Guide to Your Freshman Year in College

Getting ready for your freshman year in college is both an exciting and scary. In college, you will finally have more freedom after years of being subject to parental supervision. This will mean more responsibilities, a more challenging academic life, and dealing with all sorts of folks in and out of campus. It’s easy to feel like you’re heading toward an uncharted territory during your first few months in college. This guide is aimed at helping you discover what university life is all about and what you can do to have a fulfilling and memorable first year in college.

Thinking like a college student

Your first year in college is going to be stressful, but there is nothing you can’t handle with adequate preparation. Preparing yourself for college life is going to be all-important. If you want to be able to breeze through your college days effortlessly, you need, first of all, to think like a college student.

Thinking like a college student involves the realization that you are now out of your comfort zone. For some, college may be a simple walk in the park but for many, the first year will be chock-full of adjustments. There is the perpetual pressure of doing well academically as well as the need for you to socialize and blend in. Many first year students also have issues and worries about living on their own. If this is your first time to live in a dorm and have a complete stranger as a roommate, then these fears are simply rational. Whether you’re about to enter the first day of college or you’re already months into university life, these simple tips will have you walking through the hallways of your campus with more verve and confidence:

  • Attending your classes is a must. If you want to succeed in college, then skipping class should not be a part of your vocabulary. Unless you have a valid reason for not attending class, then you should by all means come to class promptly.
  • Paying attention to your classes is just as important as coming to classes. If you want to get high grades and, therefore, graduate on time, you need to be able to take notes efficiently and complete your projects on time.
  • Since you will be living with a roommate, it is important that you learn to get along with him or her. A good roommate can help you adjust to your new environment and may be able to give you valuable assistance during your first few weeks on campus.
  • Socialize and meet different people. More than focusing on your academics, college is also about expanding your network. Meeting different people, associating with your fellow students, and building relationships with your professors will all help you build the right network of people who can help you both in and out of college.
  • Establish relationships with your teachers and professors. While this may seem too intimidating a task at first, you will eventually discover that most of your professors are actually approachable and accommodating. Knowing your professors will help you become more confident. This is also an excellent way for you to expand your network or meet potential employers or important industry players.
  • Learn to take breaks. You can’t survive your freshman year in college just by hitting your books or getting high grades. You also need to get out and have fun. You will find how an evening of fun and relaxation can actually help you stay on track, and keep you motivated for more grueling, studying hours ahead.

Important study tips

With the myriad of activities available to you during your first year at college, studying could easily become a chore. It is fairly easy to lose sight of your priorities once you become immersed in the frenzied life of a full-time college student. Without proper planning, you may end up spending less time on your books and more on socializing and other pursuits. If you want to make sure that you get excellent grades while making the most of your freshman year, having a study plan is extremely important. These study tips for college freshmen will surely do more than give you more study time. These tips can also help you manage your time better so you have space enough for your extra-curricular activities.

  • Discover your studying style. Some students prefer studying alone, while others thrive when they’re studying and discussing with a group. If you find it difficult to concentrate when you’re with friends, find a quieter place to study, where no one can distract you. Once you discover your studying style, you will do best to adopt this on a regular basis.
  • Set up a routine for studying. A routine will help you stay on track and keep you from giving in to needless distractions. If you are more comfortable with studying during the evenings, stick with this routine. A study routine will also help you manage your time better so have some time left for other pursuits.
  • Use available study resources to your advantage. Your campus library can provide you with the research tools that you need, or your professors may have access to a variety of study materials. Learn to use these resources whenever needed.
  • Take down notes as necessary. You can write down notes in your pad, or you can use a laptop if you’re able to type faster than you can write an essay, for example. If you must use your laptop, however, remember not to spend time Facebooking or playing web games during class lectures. Class time should be strictly for listening to lectures, participating in discussions, and taking down notes.
  • Attend all your classes. Coming to class will help you study better since you will get to listen to your professor’s discussions as well as interact with your fellow students.
  • Make a study outline. A study outline helps you organize all your notes as well as the chapters you need to study for a particular exam. An organized and well-outlined study plan can help you focus more on the essentials.

All about summer internships

Finding your ideal internship begins with an outline of your internships goals and ends with your search for possible internship sources. The best time for you to complete your internship is during the summer, when you are no longer tied down by academic responsibilities. Most of these internships are aimed at providing you, the college student, with the necessary “real world experience,” so you can maximize your chances of landing the right job. If you’re lucky you may even get paid while working as an apprentice, although unpaid apprenticeships are more common. The focus of these internships, after all, is training, so you can get a glimpse of what your preferred industry is like, once you graduate from college.

Preparing for on-campus interviews

On-campus interviews are a common fixture in college. Companies hold on-campus interviews with the intent to hire graduates for full-time employment as well as hire college students for apprenticeships. Applying for an internship is, of course, different from applying for an actual job. Although you will still need to apply in a professional manner, you will be evaluated primarily on your eagerness to learn and whether the internship program will be valuable for your major. Here are a few tips on how to ace that interview:

  1. Look and speak professionally. This means dressing appropriately and speaking with confidence. It is important, however, not to to talk too much about yourself. Also steer clear of controversial themes such as religious viewpoints and political issues.
  2. Know why you are applying for the internship. Employers will want to know why you want to apprentice with them first of all. You need to convince the interviewer that you are the perfect intern for the available slot.
  3. Bring the needed documents, such as letters of recommendation, your skills portfolio, or your CV, if any. These will allow the interviewer to evaluate easier whether you are suited for the internship or otherwise.

Breezing through your freshman year

College may not essentially be a walk in the park for many people, but with enough preparation and by having the right mindset, your first few months on campus could herald a fulfilling year ahead. Living on campus, sharing a room with someone you don’t know, and cramming for tests and interviews may not exactly paint an ideal picture for any incoming college freshman. Nonetheless, there are things you can do in order to change the picture. On-campus life can be liberating and having a harmonious relationship with your dorm mates is possible. Furthermore, a good study guide will help you avoid those not-so-ideal cramming episodes.

Your freshman year should be about possibilities and balance, allowing you to take advantage of opportunities as you advance through second year on campus. By following this guide, you can expect to get a stress-free and rewarding first year college experience,–t will feel almost as if you never left your comfort zone at all.

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