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Advice for College Freshmen - August 24th 2012, 03:09 PM

Hey, TeenHelp!

I know so many of our older members are moving into college this weekend and next for the first time.

For those of you already in college: What's the best piece of advice you can offer to college freshmen/new students?

With college being such a large life transition, it's great to know that places like TeenHelp exist to help us get through



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Re: Advice for College Freshmen - August 24th 2012, 06:25 PM

I was actually thinking about making this thread! and I might have more than one

If you're in a dorm, please clean up after yourself!

Organization is key, color code books and notebooks if you have to and an accordian folder and planner will save your sanity

Write your assignments and test dates in pencil in case they change

Most professors post their notes online, PRINT THEM to save yourself time. Just adjust the settings so you don't print one slide to a page (waste of paper)

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Re: Advice for College Freshmen - August 24th 2012, 07:18 PM

Being organized really is key to having a successful (or at least a less stressful!) first year of college. I also color-coded my stuff (like Kate suggested) - red binders/folders for math, blue for lit, etc. I also bought a desk calendar, and I updated it on a daily basis (if a desk calendar doesn't work for you, try a wall calendar, a planner/agenda book, or even your phone's calendar app!). I also color-coded my calendar, so it was easy to glance over and see what classes had assignments due the following week (that way, I knew to focus more on math than anything else over the weekend, as the rest could wait another week or two).

When it comes to socializing - start early, because if you even wait a week or two, you could be labeled as the "quiet one." I was pretty shy when I first started attending college (and I still am), but I made a point of introducing myself to all my dorm mates (there were 10 of us in total!), and as tempting as it was to stay in my single room and close the door, I pushed myself to hang out with them, even if it was just to eat meals with them or watch TV for a little while. If you don't seem to "click" with your dorm mates, look into joining a few clubs. I'd suggest going to 3-4 at first, because chances are some of them will "slow down" activity-wise after the first couple of weeks. This will almost guarantee you're left with one active club that is to your liking. =)





   
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Re: Advice for College Freshmen - August 25th 2012, 12:05 AM

Do your laundry once a week. My mother told me this when I went to college, and I laughed at her. I was like, "I have way more than a week's supply of clothes! I'll do it when I run out of clothes!" Yeah, bad idea. Oh, and don't wait until you go home to do laundry. I thought I'd do that at first when I came to college, and I went only went home once a month. So, I was only doing laundry once a month for awhile there. Meh, save your quarters. It's so much nicer when you DON'T have three weeks of laundry piled up in your room.

Save your quarters!! Don't buy that snack out of the vending machine with your quarters, save them for laundry!

Don't go out to eat often and drink lots of water! Great ways to avoid the Freshman 15. (It worked for me, anyway... I didn't start going out to eat until my second year of college xD).


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Re: Advice for College Freshmen - August 25th 2012, 02:31 AM

1. Don't study to hard, because you'll burn out fast. Time management: learn it now.

2. Get to know absolutely everyone. That creepy looking guy down the hall? Talk to him. Maybe he's not so creepy after all. I regret not talking/hanging out with most of the guys on my floor (we were the only room of girls on our floor).. They're some of the most awesome, fun and smart people I have ever met.. but I learned that a semester later than I should have.

3. You don't have to know everything. Don't know your major? That's ok. Don't know how you feel about doing things that you legally aren't supposed to do? That's ok. Do things when you're comfortable, it'll all fall into place when you're ready to make big decisions.


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Re: Advice for College Freshmen - August 25th 2012, 02:45 AM

The phrase "I don't have time" doesn't exist. You have time! During my first term at college, one of our classes required us to keep track of what we did every day for a week. You'll be amazed at how much time you waste.


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Re: Advice for College Freshmen - August 28th 2012, 01:03 AM

1.) Don't cling to your hometown. As great as it is that you and your high school clique are still BFF's, making new friends is ESSENTIAL to staying sane in college. You WILL need someone to lend you a dollar for coffee on the last day of finals. You WILL need someone to hang with when stress is high. You WILL need connections on campus to get a good work-study job. And hell, a lot of people meet their best lifelong friends in college. Don't waste this opportunity!

