How to Survive as a College Freshman

No doubt about it, the freshman year of college can be tough. You’re adjusting to more independent life, a new setting, being away from friends and family, and facing a brand new learning environment with more challenging studies. But the freshman year of college doesn’t have to be a challenge that you should be anxious about. Here’s how you can survive-and thrive-in your first year as a college student.

Go to orientation. It’s simple, and you were probably planning on doing it anyway, but orientation can help so much. You’ll get a tour of the campus, find out about important spots, services, events, and so much more. One afternoon or weekend can help you save an incredible amount of time and frustration when school starts, teaching you about the things you need to know to get along in campus. Miss it, and you’ll have to figure them all out on your own.

Stay in contact. If you’re far from friends and family, make it a point to stay in touch with home. You’ll probably be dealing with homesickness and a little taste of home can help you feel much better. Don’t neglect your relationships, and take the time to come home for visits when you need it.

Meet your advisor. Even if you don’t need your academic advisor’s help now, you probably will in the near future. Turn to your advisor for assistance in planning classes, finding the right courses for you, and choosing your major.

Do the work. It’s tempting to blow off class and spend some time on the college lawn with your new friends, but there’s a time for that-and it’s not during class meeting times. Make your classwork a priority, stay organized, and don’t let yourself get behind.

Make friends. It will be mighty difficult to survive life on campus without a little help from your friends. Even if you arrived with some friends from high school, make it a point to get to know people in your class, groups, and dorm area. You’ll have much more fun and can learn much more about what’s going on in your campus if you get to know people.

With the help of these tips, you can make the jarring experience of freshman year just a bit smoother. Plan ahead, take advantage of opportunities, and remember to relax and have fun when you can!

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