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Surviving the First Year of College – Useful Tips for Freshmen

Few things in life can bring the same combination of excitement and fear that young adults go through when staring the first year of college. College is the first step in pursuing your dream and finally becoming independent, which is exactly why most students find the beginning of this new chapter quite overwhelming. But there are a few things you can do to make this transition a little bit easier and enjoy all the experiences and opportunities that college has to offer.

Don’t Miss Orientation

You might think you’ll have enough time to explore campus and find all the key places by yourself, but it’s not always that easy. College campuses are often like small towns and it might be hard to find the best way to go from one class to another all by yourself. Orientation provides a good way to explore campus, find out where classes and important buildings are and even get information about other tools that your university has to offer, such as tutoring, study groups and academic advisor access. Plus, it’s a great way to meet freshman students and make a few friends.

Take Notes and Don’t Miss Class

Sure, it might be tempting to skip that 8 AM class sometimes, but don’t forget the main reason you are here, which is to study and prepare for your career. Missing one class if you are feeling sick one day may not be a big deal, but make sure you let your professor know before class, as some teachers find missing classes to be quite disrespectful. When you’re in class, focus on what the professor has to say and write down every information that you think may help you learn better. Keep your notes organized and dated, as it may be hard to find that math 20d lecture notes a few days before the exam if all your papers are spread across your room.

Join Study Groups

Study groups are one of the best ways to deepen your knowledge about a certain subject and meet new people with the same interests as you. It can help you get motivated and organized, as you will have people counting on your presence and skills. It is a great opportunity to compare notes with others and learn from them, making sure you are not missing important information and also help others in need. Plus, it’s more fulfilling and enjoyable to study with a couple of people you actually share interests with, than sitting alone in the library with nothing but your computer and a pile of notes.

Participate in Extracurricular Activities

Campuses are usually filled with clubs and student organizations that can help you meet like-minded people and develop new skills that will you through your adult life. Becoming an active part of your student community will come with a sense of belonging and will make you feel more connected to your school. Staying in touch with people that share the same interests as you will benefit you not only in your college years, but can also make for some lifetime connections that will benefit you in both your career and personal life beyond college.