12 Tips That Actually Matter For Surviving Your Freshman Year of College


12 Tips That Actually Matter For Surviving Your Freshman Year of College

Some of you have already started your freshman year of college, and kudos to you, and some are packing up and getting ready to go. Either way, you're going to be embarking on a whole new experience, meeting new people, and expanding your horizons. Unlike the cheesy brochure you've got pinned to your wall, here are some REAL tips on how to survive your freshman year.

1. Let go of the past

This isn't your high school and for many, not even the town or city you grew up in anymore. If you're holding on to how it was last year, and all your old friends, and your "status" as top dog at your old school...let it go. I hate to tell you this, but no one cares in college. There are very few of the thousands of students who will ever make an impression on the overall campus or even a large enough group of people for anyone to even notice. This is great if you are looking for a new start, but terrible if you can't seem to move past that part of your life to welcome a new one. Your freshman year really is the time to be yourself, whomever that is, because part of that no caring, is not having people intensely judge you by your past, or have everyone know your business, or care what you wear to class, or who you are or aren't going out with every single second.

2. Actually go to class

Yes, you'll have a ton of new things thrown at you, but for the majority of your college career, do remember why you're there. Sure it's all fun and games for a lot of people until they look around and all their friends are graduating and moving on, and they are still there. Just like in high school, all your classes count towards your overall GPA, and it might not seem like a thing your freshman year, but when you're a senior and you're wondering why you can't get into this/that graduate program, or wondering why you're not graduating with honors, or having to take some extra courses to boost your GPA (that cost MONEY!), you'll wish you'd have taken this to heart.

3. Actually go to some parties

It's called balance, my friends. All work and no play (well, you know the rest). This is quite literally the last time in your life that you will ever be this care free. No real job, no real world worries, no kids, no spouses, no mind numbing soul crushing responsibilities, so for goodness sakes, live a little. As long as you figure out how to have fun AND attend to your actual class work, you'll be fine.

4. Make some lifelong friends

12 Tips That Actually Matter For Surviving Your Freshman Year of College

Be social. It's hard sometimes not feeling like just a number in college, but that's why you've got to try and find your little bubble, you're little niche in between everything else. The good thing about college is that unlike your high school where friends seem to be set and that's it, you have a million opportunities in college to meet new people. Your roommates, their friends, your classmates, study buddies, people you meet lounging on campus, people in your clubs, people on the sports teams, people in organizations you care about. It's as simple as saying "hey you want to go get some lunch with me in the quad," or " are you guys going to the movie night thing on campus, we should check it out," or "we're playing some video games in our dorm later," whatever. Make the invites and take the invites.

5. Learn to be a hunter gatherer

Money is often illusive in college between tuition, rent, your car note, etc, so whenever you see "free" and "food," plan to be there. If there is a college event and they're giving out free stuff, take it, take extra. When you go home for the weekend or on break, stockpile anything that isn't nailed down. You'll learn to appreciate the words "they're a college student," because a lot of people know what it's like and might hand you some freebies to help you through.

6. Don't get 'Spring Broken'

12 Tips That Actually Matter For Surviving Your Freshman Year of College

Listen to me...if you didn't see your drink being made, if someone says they don't want to use protection, or someone's like, let's go spray paint your professors car, or if someone offers you some 'fun' brownies or something in a bag, or you're invited to a party in the middle of no where, DON'T DO IT!!! There are cameras everywhere watching as are other people with cell phones. Tell people where you're going, always use protection/take BC, don't go to parties and stuff alone or let friends go with people you've never met before if your Spider sense is tingling, and don't do stuff that's going to F up school property or breaks campus rules ESPECIALLY if you are on scholarship!!! You by no means 'have to be' a prude, but you can have fun and not get f'd or messed over in the process.

