Freshman Survival Guide

By Theresa King

It’s finally here, the start of a new school year – A time for new beginnings, new classes and new opportunities. But what may come easy to some, can be extremely intimidating for others – especially for incoming freshmen. As a freshman, it is more than common to be nervous, excited, apprehensive or any mixture of the three. Time will show, however, that adapting to college life is not as hard as it seems. Here are some tips on how to make the first year of college a fun and easy transition.

1. Unpack everything as early as possible. It will be difficult to focus on new classes, people and scenery when there are boxes full of stuff everywhere. Make it a point to settle into the dorm room as quickly as possible. By doing so, any time that would be used unpacking in the upcoming weeks, can be used to study and socialize.

2. Attend events. No matter the kind of person, everyone should make it a point to take advantage of the university’s many events throughout the school year, and especially the first weeks. There are plenty of opportunities to go out, meet new people, have a good time and start freshman year off right all around campus. All you have to do is show up.
3. Make a schedule. This isn’t just for extremely organized people. Everyone should make it a point to create some sort of schedule for their school days. It could be as simple as printing out the class schedule for the semester to better remember class times, or it could include when there is free time in between classes to grab some food, catch up on sleep, study or work out at the Fitness Center. Making a schedule can help people to feel less overwhelmed and allows for a better understanding of how to optimize available free time.

4. Try to practice decent eating habits. The “Freshman 15” is a reality for some people. The cafeteria has pizza, ice cream, doughnuts and other sugary or greasy foods available almost 24/7. While it’s nice to indulge in this unlimited goodness, it is also important to limit the amount of unhealthy foods consumed. By eating these things in moderation and supplementing them with a few trips to a salad bar, the Freshman 15 can be put to rest.
5. Relax and stay focused. Try to keep calm early on in the year and that mood will likely follow you throughout. Remember that college is a place where people receive higher education, so it’s important to have fun, but more important to stay focused on new classes.

6. Take advantage of everything the school has to offer. The university has free tutoring, advising, access to the Fitness Center, a Health Center, three dining halls, a library, counseling services and so many other facilities available with a Student ID. This is all included with tuition, so make the most of it while it’s available.

7. Don’t be afraid to make new friends. Some people are uncomfortable with the idea of making new friends, especially in a new place like college. But small tasks such as simple hello’s to classmates or joining a new club can go a long way. It often results in friendships with people who were likely just as scared to make friends, so don’t be afraid to connect with others.

8. Be genuine. As cliché as it sounds, no one wants to be someone they aren’t. It’s uncomfortable and much less fun than letting people know who you really are. Colleges are full of people, so it’s not unlikely to find someone who has the same interests. The first year of college is a time to enjoy freedom, start learning and make connections for a lifetime. Just remember to relax and have fun, because the best times are yet to come.