As an incoming freshman, going to a brand new school with complete independence can be a struggle and an adjustment to deal with. You really aren’t sure what to expect the first day of classes and haven’t met that many people to socialize with on campus. You’re questioning whether or not you should purchase textbooks, how much time you’d have between classes to grab a bite to eat, and fitting in your everyday workout. Prior to accomplishing day to day activities, attending classes and meeting new people, I have three tips that I feel will help you have a successful first year.
1. “Stay Organized.”
During my first year, I wasn’t organized at all. I juggled school, having two jobs, trying to workout, being involved in extracurricular activities on campus, and lots more. I thought I had it all under control for when my assignments were due, when the next test was, when I was scheduled for which job and when practices were being held. Around the middle of October, I made it my priority to buy myself a yearly planner. Planners will save your life. I went back to all of my syllabi and jotted down the dates of when things were due, when my managers from work would post the schedule I would jot it down, and every practice, rehearsal, scholarship meeting, and games I had to attend were noted as well.
Staying organized not only means planning accordingly but to also stay organized in each class. I usually have a folder for each class and coordinate them by color. Each assignment or study guide I was given would be in the folder. Anything helps to achieve those Dean’s List grades.
2. “Find and Join Clubs/Organizations.”
Joining clubs and organizations have opened many doors for me as far as new friendships, leadership skills, and things that fit my personal interest. Friendships are hard to come by and finding the right friends that affiliate themselves with the same interest you do can lead you to a long lasting relationship.
I have met the most genuine, pure souls in clubs that I am an active participant in. These women and men have encouraged me to take on leadership roles as executive board members of clubs because they saw something in me that nobody else would. They believed in me.
Networking is very important to finding a future career and establishing professional relationships. My advice to freshman is to start reaching out to advisors and faculty who work in career development that can help you establish a plan for your future. Shadow a professional in your potential career so that you can figure out if that is the right career for you.
Also, establishing professional relationships can help you get letters of recommendations when applying for graduate schools and applying for jobs and internships. It is super important to utilize the resources that are given to you on your college campus.
I hope these 3 tips gave you some insight on how to prepare yourself for your first year! Always remember, stay focused, set goals, chase your dreams, don’t be afraid to make mistakes, and have fun!