7. Abuse your student ID card

The next time in your life where you will be able to have a discount card this great, is when you're a senior citizen at 65 plus years old. Your student ID card it gold. A lot of places offer student discounts with your ID, so use them (movies, books, events, clubs, hotels, clothing, etc). Always ask too because some places do not necessarily advertise it out loud, but they do offer discounts.

8. Live on campus (at least once)

If you can afford it, and if you only do it one semester and you're done, live on campus. Make the dorms your temporary housing for however long. The convenience is everything especially if you have no transport. Definitely makes studying/socializing a lot easier and it also makes things a lot easier if you're doing work study on campus or found a job nearby. It's also the experience. It's so much easier to get involved in school and the social aspects if you're right in the thick of it 24/7. This can also be a great opportunity for you to break away from family for the first time, and experience adulting and being your own wo/man. Before you do go though, learn some basic skills like how to do laundry, how to handle your medical insurance, and how and when you need to pay your cell phone bills if you've never done this stuff for yourself before.

9. Whatever you do, do not sign up for morning classes!

12 Tips That Actually Matter For Surviving Your Freshman Year of College

As a freshman, counselors always try and screw you over by convincing you that you should sign up for morning classes. After all, you've been in high school taking morning classes for four years, so what's another semester?? Uh, they are trying so fill up these slots, not look out for your best interest. No one wants theses classes..for a reason....Nooooooooo....back away from that login/register button. Take morning classes if and only if you just LOVE mornings or you are working in the afternoon and have no choice, but otherwise, if it starts before 10, avoid, avoid, avoid. You won't understand it now, because you've never been in college before, but trust me...or don't....but if you do, you'll thank me later.

10. Workout...eat okay...or get fat

College is stressful. You are living alone often for the first time on a campus where all the food options are junk and mom and dad are not feeding you healthy food or telling you not to eat this or that. You are probably going to be up all hours of the night cramming, partying, studying, hanging out...and all of this will take a toll on you...if you let it. Get yourself a gym membership, walk to all your classes, try your best to avoid eating junk food all the time, schedule your workouts into your day, and you will not be sorry. There is a reason they call it the "Freshman" 15.

11. Don't be basic

If you're looking at the syllabus on the first day, and it says paper worth 40% of your grade, due by Nov 15th. Set a huge a-- reminder in your phone, write it on your calendar, tell your boss ahead of time, do what you have to to get organized and avoid being so basic that you fail an entire semester because you didn't remember the due date for a paper. This is NOT high school. When you don't turn stuff in, your teacher gets paid whether you pass or fail their class, so NO they don't "have to" extend the date for you, NO they don't "have to" give you extra credit," and NO they don't have to care whether your cat was sick and that was why you forgot. You are an adult now. You're responsible for your own education now.

12. Get HELP NOW!

12 Tips That Actually Matter For Surviving Your Freshman Year of College

This is the serious bit here. Just because you are a newly minted adult doesn't mean you know or have to know how to figure everything out. If you fall into financial trouble, if you're dealing with mental illness/depression, if you are failing classes, if you're just so incredibly homesick, can't even think straight...DO talk to someone. Most campuses have resources for mental/financial/educational help whether that be directly with campus services or they can refer you to someone who can help you. Don't let fear or embarrassment be the reason things keep getting worse for you. Ignoring such problems, is not going to make them magically get better or go away.

12 Tips That Actually Matter For Surviving Your Freshman Year of College
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Most Helpful Guys

  • Shadow44
    Make friends with people who ar eolder than you and in your program, they could give tips, help, the assignments from their year, practice exams and a bunch of other stuff that could help you both learn and ace your course. This helps especially when your TA's/GA's and profs can't teach or just don't care.

    Keep in touch with your hobbies when possible and when you have the time.

    Don't let the stress and workload of university kill your passion for the field your in.

    Make sure your degree is in high demand for the job market. Don't want to spend all that money for nothing. Especially when you're basically paying to teach yourself everything.

    Make google and youtube your best friends. Make sur eto use online resources on top of whatever textbooks you're reading.

