Entering into college can be one of the most exciting and scariest times of your life. You’ve mastered high school and conquered the unbalanced world of being a teenager. But this new chapter is definitely a new challenge. But I got your back! I’ve been to college and experienced it all! I’ve prepared for you, from my personal experiences, the DO’s and DON’T’s of freshman year. My hope is with this advice you’ll go into your first year prepared, confident, and free to do you!
DON’T: SUFFER FROM F.O.M.O
DO: GET OUT AND EXPLORE
Fear of missing out is a MONSTER! Don’t let it get you! Trust me there will be a party, activity, or dinner almost every week; you can’t make them all. Turn things down and get your responsibilities taken care of first. You'll thank me later. And if you’re an introvert please do not spend four years in your dorm. Explore the world around you! You meet so many people in college. I met my fiancé! So get out there and mingle. College is about education, but it’s also about connections.
DON’T: BE AFRAID TO ASK QUESTIONS
DO: FIND A MENTOR
Remember you’re new at this college thing and that’s ok! There are people who are literally paid to answer your questions, they’re called advisors. Use them! Advisors have insight into your major, know all your professors, and have access to scholarship & internship opportunities. Aside from your advisor, get a mentor. Someone on campus who is well rounded, experienced, and has the same major as you. A mentor is life changing guys; they are literally the cheat code to college.
DON’T: SKIP THE FIRST DAY OF CLASS
DO: MAP OUT CLASSES IN ADVANCE
There is no such thing as a “syllabus day” don’t let your friends lie to you! Yes you may be reading the syllabus in class that day but trust and believe your professor is taking attendance! Most professors deduct points from your grade for poor attendance and they remember those who don’t come to class. Map out your classes please! Don’t be that one who walks in late with a huge book bag, out of breath, and disruptive. Save yourself the embarrassment and find your classroom ahead of time.
DON’T: FORGET TO CHECK IN WITH YOUR LOVED ONES
DO: KEEP A JOURNAL
I totally neglected my family in college and I really wish I could go back and change that. You have to remember there are people at home who still need and miss you, even if you’re having the time of your life and may not be missing them as much. Keep a journal! I still look back at my college journal. It helped me to deal with stresses and emotions that came up in college. You shouldn't bottle it up, so take the time to write it out.
DON’T: BUY BOOKS EARLY (OR ) FROM YOUR SCHOOL’S BOOKSTORE
DO: GO ONLINE AND FIND TEXTBOOKS
Do NOT! I repeat do NOT buy your textbooks early! Take the time and research your classes. Use sites like ratemyprofessor.com. Ask around, does the professor even use the book or did they write it and want you to buy it? Go online and search for your books on sites like Cheggs.com. I love Cheggs because I can rent my books and return them afterwards.
P.S: Selling your books back is cool, but they generally give you less than 20% of what you paid for them. Trust me, rent your books, unless you have a major where books are applicable to future courses.
DON’T: GET OVERWHELMED
DO: STAY ORGANIZED
College is a lot. You have to adjust to the freedom, responsibility, and demand. Do not get overwhelmed, instead get organized. Get a huge wall calendar you can hang in your dorm. Get a personal calendar you can carry. Place reminders in your phone. Before you go to bed write a list of your to-do’s in your phone and the next day check things off as you complete them. You’ll feel so accomplished when your list is all crossed off at the end of the day.
You guys have mastered high school; you’ll do the same in college. Just remember, it’s a learning process but you don’t have to go it alone. Use your resources, do your research, and remember after the four years are up, you want to have something to show for yourself. Stay focused and have fun!
Stay Young & Be Free,