As a new school year rises upon us many students around the country will be preparing to engage upon one of the most difficult and fun times of their budding lives. Incoming freshmen come into the college landscape thrust into a sink or swim type environment from the moment they set foot on campus. Many of these new students are lost, and have to feel their way around to establish a foothold and sense of comfort, before getting awash and cast aside in the flow of the school year. In order to have a successful freshman year, establishing a base for a fruitful college career, below are some of the most useful tips you will come across:
10) The things you accomplished in High School no longer matter
It doesn’t matter if you were the smartest person in your class and got a perfect score on your standardized test or if you were the kid in the back of the class that just got by. You are in a brand new environment with few elements that will carry over. Your high school accomplishments don’t help you at your new place of education. You are starting at the bottom and must establish yourself where you want to be.
9) Your reputation is important
As an incoming student the name you build for yourself will begin to build itself from the moment you move in. Your reputation will affect the perception of you around campus, your teacher’s leniency among many other things. In many situations your reputation will proceed you and will be all that you have. Protect it with your life.
8) Find a mentor
Being new to the college scene you need to find someone who can help show you the way to go. This can be very crucial to your college career as your mentor, whether official or unofficial. Having a mentor may make you even more aware of opportunities on your campus and the surrounding areas.
7) Surround yourself with like-minded people
The saying “Birds of a feather flock together” rings true in every stage of life. At this level you must surround yourself with people who are planning on using their college experience wisely. Make sure that the friends you select help you grow and enrich you in a positive way. You will become the company that you keep.
6) Interact with your professors
The one group of people you may want to interact with the most are your professors. Your professors can be your best friends or worst enemies. The interactions with an instructor doesn’t have to be a deep intellectual conversation, though that doesn’t hurt, but just enough that they know you by name when it comes time for grades to be submitted. It can be the difference between a “C” and a “B”.
5) Get involved
This is a new time in your life! You will want to take advantage of all of the opportunities available on your campus. Get involved in as many organizations (Pep Club, Spanish Club, Radio Station) as you can while still balancing your school work. This will give you an oppurtunity to leave your comfort zone as well as connect with even more people on your campus.
4) Use your resources
While college does test what you know it also test your resourcefulness. There will be times when you have to search high low and everywhere in between in order to find the materials and information that you need. Take advantage of the library, internet, and notes in order to do your best in class.
3) Be punctual
Learning to be on time is one of the most important things you can do in your collegiate career that will help to translate to your professional career. You may not always be 15 minutes early, but at all cost avoid being late. Your tardiness can set a negative impression before you have the chance to let people know who you are. On the other hand if you are early it shows that you are determined and focused on your goal.
2) Have Fun!
These four years are going to be the time of your life. Enjoy them as much as you can. This is the only time you can be a quasi-adult with responsibility but without the full on pressure of adulthood. There are much to many opportunities for a student to bore themselves on campus. Be involved and make sure that you throughly get everything you can out of your experience.
1) Stay Focused!!!!
This is the most important thing you can ever know. You came to college for a reason that stands out above any other. That is to earn a degree en route to becoming a successful, contributing member of society. No matter the distractions that you may encounter, the stress you will surely have, you have to keep your eyes on the prize. Trudge through the doldrums and ride the waves, but you must obtain your degree by the end of your matriculation.
These are just a few of the things that every freshman should know coming into college. The best of luck to you and make your family proud!