6 Tips For Incoming College Freshmen

  John D’Amico  

So, you’re about to start your first year of college. This is a whole new chapter in your life. And it definitely can be scary. But you can get through it a lot easier if you just do it the right way. Speaking as a recent college graduate, I think I have some good advice on how to do so successfully. So, here are my six tips for incoming college freshmen.

Don’t Pick Classes That Are Too Difficult
Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with challenging yourself a little, even when you’re just starting out. And I’m not saying that you should pick the easiest schedule possible your first semester. I’m just saying that you shouldn’t make your first semester at college too difficult. Starting college is definitely going to hard enough. It’s probably going to be more challenging than high school (especially considering how easy senior year of high school often is). Make sure you’re taking the “intro” courses for your major. I’d recommend asking around so you can find out one or two “easy A” courses to add to your schedule. Check out your college’s subreddit or Facebook page to get some info on this. My college actually had a separate Facebook page (that I assume was created by a student) called “GPA Boosters,” filled with easy courses. Also, check out RateMyProfessors.com to make sure you get professors you’ll like. A good professor can make all the difference.
Get Out and Make Some Friends

It might seem obvious, but this is really crucial. And a good amount of people don’t do this enough. And everyone really should. So try to hang out with your roommates. Meet the people who live near you. Ask them if they’d like to come to the dining hall with you. Join some clubs or organizations that interest you. Make some friends in your classes. If you don’t make a couple of friends at some point during college, things are going to be very difficult for you.
Get a Jumpstart on Your Classes
This is something that I never quite mastered during my time at college. But it can be really important to get ahead of the game with your courses. I’m sure you’d love to spend your first few days doing nothing but relaxing and having fun. But I’d strongly recommend taking some time to print out and read over your syllabi before your classes start. And once you actually start your classes, make sure you start any assignments right away. More and tougher assignments will come soon and it can be very easy to fall seriously behind very quickly. Speaking of starting out your classes…
Don’t Buy Your Textbooks Right Away Yeah, college textbooks are extremely expensive. And often times, your professor might tell you that you don’t actually need all the textbooks that your schedule says you need for each course. So wait until after the first day to get the book(s). They also might tell you some ways you can get the books cheaper. Speaking of which, check and see if you can get your textbooks cheaper on a site like Amazon before you go and buy them from the school.
But just make sure you make it a point to get your textbooks as soon as you find out which ones you need. Once again, you really don’t want to fall behind with your schoolwork.
Go to Class
Seriously, just go (especially at the beginning). It’s good to get to know the professors. It’s really important to get the lecture notes (and they’re not always easy to get another way).  And there can be a lot of information that you can’t get on the syllabus. So yeah, don’t be one of those lazy people who skip a bunch of classes just because you don’t feel like going. And if you really need to miss a class, make sure you talk to either the professor or another student about getting the information you missed.
Learn as Much as You Can About Your School
Learn your way around campus as soon as possible. Ask around and check online to find the best places to study or the best places to eat or the best places to hang out with friends. Learn about all the different events and activities you might want to go to. Just talk to a lot of other students and read a lot about your school online. Don’t forget, knowledge is power. 



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