren’t the most confident person just relax, go with the flow, and fake it till you make it! Eventually, you’ll find yourself totally kicking ass in an entirely new environment. Confidence can help you get Susan’s number or even that A+ on your last exam. NEVER DOUBT YOURSELF!
2) Set goals for yourself.
If you go to school, or anywhere really, without goals, you leave yourself open to error the unknown. Though sometimes the unknown can lead to something worthy of your time, in college you can end up squandering a lot of precious time and money. Having goals helps to keep you on track and motivated. Once you set a goal, take it seriously. If you don’t take yourself seriously, nobody will!
Staying organized is a vital part of your college career. You might make fun of the kid who shows up with a giant 3 ring binder with several dividers, but that kid is probably making better grades than you. Have a system to know when you have assignments due, stay on top of when your tests are, schedule meetings with your teachers occasionally to get ahead of the game. Whether it’s the big ass 3 ring binder or a productivity app on your smartphone, know what’s coming next. Maybe even start a task list and hey you can even add some of those goals you came up with to your list!
Read: 20 Quotes to Keep In Mind When Things Get Tough
4) Prep yourself for living arrangements!
Often college is a young adult’s first time living away from the nest, and it’s important to know what to expect. If you have never shared a room with someone, a dorm can be a total drag. Remember to be respectful and accepting to whoever you live with. You have to share your space with this person so you may as well make a friend out of it! No roommates? No worries! Just make sure you’ve got everything you need to live away from home. If you haven’t seen the living space you will have, contact the property owner and ask for a blueprint so you can plan furniture and things of the like in advance. Especially if you will be dorming, advance preparation will help make the most out of a cramped space. Remember you’re young, and you’re not royalty! Don’t expect to live in a mansion your first year on your own. Unless you’ve got some quick way to make big bucks (lets be honest, if you did, you wouldn’t be in school), be patient and expect to live a bit less lavish than what you’d prefer.
5) Be financially sound
If you plan to go to a university, chances are you have already found some way to pay for your first year, but what about next year? It’s important to apply for grants and scholarships, because who doesn’t like to save some money? If you don’t stay on top of your financial situation, you could very easily miss entry deadlines for grants and scholarships and put yourself at risk of missing a semester. If the money you have, or will receive still isn’t enough, get a part time job. Working may not sound appealing when you’re exhausted from classes but money is essential to living unfortunately, and sometimes you lose sleep over the things you really want. It will be worth it, and hey, things will get easier!
Read: 6 Things to Keep in Mind When Life Knocks You Down
6) Keep up your grades (DUH!)
So you heard there might be this rager this weekend at the (any fraternity) house, but you know you also have two papers due Monday, which to choose which to choose? BOTH! Get your shit done early! Staying on top of homework will ensure you have the grades you need to succeed, and as strange as it may sound, more free time! If you build good study and homework habits early on, and they become a regular part of your routine, you’ll find that you always have at least some free time, which is much needed for personal growth!
7) Enjoy yourself!
College is a time to grow, learn, explore, and conquer! It’s important to keep up with yourself academically, but having an outlet for stress, or whatever ominous emotion ails you, is equally important. Look into what clubs and extracurricular activities are available through your campus. Clubs can offer a great network for friends and future business opportunities. Studying will take much of your energy so find something that will take your mind off the bullshit in the most efficient way. Try new things, learn what YOU really like!