A Word of Advice to Incoming College Freshman

Coming to college can be a challenging transition for any type of high school student. You’re placed into a new environment to meet new people and build new relationships, along with taking some of the hardest classes you have ever encountered. With that said, here are some tips to make your transition into the college experience that much more enjoyable and noteworthy.

Stay Organized – This is probably the first time that you’re going to live without any authority telling you what to do. Without any sight of parental control, you need to start understanding how to manage your time wisely. Don’t miss deadlines and make sure you’re on top of everything. Making a weekly calendar can really help you stay organized.

Maintain a College Budget – Living by yourself usually means managing your own individual finances. Make a budget to show how much you spend on a monthly basis. The number you come up with doesn’t really matter; it’s sticking to that number which is the important part.

Go To Class – You’ll quickly discover that rarely do professors ever take attendance in class. And even though attendance is often not required, it is highly recommended and should be mandatory in your mind. If your exams and problem sets are based off of the material you learn in class, how are you supposed to succeed if you’re never there?

Go to Office Hours –  In college, you’ll discover that the professor is actually on your side and wants you to succeed. You would be surprised to see that in a lecture hall of 500 people, no one really takes advantage of office hours. This is your one opportunity to really meet the professor and have him help you 1-on-1. Even if you don’t have any questions, building relationships with professors can sometimes lead to research opportunities and phenomenal letters of recommendation.

Stay Away from New College Textbooks – College textbooks can often cost up to $300 at the campus bookstore. Avoid these high prices by buying or renting used textbooks that usually cost half the price. If you have trouble finding used textbooks at the bookstore, check out online databases –schools now have their own “Free & For Sale” groups on Facebook where students can search and exchange textbooks.

You’re walking into a completely new environment by yourself with new people. You’re probably going to work harder in your classes than you ever had to in high school. You’re going to face new challenges along the way that will test you in every possible way. But at the end of the day, college will be the best four years of your life. Don’t stress out too much – you’re going to be great!

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