In movies about college, they always show explosive parties with unlimited drinks and lots of socialization going on. They breeze through some scenes, then graduation day comes. Most students probably wish that college life was something like this.
However, the reality is that you will spend most of your college days working on presentations, joining organizations that will look good on your resume, and preparing for exams. College can be the best four years of your life, but it doesn’t mean it won’t be challenging. There will be days you will feel alone, and you will question your decisions.
So to make it a little less hard to navigate, here are the most important things you need to do to make the most of your freshman year.
- Make friends
If you are sociable, this is probably an easy one. When you are in a completely new environment, the situation worsens if you go through it alone. Find friends you can rely on for the rest of your stay and beyond your college years. Befriend your roommate and other people in your dormitory. You will be living with them, so it’s best to be on good terms with everyone.
Join organizations. They will not only help you develop skills you will need after graduation, but they will also be your family away from home.
Of course, friendships happen naturally. You might click with a person without making much effort. Sometimes you will meet cool people at orientations and welcome assemblies.
- Take care of your things
This is underrated advice most people don’t take seriously. Take extra care of the things you use for school, especially your laptop or any note-taking device. Nothing is worse than finding out your computer broke in the middle of exams week. Back up your important files to a hard drive or cloud storage in case emergencies like this happen. Avail of computer repair services right away.
Plus, when you are a freshman, budgeting is one of the first challenges you will face. You don’t want to spend a week’s worth of allowance on unexpected expenses caused by negligence.
- Stay healthy
Don’t buy into the false belief that the less you sleep, the better a student you are. Procrastination is very common among students, but it doesn’t mean that you should be doing this. Practicing delayed gratification will help you establish a healthy routine as early as now.
When you postpone fun things like watching a movie or going on a night out to focus on schoolwork, you reduce the risk of procrastinating later. Being smart about your schedule will give you time for the things that matter, like your health.
Don’t forget to eat healthily and have a good sleep schedule. This should be a top priority. No matter how hard you work on a class presentation, all your efforts will be in vain if you end up in the hospital on presentation day.
- Take advantage of technology
One of the perks of living in a digital world is an online solution to most of your problems. If you are not good at writing essays, there is software that can help you improve your writing style and check your grammar. If you are taking a course on a foreign language, an app can help you practice. There are productivity apps that aim to help students study more efficiently for exams.
- Meet your academic adviser as soon as possible
Your academic adviser is a key person in your college life. As early as the first weeks of your freshman year, ask if you can schedule a consultation. They are the best person who can answer your questions about your degree program. They can recommend classes and organizations to join. If you don’t like your academic adviser, you can request to be under someone else’s guidance. It is your right to ask, but make sure you do so without offending anyone.
- Don’t feel pressured about your decisions
While many students seem to have their lives figured out, remember that it doesn’t apply to everyone. Your freshman year is only the beginning of a long journey. Even finishing college doesn’t guarantee that you will discover your purpose in life. Take your time to explore everything. Who knows — you might find out your goal this way.
Enjoy the process and be open to trying things. That is the only way you will find out if you are making the right decisions in life. Your college is a place where you are supposed to explore and discover who you are. Embrace uncertainty and go with the flow.