1. Attend Orientation. Orientation can be boring and seem unnecessary but it does acquaint you with your new surroundings and prepares you for your upcoming semester. Freshman orientation is even more important because it prepares you for the culture of the school and tells you what freshmen need to know. Aside from the logistical information, it links you up with others who are also freshmen. Learning your way around campus and locating your classes helps you to feel less unprepared. Attend all of the orientations and campus tours that are offered to you. You will be grateful that you did.
2. Connect with Others. If you are living on campus, get to know your roommate and others in your residence dorm. Isolating yourself contributes to feelings of homesickness. Meeting people through the organized events that are set up through the college is the best way to get to know others on campus. Just because you do not live on campus does not mean that you don’t need to get to know others. Most college classes require students to participate in events, do group work and work with others on projects; this requires you to build relationships with fellow students. Isolation is the quickest way to take the fun out of the
Not only does it make the experience better, but you may need to call on your on campus friends someday to work on a project or to explain your homework assignment to you. Take advantage of the opportunities to meet others.
3. Get Organized and Stay Organized. Whether you are living in the hostels or have books stacked in your backseat because you are a commuter, organization is key. Being in college means that you will be responsible for organizing yourself and your assignments. Your professors will not remind you about due dates or projects; they will expect that you will be responsible enough to know when your assignments are due. The quickest way to become overwhelmed is to let yourself be disorganized. Keep a planner and write down due dates and projects, and then arrange a system to remind you of your assignments with enough time to begin working on them in advance. Organization is the key to ensuring productivity.
4. Enjoy Being a Freshman, But Not Too Much. College is a mix of social and academic opportunities and responsibilities. Finding a balance between these things is essential for being successful at both. You want to be social, make friends, party and get involved; however this should not be at the expense of your studies. On the flip side, you want to get good grades, but you don’t want to turn into a hermit that graduates with no friends and no college memories because you locked yourself in the library to study. Finding a balance between social and academia is the key to having a well rounded freshman year. It will also set the stage for years to come.
5. Get to Know Your Professors. Just as your local guardian is someone you should speak with regularly, your professors are also key resources in your academic community. Don’t just go to class and leave; rather, get to know your professors and let them know you. Ask questions, participate in class and seek them out for clarification on an assignment. Your professors will serve as professional references for you in the future and also have a wealth of experience to offer. You don’t want to just be a name on the class roster but someone who actively participates in his or her education.
6. Don’t Judge College in Your First Three Weeks. Let’s say you have had a horrible first few weeks of college. It happens. Vow to yourself that you will not let the transitional period form your opinion about the rest of the year. Commit to getting through the first semester. After the first few weeks you will have become more familiar with your surroundings and gotten your freshman sea legs. The first few weeks will be overwhelming. College is a big adjustment from high school and one that takes time to get used to. Judging your college experience by the first, most chaotic weeks can bring you to a decision that will affect your future. Give it a chance. If things are that bad they can only get better.