20 Things Every Freshman Should Know

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Freshman at Indiana State will start to move in just one week from today, and freshman across the country will start to flock to campus either the same weekend or shortly after. Those first few days of college are exciting. Being on your own for what is likely the first time ever is also exciting, and little scary as well. To help ease your fears and concerns, here’s 20 things every freshman should know ! There’s a reason I can write this list without knowing you personally. It is because the things you are feeling, thinking and worried about are in someone else’s mind as well – and likely more than just one other person shares your feelings. Get to know other people in your class, find new friends (and old ones), and share your concerns with each other. You are all in the same situations every single day, you can help each other! You may have already been able to get online and read some or all of your class syllabi. If not, you will definitely get your chance in a few days. Be warned: it will look overwhelming and you will think that you cannot do this. You can. Your professors are not going to say that the class is easy, that would be odd right? The only other option is for them to make it sound a lot harder than it likely will be. College is not easy, you have to try and it is a step up from high school. But you were accepted, you made it to campus and you can get through your classes. You will likely have some professors that will scare you, are not the type of people you want to talk to or may act like they want you to talk to them. Believe it or not, they really do want to see you succeed and pass their class. They won’t make it easier for you, but if you have questions, don’t be afraid to ask them and get the help you need. If you were unfortunate enough to get an 8 am class (like I was freshman year), it will be tempting to sleep through it and catch up later. You might be able to get by with it once, but you should not let yourself get into that habit. You won’t pass if you don’t go to class. This is not high school, seniors do not hate freshman and neither do juniors or sophomores. Some may not be around you much or you may not see upper class students much, but they do not hate you and if you need help or get lost, you should be comfortable asking anyone to point you in the right direction. There will likely be one class this semester that you struggle with, that you hate and that you really wish you didn’t have to take. Before you resort to dropping it at the deadline, realize that you can get through it. The drop deadline for a class is usually right before midterm (though it will vary), and after going half way through the class, why not finish it? Get help, go to study groups, focus on what you’re learning and you can pass the class! Even if you knew the person you are now living with before moving in, living with someone can be very tough when you are not used to sharing the same space with someone every single day. Work out an agreement, talk with your RA and try to get along. If you can’t make it work, you can always request a room switch. You need to be involved [http://web.archive.org/web/20130813104228/http://thecollegeblog.net/be-involved-boost-gpa/], you need to get it out and be social. Don’t sit in your room between classes and stay by yourself, it’s no fun for you or your friends. You may (and probably will) really enjoy being at college and on your own. But don’t forget about home, your family and go home occasionally on the weekend to visit (not just on school breaks). You can’t build relationships at college if you are going home every weekend. You need to go home sometimes, but not every weekend and you should start getting used to being on your own now. You have probably heard about the college all-nighter. Many students do it, and you probably could, but there’s really no reason to. If you manage your time wisely, you can have plenty of time during the day do all you need and want to do without sacrificing sleep. So you know how I said not to sit in your room? A good way to make sure you don’t is to get involved, join organizations and add some responsibilities (but fun ones) to your weeks. It can boost your GPA too! As you start to get involved and also start to look for part time jobs on and off campus, you need a resume  to boast about what you have already done and what you are doing now. I don’t know any college student that doesn’t do it, and many can do it and still be successful in their classes, but don’t let it get out of hand. Do what you need to do now, get your work done early, and avoid stressing out about it later on as the due date approaches. For the most part, you are on your own with remembering your assignments’ due dates, test dates, and so on. Professors won’t typically remind you every day like your high school teachers would (though some are more willing than others). Get a planner to keep track of everything, either online or a paper bound copy (or both). It is important to not be too busy, to not be too involved and to still make time for yourself. Make sure you have at least some downtime in your week so you don’t get overwhelmed and burnt out on college. If you haven’t already, get some college gear, something in your school colors, and wear it proudly. Go to athletic events, football is right around the corner, and cheer on your school’s team. Be proud of the school you go to. I saved the best for last. Freshman year, and really any year, in college can be the time of your life if you let it be and choose to make it that way. Have fun, enjoy yourself, and go on to do great things in your future.

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