Hit the Ground Running: 5 Tips for Incoming College Freshmen

Image by Davide Cantelli, unsplash.com

Image by Davide Cantelli, unsplash.com

High school is finally over and you can’t wait to head off to college. The next four (or five) years will be some of your best, but you might get to campus and find yourself suddenly nervous and overwhelmed. Here are a few tips to help incoming freshmen get off on the right foot.

Don’t Over Pack
You know when you go on vacation and only wear half of what you brought? Your freshman year of college will be kind of like that. You don’t need 27 notebooks. Start with one per class, a few extra pens, just the basics. You can buy other stuff as you need it. And don’t even think about bringing every pair of jeans you own. Dorm rooms are small, don’t bring more than you can easily organize.

Let Your Parents Be Involved
Sure, having your parents hovering around when you’re settling in may feel embarrassing, but trust us, you won’t be the only one with hovering parents. Aside from the fact that one or both of your parents is probably a master unpacker and organizer, going off to college is hard for them too. Let them have the little bit of extra time. You’ll be glad you did when they get in the car and drive away.

Don’t Flip Over a Bad Grade
When you’re in college, your GPA can feel like everything. Maybe it’s really important to you get to those additional cords when you graduate, but at the end of the day, your GPA doesn’t determine your success outside of school. We aren’t saying you shouldn’t work hard and strive for good grades, especially if you want to go on to grad school, law school, or med school, but don’t forget to enjoy your experience and make new friends.

Ask for Help
Going off to college can be challenging, from being in an unfamiliar environment to the higher expectations. If you need help, ask. Whether you’re struggling in a class or having a problem with someone on your floor, there are plenty of people around who can provide you with the help you need. Learning how to ask for help is also a valuable real-world skill and the sooner you develop it, the better.

Get Involved
This is especially important if you’re coming to school from out of town. Schools like UC Clermont College encourage getting involved in sports, clubs, or other activities that will help you find like-minded students and develop new relationships. It’s also important to network, whether within these organizations or with teachers and other authority figures who can help you get a TA position or internship.

A great start to your college career will make it easier to have a great finish. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and make your freshman year exciting. When you look back at your college years, you’ll be happy you started on the right foot.

This article was contributed by guest author Brooke Chaplan.

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