Starting college can be terrifying, but hopefully with a few of these tips for a college freshman, it won’t be as difficult. If you’re just starting college, your life is changing rapidly. Sometimes it’s hard to take it all in. With these tips for a college freshman, adjusting may just be easier than you think.
1. Everyone’s Learning
Even if you go to the smallest college or university in the world, you would be surprised to learn that everyone is still learning something about college. I started my junior year of college last week, and I still found myself learning new things as I navigated my way through the campus I’ve spent the last two years on. Granted, it’s one of the biggest universities in the United States, but still, college is a learning curve for everyone involved, whether you’re just starting out or you’re ending your fifth year. I think that’s one of the most important tips for a college freshman to remember. You are not alone!
2. You Will Figure It out
At the same time, though, you will figure everything out, and you will be surprised at how quickly that happens. Once you locate your classes for the first time, they’ll be easy to locate again. You will be surprised at how much easier college is than you originally worried. All of your fears will dissipate after your first few days.
3. Everything is Temporary
In college, your life is constantly changing. There’s no getting around it. That has it upsides and its downsides. If you don’t like your living situation, it will be over in a few months. If you don’t like your classes, you will be shocked at how quickly they end. At the same time, though, life moves so fast and changes so quickly when you’re in college that sometimes you simply need to remind yourself to hold on and be present!
4. You Will Have a Breakdown
Everyone has at least one breakdown during her first year of college. It may be on the first day, the last day, or somewhere in between, but it’s going to happen. Like I mentioned in the last point, sometimes life moves so fast that it’s hard to keep up, and sometimes nervous breakdowns are a result of that. You aren’t weird. You aren’t alone. Chances are most of your friends have had their own fair shares of breakdowns, even if you think that they couldn’t possibly be struggling. Be open about your own problems to encourage your friends to open up to you. You’d be surprised just how much everyone else has gone through as well.
5. Stay on Top of Things
It’s so easy to lose track of what’s going on academically during your freshman year of college. Your professors and instructors don’t care nearly as much as your favorite high school teachers did, and even if they do, they have hundreds of students and can’t keep up with all of them. It’s up to you and you alone to stay on top of your schoolwork. Find a system that works for you, whether it’s an old-fashioned planner, a to-do list on your computer, or reminders on your phone. After you figure out a method to keep yourself organized, it won’t be nearly as daunting to try to stay on top of things.
6. Call Home
Yes, I mean that you should literally call home occasionally. If it’s difficult for you to remember, try to designate a time that you’ll always remember. During my freshman year, I always called my mom when I was walking home from my last class of the week. It became a ritual and I barely ever had to make a conscious effort to keep in touch. However, by “call home,” I also mean that you should try to keep contact with your friends from home. Chances are that you’re scattered across the country. It’s not nearly as easy as it once was to stay connected with your friends from home. They’re no longer a few lockers away from you, but maybe a few states. You have to make an effort to stay close with them, especially during your freshman year, because once the connection is lost, it’s hard to regain!
7. Everyone Changes
Everyone changes during her freshman year of college. There’s no getting around it. You will change. The people you met at the beginning of the year will change by the end of the year. Your friends from home may be completely different people when you reconvene. As much as you may want to shy away from change, it’s necessary. Your life has drastically changed, and it’s only normal that you will change and grow to keep up with it.
What tips or advice would you give to college freshman? Leave it in the comments for all of the college freshman reading this!