Going to college is an important milestone in life. For many college freshmen, it is the first time that they are out on their own and living without the constant supervision of parents. While this journey can be exciting, it can also be very overwhelming and understandably so. This new phase is different and anything different can cause trepidation and some confusion. If you are a college freshman—or are soon to be—the following tips are meant to help you take control of the freshman experience so that you can enjoy it to the fullest without risking your collegiate future.
1. Do Not Over Pack
When it comes to moving into college, it can be tempting to bring everything you own with you. After all, you will be living on your own without the comforts of home. Yet, this can be very time consuming to pack and you can waste a lot of time gathering items that you really will not need for that first year. Think about using the time that you are making the transition and packing for school to downsize and eliminate the clutter in your life. You will be going to college but unless you are going to a third world country, you will be able to find amenities close by if you need them. Pack light, pack smart, and your dorm room will thank you for it!
2. Get to Know Your Roommates
Roommates are something that is both exciting and terrifying when it comes to moving into school, especially if you do not know your roommates prior. In order to make the most of this situation where you will be living with potential strangers, make sure that you take the time to really get to know them beforehand. In today’s world of modern technologies and social media, it is easier to find the contact information of your future roommate and make that first contact. Try talking on the phone with them, rather than texting, and be sure to continue the dialogue once you get to school. Making an effort to get to know your roommates can mean the difference between making lifelong friends and hating that freshman year. And, if there are true and legitimate concerns that you may have, it will allow you to identify them more quickly.
3. Practice Stress Relief
Your freshmen year is going to be very stressful. Yes, it will be equally as fun but it will be scary and frustrating at times. College classes are different than high school courses and there are simply no ways to prepare for everything. Therefore, consider developing a stress management plan before you ever become stressed. This can include practicing yoga or taking a class. It can mean reaching out to health resources and finding a college therapist or it can simply mean making sure to take daily walks to help pump up the heart rate while releasing tension. Regardless of what is right for you, it is important that you go into classes and your freshmen year with a stress management plan.
4. Join a Club
Your school work is important and you need to keep that first when it comes to college life. But, being a freshman can be very isolating if you do not know the people with whom you are attending school. Whether you have friends on campus already or not, be sure that you make a concerted effort to get to know others outside of your normal social group. Whether you join a club or a sorority, reaching out and finding a group of young men or women to learn from and share with can mean the difference between a good and bad college experience. It will also give you the chance to build bonds that can help you in other areas of your life as well.