You’ve finally put those dreaded high school days behind, and are now on to the next best years of your life—College! Here, you will learn who your true friends are, meet more amazing people, discover your passions, join clubs, experience collegiate sports and frat parties, and so much more. Yes, college will be fun, but there will be times when you feel like the world hates you because you’ve been pulling all-nighters almost every night. Just remember, you will be okay! For now, it’s time to enjoy this new beginning. Here are 10 things that you must do as a freshman in college.
1. Go to Class! Let’s not start off with a bad habit. Freshmen (and sometimes sophomore) year is pretty much the “slacking off, low grades, party year” for a lot of students. Most people are now completely on their own, out and away from their parents, and don’t know what to do with themselves with this newfound freedom. However, you must remember the #1 reason why you’re in college, and that should be to get your degree!
2. Make New Friends. It’s true when they say, “you meet your real friends in college”. Hang out on campus, or talk to your classmates during the beginning of the semester. Chances are everyone is nervous and not really sure what to say, or how to introduce themselves. Start by asking a question, or simply saying “Hi, my name is…” You never know where this relationship could take you, or how much it will grow later on.
3. Get Involved. Being involved on campus is a fun way to meet new people and even make new friends. Most campuses will have an organization fair during the beginning of the semester, so make sure to go, talk to the different orgs, and find something that interests you. There are many cases where joining a club or an org as a freshman leads to other leadership opportunities in the future. Getting involved on campus will ease your freshman nerves, get you a lot more comfortable around campus, and can even be added to your resume!
4. Talk to your Advisor. Meeting with your advisor will definitely help you stay on track with classes in your major, and they can help you with any other academic-related questions you will probably have during freshmen year. Try to know as much as possible about your classes and major to have a tentative schedule put together, but check with your advisor as well to make sure you have everything you need. It’s never fun taking a class for 15 weeks and finding out at the end of the semester that you really didn’t need to take it. Also, if you feel that your advisor may not know how to help you or may not be helping you at all, don’t be afraid to reach out to other advisors in your department for help!
5. Get to know your Professors. Sometimes, students are lucky to have a really great class with a really amazing professor, and it’s probably easier for them to stay in touch even after the semester is over. For the rest of us, it will take a little more work to get to know them, but it can be done. Stay in contact with your professors during the semester because you never know if/when you may need them later on. Extra credit, test retake, turning something in late, or even recommendation letters—professors are more likely to help you out if they know you.
6. Go to Sporting Events. In my opinion, there’s nothing like the excitement of cheering on your university’s sports teams. Get a group of friends together and have a night out on game day! Get cute in your school colors, have a pre-game party, and ride together to make it a fun experience.
7. Go to Homecoming. Along with the sporting events, you have to go to Homecoming. This event is pretty much the biggest day on college campuses, and will most likely be the highlight of the year for college students (unless you’re graduating!). Homecoming is full of school spirit, alumni happy to see old friends, barbeque and drinks, parties, and of course the big game. Even if your school loses the game, it will most likely still be a really great day.
8. Explore the City. Whether you’re based in a big city or on a traditional college campus, make sure to get off campus and explore. Find new restaurants, clubs, lounges, museums, and any other places students go to relax or have fun. Campus life is cool, but it could get boring just staying in the dorms all the time.
9. Have a Spring Break Trip. The other major event every college student looks forward to is Spring Break. Panama City Beach, Miami, Los Angeles, New York City, going out of the country, or going on a cruise are the hot spots for spring breakers. Plan a road trip or do something fun in-state if you can’t travel. Just remember to stay safe!
10. Leave the Past in the Past! It’s your first year in a new atmosphere, at a new school, on a new journey……… why bring old things from high school along with you? Ex-significant others, ex-friends, embarrassing moments, hard teachers, and painful memories can and should all be erased when you get to college. There’s no reason to keep them around. College is your chance to start over and discover yourself! Let it all go and open your mind to your new beginning.