Your graduation was sad, yet inspiring. Your last high school summer was full of awesome memories with your closest friends in the world that you’ll never ever forget. You remember your old friends now as you gaze up into the huge, threatening campus that you will come to know for the next 4 years. Luckily for you, little Freshman, many people have gone in your steps before you, and we’ve pretty much perfected the art of Freshman-ing. Now listen up, kids, ‘cuz you’re not in high school anymore.
DO: Live on Campus
What better way to get to know your campus than to live on it? You won’t have to worry about getting to class, you can learn your way around campus in your free time, and you can make friends with your neighbors. This may be your only chance to live in the same building as all of your friends, so take advantage of the opportunity.
DON’T: Overvalue your Education
Going into thousands of dollars worth of debt — before interest — is a serious matter that is why choosing your career path and major is very important. Either pick a major that’s going to make you rich enough to pay the loans off (or at least one that has jobs on the other side of that grad date), simply don’t go into debt for your degree, or move to one of the many countries in this world that offers free higher education to all. Seriously, if you’re not sure what you’re doing in college, you probably shouldn’t be there.
DO: Get to know your teachers!
Anyone who survived their freshman year would tell me this one piece of advice, and now I pass it on to you. Get to know your teachers. Visit them during office hours. Pay attention in class. If you don’t know the answer, ask. These teachers are here to help. If you’re struggling, let them know! If you don’t understand an assignment bring it up to your professor because turning in work that is incomplete or not turning anything in at all will result in a big fat zero. Get to know your teachers.
DON’T: Buy all of your textbooks before school starts.
I’ll be honest: I did this my freshman year. And out of four classes, I actually used…one of them. Yep. Some teachers teach out of the textbook, and some do not, but there is no reason to buy a textbook a teacher thinks they’re going to use, just to have it gather dust in the corner of your dorm room. Textbooks are expensive, so buying unnecessary ones may add unnecessary struggle. Besides, most textbooks have much cheaper online equivalents of the ones sold at your bookstore so make sure to shop around before making a final purchase.
There’s no better way to get to know your community than to donate your time to its betterment. Plus, you’ll be sure to meet individuals with interesting life stories that you can connect with and learn from. It’s a great way to meet people and lend a helping hand.
DON’T: Join a fraternity/sorority or club right away!
Now, I’m not saying this is always a bad idea. I’m saying, take your time with it. Fraternities, Sororities, and Clubs can be tiring while you try to balance your school work and your social life, so get into the swing of things and hang out with a few different groups of people to find out what suits you best.