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5 Tips for College Freshmen to Make the Most of Your First Year

How can college freshmen make the most of their first year of college?

Embrace the newness. 

Millions of college freshmen will begin classes this fall, and for this freshman class, it sparks a lot of newness. Will my classes be virtual or in-person? How do I make the most out of my year? Where do I turn for financial questions? Some seemingly common knowledge questions just aren’t that common, considering most high school seniors have spent almost a year in a remote/hybrid learning environment.

Here are a few tips for incoming college freshmen to help aide in a successful transition to college:

Ask questions: You are not a bother and your questions—no matter how big or small—are important. Never assume; when in doubt about class times, assignments, or even where a building is, ask your advisor.

Make the most out of your year by getting involved: Social interaction has been somewhat limited over the past year, but collegiate clubs and activities are a mainstay. Get involved, join a club, go to a club fair. You’ll find like-minded students that can foster into friend groups.

Focus on looking ahead: The first two weeks of college typically focus on setting the stage for the semester. Peek ahead. Each course will have a syllabus, so use that as a tool to see when you will be most busy during the semester. Knowing when tests, quizzes, and assignment are due for each class will help you game plan how much time you need to expend preparing for each course.

Avoid procrastination: University classes are different than having a full day of school. Typically, you will have pockets of class times. You will have a lot more extra time on your hands—but use it wisely. Getting a planner or calendar to assist you in managing your time is key to avoiding procrastination. 

Meet you Financial Advisor: Even if you have everything aligned, establishing rapport with your financial advisor is key. They may be able to point you in the direction of scholarships and opportunities that students have used in the past. Building a good relationship with finance will only help you stay in the loop so you can focus more on your coursework and less on the financial details.

Remember, it’s OK: There are going to be times when you make mistakes. Use the opportunity to learn from them and not repeat. If you’re late for a morning class, set your alarm earlier. Then, next term, try to schedule afternoon classes to help yourself out. 

Going to university is an achievement in itself. You will meet new friends, learn new topics, and have an entirely different schedule. Embrace it. Freshman year is going to be one of the most exciting times of your life.

The bottom line? College is amazing, and even though it takes a great deal of effort, it's worth it. 

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