Tips from a senior to a freshman

It is that time of year again. As the wind starts to get a bit chillier and the leaves start changing hues, a buzz (whether positive or negative) begins to fill the air. It is time for school to start again.

For someone who is in the same boat as I am, school starting up again is nothing too different or exciting. This is the fourth time that I have gone through the hassle of moving in, finding classes and struggling to scrape up enough money to pay for books. For me, school starting is a routine, but for a freshman, school can be incredibly exciting and scary at the same time.

College throws you out into the real world and teaches you lessons and skills that you will actually use the rest of your life (sorry high school, but never in my life will I need to find the slope of a bell curve).

The new experiences and freedom of college are perhaps the best things about it. No longer are your parents hovering over you telling you how to act or what to do. In college, you get the chance to blossom into the person that you will be for the rest of your life. But that does not happen overnight; it is a long, tedious process that comes with many ups and downs, and that will knock you to the ground when you least expect it.

You just need to take things step by step, and there are certain things that a person can do to make college easier and more bearable (especially during those times when you are thinking of dropping out, which will happen).

First, be social. It is one of the easiest things to do, but also can be one of the most intimidating things to do. If you have a roommate, who you hopefully like, you automatically have a friend. Having a good roommate means you have a partner in crime who will go out with you whenever opportunity presents itself and who will not mind going and getting Taco John’s at one in the morning. But you cannot only have one friend. You will need to have a network of friends who can support you, and cheer you up whenever you are down. The cool thing about college is that you do not need to go far to meet people. If you are in the dorms, you are literally living in a building that houses dozens of potential friends. And go outside of your dorm, too. Throw yourself out there and meet as many people as possible.

Second, get involved. Whether it is joining Greek Life, intramural sports or any of the organizations on campus, go out and be a part of at least one thing. Not only will this help you be more social like discussed above, but also it will give you the chance to develop skills that a classroom setting will not offer. From being involved in Greek Life and a handful of organizations, I have learned skills like leadership, teamwork, efficiency, dependability, punctuality, trust, etc. All of these skills I acquired will benefit me for the rest of my life, and they are all skills that came from getting involved. So take the chance to be a part of something great and learn from it.

Third, find a stress reliever. College is stressful. Sometimes extremely stressful, so it is good to have something to relieve that stress. Read a book, play video games, go workout, play an instrument, do crafts, etc. Have something that you can always go and do to relieve that unwanted stress.

Fourth, stay in contact with your friends and family back home. Do not let your new life be your only life. Always remember that you have people back home who care about you and who want to know about your day. Do not drift away from those people, for it is almost a guarantee that your friends and family back home have been through a lot with you and will always have your back. So keep them involved and updated on your life. They will be happy you did and so will you.

Fifth, stay healthy. Do not go to Chick-fil-A everyday and get a deep-fried sandwich and fries. Eating healthy is essential to doing well in school, and staying mentally healthy as well. Do not be an advocate for the “Freshman 15,” unless of course it is muscle weight, which in that case, bravo. Eat your fruits and veggies, drink plenty of water and work out a couple of times a week. You will be happy you did.

One final piece of advice: do your homework.Yes, college is a time to go out and have fun and to make memories, but be sure to never forget why you are actually here. You are in college to get a degree and to land a solid career with which you can support yourself. And you will not get that degree without doing the work for it. Sure, homework sucks, but it is a necessary evil. And in the long run, you will be happy you spent all those hours doing it.

 

Jordan is a psychology major and can reached at [email protected]