15+ Important things I wish I knew as a college freshman
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15+ Important things I wish I knew as a college freshman

Important things I wish I knew as a college freshman. Some students can seamlessly join college, while others are not. Some students find it easy, while some find it hard. 

As someone who has just finished campus, I can say that my college freshman year was a bit of both.

Some things were relatively easy for me, while others were especially hard. It’s for that reason, that I thought it’s helpful to compile all the things I wish I knew as a college freshman

Without further ado, here are:

15+ Things I wish I knew as a college freshman

1. Time is precious

As a college freshman, I wound up wasting so much time doing foolish things.

So foolish that when I look back, I can’t pinpoint exactly what they were. I simply don’t recall because they weren’t important. 

Keep in mind that time is precious. Those semesters will fly by. You’ll wake up one day and find yourself a junior and wonder wtf?

Which of course brings in the question, what should you focus on as a college freshman? Now that I’m going on and on about what you shouldn’t do, what should you do? 

I have written a blog post on that. Just click the highlighted text.

2. Download the class schedule

I don’t know why this wasn’t obvious to me, but I had to learn this the hard way.

The way our CX system worked was that once we picked our classes and everything finalized, there were pieces of information that couldn’t be downloaded or printed along with the class schedule. 

This is why smart students would download them immediately after they registered for their classes.

You need to print it out because that first week you won’t be able to remember exactly where your classroom is or who your instructor is. 

Having your class schedule in soft copy will make sure you don’t get lost that first week looking for a class whose location you are uncertain of. You also need to know the instructor’s name just in case, you just never know. 

3. Download the bus/train schedule

There will come a time when you will need the bus schedule, so be sure to have it in soft copy at least or as a screenshot on your phone. 

If you can have it as a hard copy, that is also ideal just in case your phone dies you know. It never hurts to have a plan B.

I have talked about why it’s important for you to have a bus/train schedule in-depth in this post here, just click the highlighted text.

4. Create a routine 

As a college freshman, I don’t think I had a routine until I was almost done with my second semester. 

Your routine is dictated by your class schedule.

Your whole life as a college student revolves around your class schedule. If you keep this in mind, college shouldn’t be all that difficult for you to navigate.

5. Have a study schedule

It is also important to have a schedule to keep track of your study times. 

If you don’t plan to do it, then the chances of you being moved by the powers of the universe to study are slim to none.

Only a fraction of the student population actually enjoys studying, which is why you should plan for it in your list of things to do.

6. Build some stamina

I honestly didn’t know how much stamina it takes to be a college freshman. It is crazy! 

Of course, it depends on your Alma mater and your college major but regardless, it takes a lot of stamina.

Between classes back to back, group assignments, a part-time job, and club activities, it is easy to crush and burn.

This is something no one mentioned to me at any point. It’s something I realized along the way while I was panting and struggling with my mental health as a college freshman feeling really overwhelmed.

It’s why I’m telling you, so you don’t say you weren’t warned.

7. Make a classroom buddy

It is a great idea to make a classroom buddy. You might find yourself taking the same classes with a certain student. 

It would be wise to make friends with them. They could catch you up if you ever missed a class or something. 

In a super huge class, they could also save you a seat.

A classroom buddy could also help you improve in many ways, especially if you pick one who is better than you in areas that really matter, like say they study more than you, they are always punctual, they seem to have their life together despite having a plate that’s just as full as yours.

That’s the type of classroom buddy you should aim for.

8. Your GPA matters from day 1

I had to learn this one the hard way. I might even make this a storytime sometime down the road.

Your GPA should be a priority from day 1. Pulling up a messed-up GPA is such a hurdle. 

You can save yourself the trouble of having to fix it, by not breaking it in the first place.

Keep an eye on your GPA from day 1 of being a college freshman, and you won’t regret it.

10 Steps to help you become a 4.0 College Student

9. Make the right friends

I saw this happen to so many students right until my final year.

I mean, show me your friends, and I’ll tell you your character, right?

If you wish to excel in college, then the people you spend your time with as friends must have the same ambitions as you do. 

What happens if you can’t find anyone like that?

You wait. That like-minded person will show up at some point.

I saw students who I considered academic rivals fall so far behind me just because they chose to keep friends who had no life trajectory whatsoever.

10. Balance is the key to life

Balance is tricky for everyone at every stage of life.

No one is expecting a college freshman to sensei of school-work-life balance. 

On this, I’ll just advise you to keep a planner. There are so many good ones, but I live and die by Google Calendar and Google Keep. That’s all I needed.

Try and have time blocks for all the things that matter, and you should be fine. More or less.

11. Date outside of school

Wow, no one talks about this, but I’ll be your big sister and give you some life-changing advice.

If you love school, then I advise you to date people who go to other schools.

Why?

For people who love school as I do, it is the place you go to shine. It is the place you go to get lost in the thing that you love and to find yourself in it as well.

For that reason, you have to protect this sacred environment.

Probably when you’re reading this, you’ll be rolling your eyes and saying that I don’t know what I am talking about.

However, when you watch your college classmate or roommate going through an ugly breakup, you will thank all the gods, that this blog post warned you in advance.

12. Don’t be a campus wife

This is something else that no one talks about. 

Don’t be anyone’s campus wife. You are both college students. 

You have no business doing someone else’s laundry and making them dinner unless you live in a communal house where everyone is required to contribute to the house chores.

13. Set semester goals

I have written a post about semester goals and why smart college students set semester goals

You can click on the highlighted text to read it. 

Semester goals are so important for so many reasons, which is why you need to set goals at the beginning of each semester.

14. Make use of course advisors

Visit your course advisor. They are on the campus payroll for a reason.

This is something that I learned the hard way so that you don’t have to.

I have also written a post on services provided by the course advising office. If you don’t know what the course advising office does exactly, then go ahead and read the post I have linked in the highlighted text. 

15. Visit the career office 

This is another office that college freshmen never take advantage of.

This office exists on campus to make your college life easier. If you don’t know or aren’t sure of the services, then please click the highlighted text.

I have written a full post on the services provided by the college career office, which was inspired by my time working as a career peer advisor in the career office of my alma mater for the entirety of 2020.

16. Know fundamental policies

Your college handbook is given to you for a reason.

It is for you to read and know what you can do as a college student and what you can’t do. 

It is for you to know what your rights are as a college student, as well as how to defend yourself given certain situations.

A lot of students end up in difficult situations in college because they don’t familiarize themselves with the policies, but really, whose fault is it?

As a college student, you are equipped with all the information in financial policies, absentee policies, disciplinary policies, and sexual harassment policies, it is up to you to read this information and be in the know.

17. Know where the important offices are

This will help you a ton, as it helped me as a college freshman.

You need to know where all the important offices are.

You need to know where the dean’s office is, where the student welfare office is if you’re an international student, and where the office that is meant to focus on your needs as an international student is. 

You should also know where the career office is, the course advising office is, the internship office is, and where the counseling center is. 

18. Ask for help

Last but not least, you should know when to ask for help.

Please believe me when I tell you that when you’re a college freshman, no one expects you to know anything.

No one is expecting you to have it all figured out. That is why there are so many offices on campus that exist to support you. 

They exist because they are expecting you to have a hard time/challenge at some point.

You shouldn’t be drowning in mental health issues just because you’re trying to handle everything on your own. 

It’s okay for you to ask for help. Not only is it okay, but it is also highly encouraged.

If you just joined college, congratulations! I really hope this helps. I wrote it with you in mind. 

 

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