A Freshman Survival Guide

Entering a new college or university can be quite a nerving experience and even the most valiant hearted tend to be stressed about the thought of freshmen year at the college. What you require is a Freshmen Survival Guide, and here we will provide it to you. The feature covers many important aspects of freshman year and it will surely provide you with the knowledge and necessary tips on surviving without much effort.

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Paperwork: First thing is that you need to make sure that all the necessary documentation and paperwork required to attend college is in order.

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Tuition Dues: Pay the tuition fee on time and make sure that you and your parents know what amount is to be paid. Double check the billing addresses before sending in the dues.

Dining: A meal plan is quite necessary once you join the college. Meal plan is affected by the fact that whether you will have to cook for yourself or not? Do you have the necessary finances to eat out? Are there other sources of meals besides dining on campus? Dining halls are major place of socialization so you better keep that in mind.

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Selecting majors on time: Most universities require you to select your majors in the beginning half of your college and there are only a few which require you to declare your majors at the end of the sophomore year.

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Check on courses: Upon joining college you need to be sure what you want to do in your professional life and choose the desired courses which will help you attain your goal in the end.

Personal Health and Hygiene

The dreaded Freshmen 15: Maintain a proper diet plan since one can mindlessly graze into the infamous “Freshmen 15”.

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Exercise routine: Whether you hit the elliptical a few times a week, or you join the aqua fitness class, or enjoy refreshing yoga, staying active is good for your mind as well as your body. The endorphins released during exercise can help you deal with stress.

Easy on Caffeine and Energy drinks: Caffeine and energy drinks may boost you up for a certain time but these sort of beverages tend to be addictive and may cause you to crash afterwards.

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Be prepared for the weather: Keep a lookout on the weather trend in and around the city of your college and know whether you will require a rain coat or a winter coat.


Dorm Living

Know your roommate:  It’s nice to be courteous and considerate but don’t be a total dud. If something bothers you, don’t be afraid to bring it up. Make sure you address the problem in a positive manner just to remain out of conflict.

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Ground Rules: Discuss stuff with your roommate before any problem arises. Set up some basic ground rules since once you decide early on what is okay and what isn’t, it will help avoid resolve conflicts later.

Cleanliness: Personal preferences vary, but be considerate of your roommate, and don’t let it get smelly.

Watch out for your belongings: Colleges see a great number of people losing their personal belongings so depending upon the location of your campus, lock your bike and keep your laptop close to you at all times. Find out from older students how careful you need to be.

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Ask for help: Usually, dorms have a residential director and residential assistants that can help make you feel at home while you’re living in a dorm.

Shared bathrooms: Use your own soap, towel and tooth brush plus also buy a pair of shower shoes since some diseases can be transmitted through feet as well.

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Sleeping schedule: Try completing your 8 hour sleep since it will be quite difficult to do so. It can be hard, whether you are socializing or studying, but it makes a big difference in your classes and in your health.

Keep your belongings under lock and key: When you plan to leave your dorm for vacations, make sure that everything you leave in your dorm is properly locked since there are theft issues at times and sometimes the campus discards the items left outside.

Home sickness: Use the technology rather than just getting depressed about being far from home. Use the online chatting websites or just call since you are never too old to call your home.

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Maintaining Focus

Be on time: Even if your teacher doesn’t mark you late, try coming on time anyway since it is disrespectful and you might miss something important about the lecture.

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Student planner: Buy a planner for yourself so that you remain aware of any upcoming assignments and quizzes.

Punctuality: Be punctual in taking classes. Some teachers make it a part of the grade. Even if they don’t, why are you paying thousands of dollars a year to not go to class?

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Don’t hesitate to ask for assistance: Teachers and professors are there to help you and if you have a learning disability, make it known to your teachers and seek their assistance before it’s too late.

Use the course outline: A lot of teachers plan out the material ahead of time, so you can keep track of assignments more easily.

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Acquire the necessary reading material: Find out the prescribed books and buy them beforehand since some teachers are quote ruthless about having the textbooks on time. Buy the books ahead of time so that you don’t get stuck with ridiculous college store prices or waiting on shipping.

Manage your study hours: Figure out whether you do your best in short study sessions or in long ones and on the basis of that, manage your study hours. Take short break intervals during your study hours but first properly plan them.

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Take Notes: Some people color code or use tablets. Don’t forget to date your notes! If you are struggling to pay attention, taking notes can also help you focus. If the teacher gives handouts, don’t get complacent: pay attention and jot down every extra detail.

