10 Things Freshmen Need to Know to Survive College

25 Aug

Perhaps in high school you were prom queen, the drama kid, or maybe you didn’t really get involved. Whatever the case, college is a clean slate. This is a new chapter in your life that gives you the opportunity to transform into the magical unicorn you’ve always wanted to be. Here are 10 things to do to help you survive college. 

1. Go to class.
You’ve heard it way too many times before but it’s true! It’s like being on a diet – once you break it, you keep on doing it. You might miss important assignments and things that might be on a test that weren’t in your readings. It’s all fun and games until midterms come up and you haven’t learned anything about chemistry… and I’m not talking about the chemistry you have with the cute classmate who asked for your number.

2. Learn how to say no.
If you think peer pressure was a thing in a high school, then fasten your seat belt because college isn’t afraid to press the accelerator. People will ask you to go out all. the. time. when you have assignments or exams. Learning how to say no will bring you one step closer to success. Think about it this way – money doesn’t grow on trees and education ain’t free so make the most of it.

3. Budget your money.
This may be your first time away from home and you’ll want to buy everything at the bookstore or spend all your money on food (I know I did)! But don’t! Try limiting yourself by setting certain amount of money for each individual things. For instance, spending only $50 a month for clothes or going out to eat once a week. It might be hard at first but your bank account will thank you later!

4. It’s not high school.
Nobody cares if you were popular in high school or if you literally didn’t talk to anyone. College is a place to grow, especially in academics. So don’t think it’ll be as easy as high school may have been for many of you. Courses here will challenge you but if you work hard and manage your time, your four years will be smoother than butter.

5. Talk to the people sitting next to you.
Odds are they are more nervous than you are on the first week. Especially if have those big classes in huge lecture halls! But just know that if you initiate a conversation, people will be welcoming and want to get to know you! Like my father always told me “You’ll never know until you try!” So be a social butterfly! Maybe you’ll end up with a study buddy or a friend to head to the club fair with!

6. Go with the flow
College can be tough sometimes so don’t be too hard on yourself. Nothing is worse then stressing yourself out over something you can’t control. Take a study break or maybe go for a jog. You can’t expect everything to be perfect, but determination will give you the end result you’ve been hoping for. 

7. Make your professors your friends.
I once had an English professor who I thought was the meanest person…until one day I came to class early and I started small talk with her. We ended up having so many things in common! She would always offer to edit my papers before turning them in so I always got A’s! Not every professor will be like this, but professors do notice who goes into their office hours and who is putting in effort to pass their class. So if you’re ever free or are looking for help, don’t be afraid to head to your professor’s office hours. Who knows… they might even write you a recommendation letter when you need one! 

8. Get involved.
There’s something for everyone! Whether it be a club, sports team, or Greek life, the U of A has it! There are over 500 clubs and organizations on campus! You’ll get to meet new people with same interests and put your name out there! Rumor is there’s even a Harry Potter club!

9. Check your D2L and email daily!
I cannot emphasize this enough! Professors love throwing out random assignments or things you will need to for class the next day. So don’t be the person who shows up to class clueless or missing an assignment because you didn’t check your email or D2L. Plus it helps you to keep up-to-date with events happening on campus!

10. Use your resources.
Resources are there to help you succeed, so use them! Many resources fees are included in your tuition and student fees, so make sure to make the most of them – you pay for them anyway! And our resources are top notch. It’s not like our Rec Center is one of the best in the country or anything… (it totally is).

-Karen 

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