11 Ways to Prepare for Freshman Year of College

Saturday, September 1, 2018


Transitioning from high school to college can be overwhelming for students. There are ways you can prepare for this new chapter. The following tips can help an incoming freshman have a smooth transition and build a foundation for a successful college year.

Create a budget.
Maybe when you were in high school you didn’t have to think about budgeting, but now that you will be entering your first college year, budgeting will be an essential tool. As you may know by now, attending college can be very expensive. That’s why it’s important you create a budget for all your expenses. When creating a budget, keep in mind, the cost of attendance which consist of: tuition cost, room and board, transportation, books and supplies, personal expenses and additional fees. With a budget you will be able to know your limits in regards to your spending.

Research Ways to Get Involved.
Colleges and universities offer many clubs for students to join. Every semester students have the opportunity to learn more about these clubs by going to the clubs’ fair hosted by their school. There you will find clubs ranging from sports to Greek life clubs. School also host activities that requires the need for volunteers, if you want to be involved in the campus life you should volunteer for these particular events.

Be open to Change.
As cliché as it may be, college comes with many changes. If you want the full college experience, you will have to be open-minded about the many curved balls college throws at you. There’s a high chance that by the end of your first year in college, you will be a different person than what you were when you first started. Your friends will change, and your interest will change. You might change your major various times, break up with your high school sweetheart or you might transfer to another school.

Things back at home might change too. Your parents will now treat you as an adult, and you might not be close with your high school friends anymore. Realize that those around you are experiencing similar changes and that sometimes changes are good.

Improve Your Technical Skill Set.
It’s important that you become comfortable with using technology. The use of technology is an essential part of college readiness as it will allow you to complete your homework assignments and projects. No matter your major, you will be expected to know how to navigate the world wide web for online research. Make sure to learn about new technology tools before entering your freshman year in college.

Make the Most of Orientation Activities.
Most schools have orientation activities for incoming freshmen. Orientation is a great way for students to make friends and get a taste of the campus life. Make sure to be as outgoing as possible and ask many questions. It’s important to note that everyone is going through the same thing. Therefore, don’t be shy and try to get to know everyone.

Know Where to Find Academic Help.
Many colleges have centers dedicated to helping students academically. If you’re struggling academic or just want to speak one-on-one with your professor, take advantage of open office hours. Schools libraries usually have study resources and tutors for those who need it. These resources can be very useful for international student, who need help with the English language.

Explore Time-Management Tools.
Balancing the academic and social demands of college can be a challenge for students, especially first year students. Smartphone apps can help you keep track of your study schedule and provide a visual of your free time and responsibilities. Time-management is an essential tool you will need in college, it consists of making a schedule and sticking to it. Sticking to a schedule helps you stay organized and getting things done in an orderly fashion. Spend your time wisely since getting distracted can stress you out if you have assignments due.

Get Acquainted with Your Professors and Advisor.
Having a good relationship with your professors and advisor can play a major role in helping students succeed. Once you have selected your classes, consider contacting your instructors to introduce yourself. If you have a good relationship with your professor, he or she can write you a letter of recommendation, offer you a job as a teacher assistant, etc.

Polish Your Social Skills.
College pushes students to develop strong communication skills. From communicating with professors and employers to group projects. Being able to convey ideas clearly and work collaboratively will help you in the long run. Always present yourself with professionalism and respect. If you have an interview make sure to dress up formally. Also always introduce yourself and if you’re conversing with someone make sure to shake their hand before and after the conversation.

Think about Getting a Job Freshman Year.
College is expensive and costs go beyond tuition and fees. Before starting your first semester in college you should consider if getting a job is something you will like to do. Balancing a job and school can be very overwhelming, that’s why it’s important you think about it before you start the semester. If you choose to work and attend school, keep in mind, that you will need to have a good time-management in order to keep a balance between school, work, your alone time, and social life.

Know How to Stay Safe on Campus.
You should become familiar with the campus’ safety resources and procedures before starting the semester. If you are walking back to your dorm late at night, make sure to be aware of your surroundings. Learning how your college handles safety issues it’s important when it comes to your safety.
Though getting ready for your first year of college might be stressful, remember that the college journey doesn’t end after freshman year. If you follow the tips previously mentioned, you will be off to a good start in college.

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