College comes with its challenges. At times it will be stressful, but, it will also be rewarding and fun. The key is to be prepared, both in and out of the classroom.
1. How To Prepare for Your Freshman Year of College
There are many things you can do to prepare yourself for your freshmen year and set yourself up for success.
Know every corner of your campus
You may think you already know everything after one campus tour, you’re mistaken.
Organization is key
Organization can make or break you as this is the one thing that many freshmen struggle the most. Whether it’s your classes or your life in general—you need time management and organizational skills to ensure you perform well. Practice prioritizing and scheduling so all the things you need to get done are being accomplished in a timely fashion.
Looking for accommodation that suits your needs can be the most stressful part of the equation so make sure you leave plenty of time for the search. If you will be staying on campus, try to find a dorm that is close to your classes so you can save time each day. If you are looking for off-campus housing, make sure you check out several locations.
There probably won’t be room for everything you’d like to bring so you need to pack wisely.
Learn how to budget
There’s nothing worse than not having any money left so make sure you plan for your expenses accordingly.
Don’t leave the house without life skills
Cooking, cleaning, laundry and banking are just some of the things you will have to do on your own now. You don’t want to turn your favorite white sweater into a pretty or not so pretty shade of pink.
You will be reading a lot during college. But, the more you read beforehand, the better prepared you will be.
There’s a saying that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. You will need this invaluable skill when you enter the real world after college so starting to network at college can literally make your life easier. Take the time to learn people’s names and be interested in their lives. Be involved by finding clubs, organizations or part-time jobs that help you become a part of something that is bigger than yourself.
2. College Survival Guide
Besides having to work had, surviving college requires some basic skills.
The last thing you need is to be sick. Prevention is key in keeping illness at bay so take the time to eat healthily, exercise, and sleep regularly.
Know your limits
This rule applies to both working hard and partying hard. Messing up your sleep rhythm even to study all night won’t benefit you over the long run.
Get to know people
From your professors to your classmates and hallmates, every new person you meet will expose you to a new culture or a new mindset that will help you grow as a person.
You’re in a new town so you have to break the bubble and explore this new world. Every place on Earth has its charms, waiting for you to discover them. Perhaps the most important part of the college experience is stepping outside of your comfort zone.
Find ways to lower your expenses
The more you can lower your expenses, the more freedom you will have. If you live off campus, get a roommate to lower your rent and Pepco bills. Another good thing is that you won’t need as many duplicates, as besides another bed, you won’t need an extra set of pans or furniture as you can go 50-50 on all purchases. Adopt energy-efficient habits to consume less energy and reduce your utility bill. Explore your food options as there are many ways to eat well without spending a fortune. If you need some additional inspiration, Jamie Oliver has you covered with a ton of delicious student-friendly recipes.
Takeaway – The freedom that comes with going to college is thrilling but it is still a big adjustment. Freshman year can be one of the most confusing and exciting times of your life. But, the above advice will help you make the transition smoother and deal with the bumps in the road so you can enjoy the journey.