Starting college is one of the most exciting moments of any young person’s life. All of their academic achievement has been building up to that instant, and their lives are about to change forever as they pick their major, study hard, and work towards bringing their professional dreams to life.
Many people say that the college years are the best years of your life, so it’s only natural that students want to make the most of every minute, not missing out on a single thing and enjoying the social side of college life, while also focusing on their studies too. Here are some top tips for college freshmen to help you navigate those early weeks and months with success.
If you happen to own your own car and plan to take it with you to college, be sure to treat it with care and stay safe on the roads. If you’re moving to a new state, learn the road rules before you arrive so you don’t get caught out, follow college campus driving safety precautions, and always be sure to avoid drinking and driving or driving under any kind of influence.
Keep an emergency kit in your car, remember to keep valuables out of sight if you’re leaving them in the vehicle, and try to avoid falling into the trap of becoming a taxi service for your pals too! Lending your car to other students might seem like a simple way to make friends, but it can also be a recipe for disaster.
Study Comes First
Even though the social and party side of college life can be a real thrill, and no student should miss out on attending at least a few parties or hanging out with their friends, it’s vital to ensure that studying remains your top priority.
Suddenly granted so much independence and presented with so many opportunities for fun and interaction with others, many students can fall into the trap of forgetting about their academics and focusing only on social interaction. However, in the end, college is about learning first and foremost, so be sure to keep up with classes and make time for fun later on.
Hit Your Targets
A good way to ensure you maintain a healthy study-social balance is to set yourself targets. Aim for perfect attendance in every class, for example, and try to always hand in your work on time. Missing one or two classes can lead to missing several more as you start to develop bad habits or trick yourself into thinking it’s not such a big deal to hand in some of your work a little later than everyone else.
Try to get through college without needing to sit a single make-up exam too, and always try to better yourself. You don’t necessarily need to shoot for the stars and aim for perfect grades across every single class, but try to set yourself realistic goals that you can be proud of, and then do all you need to do to make them happen.
A good way to integrate yourself with college life and make new friends without simply resorting to parties is to join a club or extra-curricular activity of some kind. Colleges all across the nation have dozens and dozens of different activities to choose from, including sports, games, music, drama, debate clubs, and plenty more.
Try to partake in at least one of these activities during your first semester. It’ll really help you to feel more at home on campus, as well as allowing you to connect with like-minded students, enhance your independence, learn new skills, and set you up for a more successful future too.
Look After Yourself
In most cases, college will be your first long-term experience of independence. Suddenly, you find yourself in total control of your life, free to make the choices you want to make, and fully responsible for your lifestyle choices.
It might be tempting, in this case, to start gorging on your favorite junk foods, hitting up local bars with your friends, and failing to keep up with any kind of exercise plan, but these kinds of lifestyle choices may harm you in the long run. By looking after your body with a healthy diet and smart choices, you’ll find that you’re able to study harder, learn more efficiently, and get better grades.
College can be an inspiring, eye-opening, evolutionary experience, but you have to have the right approach. Schedule your time effectively, don’t forget to focus on your studies as your primary priority, and look after your mind and body to ensure you have the best possible time.