7 Tips for Surviving Freshman Year of College

in General

High school is finally over, and you’re ready to start a new chapter of your life. Now it’s off to college!

The thought of this new, unfamiliar experience can be exciting, intimidating, and nerve-wracking all at once.

Get in the right frame of mind as you head off to college. Know that surviving freshman year is possible–just take advantage of these seven tips!

1. Combat homesickness.

Feeling homesick is something most new students go through. Pick a date for a visit home (give yourself at least a month or so to get acclimated), and stick to that plan. Reach out to your parents with phone calls or texts when you feel lonely. Ask them to send letters or care packages. They’ll appreciate feeling wanted!

2. Take time to adjust.

Don’t expect to learn your way around campus, make new friends, and conquer college all in the first week. Leaving the security of home and doing things on your own may be tough at first. Remember, you’re not the only one who feels out of place or lonely. Every new student goes through this transition. Be kind to yourself. You will get the hang of things!

3. Reinvent yourself.

High school is over! No one knows or cares if you were prom queen or captain of the debate team or if you sat on the sidelines. No matter what your background, you now have a clean slate! You’ll find that some stereotypes like “the in crowd” and “computer geek” fade away in college. It’s fun to mix it up with new people who are different than you.

Keep in mind, this doesn’t mean changing who you are as a person. It means exploring new opportunities and further developing yourself as an individual, not conforming to the standards of others.

4. Reach out.

Sitting in your dorm room with the door closed is not going to help make new friends. As tempting as it is to text or facetime your friends from home, you’re going to have to step out of your comfort zone to meet students in your dorm and classes. Developing new friendships is essential for surviving freshman year. When you’re not studying, keep your door propped open to welcome hall mates and get the good times started.

Bonus Tip: Putting a whiteboard on your door is a great way to invite people in and let people leave messages if they missed you!

5. Don’t forget to study.

After years of being told when to report to gym, lunch, and history class, sweet freedom is finally yours! Well, sort of. Although you’ll only spend about 15 hours a week in class as a full time student, you’ll need to put in about 25 to 30 more in studying, writing papers, and meeting classmates for group projects. Treat school like you would a job. Plan out a daily and weekly schedule so you don’t fall behind in your work.

6. Take a break.

You’ll be working hard, learning how to study and putting in lots of hours. Schedule time for workouts at the campus gym, walks with friends, or anything that takes you out of your head and gets you moving!

7. Have fun!

Of course, the main reason you’re at college is to earn a degree. But the college experience is so much more than classes! Activities, clubs, athletics, and more are right at your fingertips. Make time to pursue your interests, try something new, and explore your new college town or city.

Getting adjusted to college may be challenging, but with the right mindset and these tips, surviving freshman year of college will be a breeze!