    Try to get a paid research position, tutoring position, or TA/GA position. The extra cash helps.

    University can really suck at times but the people you're friends with make things way better.

    Try to ace midterms, assignments and projects so that way there's not as much stress to ace finals (still study and aim to do well on finals though)

    Is this still revelant?
    • Anonymous

      These are great tips as well. That last tip is a golden one for sure. You really don't want to 'have to' do really well towards the end of the semester because you messed up early on. Much less stressful going into finals if you know you don't need some ridiculously high score, just to even pass the class.

    • Shadow44

      Going into physics it was great knowing you didn't need to do well on an exam to pass a course. I was able to walk in thinking I already passed this is jus tto raise my grade. It's nice because you can focus on a course that you already know you passed a bit less and focus on other finals more. I mean on occasion it's hard and in those cases it sucks where you tried hard and sitll didn't do awesome.

  • Anonymous
    Afaik my country doesn't have dorms. It's just for classrooms and facilities and that's it. At best you get accommodation near campus. You go to your classes, you leave. You don't "lounge" around campus unless there's a space between your classes, but even then you're not hanging around just waiting to be talked to, you're there "lounging" for and hour or so because you have to be. It's not really a position that invites people to talk to you or where people are keen to be talked to.

    Your classmates/ potential friends aren't just on campus and available whenever. They have to be both at campus and have a gap in classes if you're going to be able to meet up for lunch or something, but again most people don't even have breaks, they lineup classes together as much as they can or they might have one a day, they come, they leave. Since you're not at campus all the time, clubs don't work as well unless you live nearby and can turn up without too much hassle.

    Basically the social aspects don't seem to work at all when you can't live on a campus.
    Is this still revelant?

Most Helpful Girl

  • Jaded214
    Take morning classes in subjects that are exciting*

    I had a film class that was in the morning and my professor made us take pictures outside every class.

    Good take.
    Is this still revelant?

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • Reggieray
    Also, LEARN TO COOK and clean up after yourself.

    All of you...
    • Anonymous


  • unkqty
    13. promise yourself you will see it through to the end. the world already has far too many quitters. keep your eyes on the prize.
    14. study. study some more. it'll pay off.
    15. do NOT cheat.
  • Blightly
    #1 rule to pass college with a ~4.0

    Do well at the beginning of the semester / quarter, fk off at the end. Class repeats itself from the year before and the concepts are easier. First exam will be easy, second medium, 3rd hard, and the final extra hard (if its cumulative). Do well at the beginning, you have more room for error later on
  • Angelina25
    I just started mine. I'm sure it's going to be really helpful thank you.
  • Rapidash
    Really interesting take! (Relevant for me right now too..) thank you! ✨
  • Logorithim
    Very good Take. Re #9- Nothing before 11 a. m., at the earliest!
  • Just_A_Guy2018
    Men need to completely avoid women, record all interactions with them, men have no due process in educational institutions. Once false claim and your life is ruined.
  • ChronicThinker
    - Do homework
    - Do homework
    - Do homework
    - Do homework
  • John_Bouff
    My grandfather fought a war at 16 years of age and he taught me never to be a weak boy-man who whined if he got "too much workload i. e have to submit a paper once a week"
  • zagor
    And DO NOT fall behind in your classes. College moves fast.
  • Harsh_Ch
    I don't see any tips on how to escape psycho virgin shooters...
    That's an important issue as well
  • Kayla45
    Good tips!
  • Iron_Man
    Interesting take
  • Nice222
    Great advice
  • clampfan101
  • Anonymous
    I miss the opportunity
  • Anonymous
    I was never invited to parties and didn't make lifelong friends, I feel gypped
    • Anonymous

      Maybe this was more a function of living on campus, because literally every Friday, my roommate and I had at least three or four invites, and then there were all the random invites we got from people who would leave them in our mail or slide them under the door.

  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous
    Nice take
  • Anonymous
    Exactly what I needed. Thank you very much.