College was such a memorable time for me. The new-found freedom, the different people, the parties … everything was so much fun. It can be an enriching time for anyone. However, if I made poor decisions, college would have been a real drag.
Many freshmen try to take on too many things in that first year or take dives they are not ready for. This could lead to burn-out and to an unpleasure experience. Here are a tips that may help you get through that first semester, or your entire freshman year.
- Know yourself and your limitations . You are the only one that knows what's best for you. Take into consideration the guidance your parents give you. But if you can not handle 20 hour class load, then do not take that many hours. On the other hand, taking less than 12 hours for any reason other than a full-time job and children is unreasonable. If you're like I was (18, single, living with parents, no job, no bills, no children), then a 15-18 hour load is feasible.
- Prioritize and manage your time. There are so many things to be done in college: class, projects, parties, organizations, etc. But if you do not manage your time, you may find yourself in deep trouble. Although I am not, nor have I ever been, a morning person, all of my classes were in the morning. I used the afternoon to study and do any assigments I needed. That way by 4 pm I had the rest of the day to do as I pleased. Take care of business first, then get to the fun stuff.
- Do not procrastinate. No matter how overused, this is one of the most important tips. Most professors write out a syllabus for their class. Therefore you will know when an assignment is due and when a test will occur. Common sense: if you have two weeks to finish an assignment, why wait until the night before to start on it? Keep a date book and make note of all of your class assignments and exams in order to stay organized.
- Make wise decisions. Now that mom and dad are no longer with you every step of the way, you now have the freedom to make your own decisions: when to eat, what to eat, when to sleep, when to wake up, when to study, and when to party. While partying can be lots of fun, you've got to still be responible. Common sense: If you have a test Thursday morning, it might not be the smartest idea to stay out late drinking Wednesday night. A test and a hangover does not usually mix well.
- Get some sleep. You are no good to anyone if you are tired and worn out. All-nighters are common, but not wise. If you do not know the material by 10 pm, I doubt you'll know it by 7 am either. All you'll get is a useless body and brain, and a bad test score.
There are so many things that can go wrong your freshman year. However, following these basic guidelines may help to make the transition from high school to college less stressful.