2.) Get to know your professors as best you can. I cannot stress this enough. Sit near the front, listen, ask questions, and approach your professors during office hours to talk to them about the class. Make some small talk (even if it's just about the weather, it will help them to see you as human.) You'd be surprised how many of them will be much more receptive to: writing recommendations for you, staying after class to discuss your work, and even advising you on independent study projects. If they see that you have a genuine interest in their class, or just that you are a kind, responsible human being, they will be more likely to care about your success. (Bonus: the better you know your professors, the better you'll be able to predict their grading practices.)

3.) No one cares how dorky you look. Depending on your school, there may be some high school cliques still in existence. But forget about them, because they hold MUCH less power here. Most people will be in the same boat as you, and will gladly commiserate on any awkwardness you may feel as a freshman. Everyone has quirks, and everyone's quirks come out when they're stressed the first year of college. Use that as a jumping-off point for friendship!!

4.) Study early, and study hard. I don't care if you're at Harvard, Cal State Fullerton, or Podunk Community College. Do NOT underestimate your course load. Your school probably has tutors for a lot of subjects, your profs have office hours for a reason, and study groups should start forming early. Get help RIGHT AWAY if you have any questions about ANYTHING.

5.) Have fun, but not too much. For a lot of people, college means freedom from parental rules. Yeah, that's great and all, but don't lose your mind. Your grades? They matter. Your extracurriculars? They matter. Your friends and family? They matter. I'm not totally against partying or even recreational drug use. But know when to quit and bring yourself back to reality.

6.) Meet new guys/girls. Yeah, you and your high school bf/gf are going to be together forever. I don't mean that your relationship is doomed to fail, but let's be honest. Most high school relationships don't work out. Don't be surprised if the relationship ends, and don't be surprised if you meet some new people that would be better for you than your high school sweetheart anyway.

7.) On that note, don't whore it up either. Sleeping with one partner after the other after the other isn't a good way to expand your horizons. It's just a good way to give yourself a bad reputation and distract yourself from forming quality friendships.

8.) All-nighters happen. Yeah, that project is due tomorrow. No, it wasn't posted on the class website. It was in that tiny fine-print note at the bottom of the syllabus that you didn't pay any attention to. Chalk it up to an "oops" and do your best to get it done.

9.) Don't be one of those people that blames the professor for their bad grade. Some professors suck, but the difference between an A student and an F student is taking some personal responsibility. If you got a D on the first project, find out what you did wrong and FIX IT. Don't keep making the same mistakes and complaining to your classmates about how the prof wronged you. It just makes you look incredibly petty and stupid. If you really feel like you're being graded unfairly, then take it up with the professor, and after that the department head.

I'm preaching a bit, but all this stuff is a combination of stuff I wish I had known and stuff I wish I could tell my freshmen acquaintances. I hope it helps a little, but doesn't scare you too much. College is meant to be about learning and bettering yourself, so make the most of it!


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Re: Advice for College Freshmen - August 28th 2012, 04:34 AM

Thank you Kat for making this post and everyone else for giving advice because I am freaking out about college a bit!!! I feel like its going to be too challenging for me..




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Re: Advice for College Freshmen - August 28th 2012, 05:28 AM

If you haven't figured this one out yet: start looking at the course schedule as soon as it's available and register for your classes the first second possible or you risk getting closed out of things.

Realize a good and bad reason to miss class; have a cold, go to class, get the flu STAY HOME. In reality missing a class here or there probably won't kill you (unless it says so in the syllabus), but don't get in the habit.

Also realize that your parents can't fix things for you anymore. If you have a problem with a professor, a grade, a loan, or almost anything else, you can call your parents, but it's up to YOU to take care of it

You will have days or moments where you get overwhelmed; like when you realize you have a test, a paper, and a project all due the same day! Being overwhelmed is okay, but don't stay in that mindset and freak yourself out. It makes everything you have to get done 100 times harder.


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Re: Advice for College Freshmen - August 28th 2012, 05:04 PM

Thanks for posting this guys It's probably going to save me in the future!



Sorry I couldn't be there, I was tied to a rocking chair.




   
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