If you're anything like me, you like to know what's going to happen in any given situation. Meaning you want to know how to deal with balancing your coursework before you've even registered, tips for making friends before meeting your dorm roommate, and how to balance all the responsibilities that come with doing well in school and having a social life.
Weeks before I left for school I spent hours researching everything I could think of. Due to not being able to find answers to everything I was wondering about, I eventually started writing for various collegiate websites to help anxious and excited incoming freshmen like myself. Whether you're an incoming freshmen or close to the end of your first year of college, below are the twenty pieces of advice I wish someone had told me during my first year of college.
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1. Don't bring everything you own with you. It clutters your already small dorm room and doesn't leave you space for all the free stuff you'll pick up at events.
2. Room with a complete stranger, for an automatic friend and a chance to save your friendships.
3. Always dorm if you have the option! Yes it will cost you way more money in the end but it's fun to share the experience with people who are in your same position.
4. Join a club, any club, but just join one. Eventually you will move out of the dorms and half of those friendships will end naturally. Friends from orgs are easier to connect with.
5. Don't ever buy a book from the bookstore. Check it out at the library, Amazon, Chegg, Barnes and Noble, or buy an older edition. I saved thousands buy never buying a book new.
6. Sit closer to the front. Pretty sure studies shows sitting close will help you earn a better grade, probably because it's so hard to get away with being on your phone.
7. Another thing, actually turn of your phone, or at least put it away. I used to hate classes that had a no electronics rule but in the end, I aced those classes easily because I actually listened the whole time!
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8. Go to all the events on campus, no matter how lame you may think they are. You re only a freshmen once and soon your friends will be too busy to go to the on campus concerts. Enjoy it while you can.
9. Don't be the person that goes home every weekend. Everyone will judge you for it and it will make it that much harder to make friends. Stick it out, if you really need you family, skype them.
10. Dining hall food is awesome because it's always hot and ready plus you don't have to do any dishes! But don't go crazy and start eating ice cream for breakfast, your clothes will thank you.
PS Since you've made it halfway through the post maybe this is a good time to mention that you can how sign up for a weekly newsletter from yours truly, jam packed with tips, resources and motivation to make each week in 2017 better than the last. Signing up takes seconds, literally, so make sure you're on the list!
11. Attend study group invites or review sessions hosted by the professor. If you re gonna be paying for a grade might as well get a good one.
12. Avoid hooking up with someone in your dorm hall. I did, it didn't work out, and it wasn't the end of the world or anything. But I could have saved myself the drama had I just not.
13. If you were awarded work study, get a job! Don't be like me and never get around to it, because getting work study for the next year is hard work!
14. Take photos of every moment, yeah, be that person. The four years go by so fast, you wanna be able to remember every moment of it.
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15. Talk to professors, not about questions or the class, just a normal conversation. If you're shy try with a TA first. It's not so hard once you break the horribly cold ice.
16. Get some information on studying abroad. It will make your college experience unlike anyone else's, it definitely changed my life for the better.
17. Learn to calculate how much you really need to pay for school. The estimated cost of attendance is always ridiculously high. Total up rent, tuition and a few extra hundred for food and books. That's all you need!
18. Make friend with at least one person in your major department. They will be a lifesaver when you need to borrow a book, missed class or are just confused about graduation requirements.
19. Go talk to your academic counselor. Map out what you have to do to graduate in four years.
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20. Just have fun. I just graduated this past June and I can honestly still remember shopping for my dorm bedding. It goes by so fast, so enjoy every second of it while you can.
If you're a college freshmen looking for advice, leave a question in the comments below! Otherwise share a tip you wish you had known your first year of college.