Avoid distracting the class:  Some teachers are very strict, other are lax, but it can be your own downfall on the tests.


Studying Tips

Get yourself a tutor: In case you fail to understand any course or a topic, don’t hesitate to ask your seniors or professors to help and guide you.

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Study groups: Ask around and form a study group of like-minded people since group studies are always effective and quite more fun than studying alone.

Don’t panic about Midterm grades: Use them as motivation to improve. This is just an assessment to let you know your status in the class. You still have time to improve if they disappointed you.

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Learn instead of cramming: Try understanding the concept of the course instead of cramming every single piece of information. Understand the material as you go along so that you get the necessary time to review the entire syllabus.

Relax and enjoy after exams: Once your exams are over, treat yourself to some good food and go hangout with your friends. Relax your mind and body and just have fun with your friends.

Check your standing in the class: In case you don’t do well in exams and assignments, do check with your professor about your status. If you have been working hard and are still struggling, check in with the professors. Some will offer extra credit.

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Talk to librarians: Librarians are typically quite knowledgeable about research. Good librarians usually have a degree in library science, and have done research and published papers.

Borrow before buying: Only consider buying the books if you think you will find them useful in the future. Also consider buying their e-book versions, if available, to save money.

Go out and Get Involved

Take a campus tour: Get to know your campus so that you can get familiar with everything that is around you.

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Explore off campus: Get out of campus and explore the city around you.

Join different campus organizations: Try something new and exciting, or meet friends with similar interests through activities you know you love.

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Show your college pride: Buy the sweatshirts and T-shirts with college emblem. Most colleges have a huge number of ways to show your college pride.

Attend all events: Dances, career fairs, open houses are more abundant in college. You’ll meet people or learn things, or both. So don’t miss out on the chance of interacting with new faces.


Talk to the Faculty and Staff

Get to know your faculty and staff members: Introducing yourself and maintaining a healthy interactive relation can lead to having a lifelong mentor, as well as help you through the first year. Staff members are there to provide you with the skills and resources necessary to help you succeed.

Take help from Advisors: There job is to help you succeed. Be open about your problems and they will surely guide you in the best possible manner whether may it be about studies or just life.

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Friendliness: Maintain a friendly attitude with everyone from the dean and professors to dining hall crew and the dorm attendants. They are all human beings and deserve basic respect. Besides, people you are friendly to are more likely to help you when you are in need.

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Want to stay on campus during holidays: Talk to your Residential Director and they will surely arrange something so that you can remain on campus.


Be social: You meet many people in university but at the end you remain in touch with only a select few.

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Work hard, reap the reward: Stay focused during the week and complete your assignments during the week so that you can enjoy your weekend to the full extent.

Talk to your seniors: They have passed through the same phase as yours so they will turn out to be the best guides in anything that you require assistance in.

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Enjoy rather than taking pressure: College is all about learning but it also teaches you a way of life. Furthermore, taking pressure won’t get you anywhere. Release your pressure by joining some college club or organization and enjoy your college life to the fullest.


Alcohol, Sex and Drugs

-Drug usage: Drugs are definitely not cool for school and colleges have a notorious reputation of excessive drug usage. Using drugs can affect your work performance quite tremendously.

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-Don’t drink and then drive: Never get behind a wheel if you are drunk and neither should you get into a car with someone who has been drinking as well. It’s better to have to phone a ride or a taxi then get into a crash.

-Drink wisely: If you do drink, then use a little bit of wisdom. Start off slow, and feel out where your limits are. Blacking out isn’t cool, it’s dangerous.  Don’t get yourself kicked out or hospitalized because you wanted to party really hard.

-Watch what you drink: Never leave your drink unattended since anyone can mix anything in it. Another piece of advice is not to accept a drink that you didn’t see pour due to similar reasons.

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Use proper precautions if you are sexually active: Colleges have the highest STD rates and it is not cool to get someone impregnated or be pregnant. Male and female condoms are the only contraceptives that protect against STDs.

If you don’t want to have sex, then just don’t: If someone pressurizes you or harasses you to have sex with them, know that your college has resources to handle such kind of situations.

-Get tested: If you are worried you have an STD or are pregnant, some colleges even provide free or discounted services.

Income and Finance

Be independent: If your parents are paying for your college education and still provide you with a monthly allowance, then you should be responsible and manage your finances well.

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Want to earn extra cash? You can get an on campus job with work study or find local businesses by your campus for employment.

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