Surviving Freshman Year of College

woman arriving at freshman year of collegeAdjusting to life in college is a challenge for every freshman. You go from being the top dog in high school to the bottom of the totem pole. It may sound discouraging, but it is an inevitable rite of passage. This transition can be accomplished smoothly and you can make the most of your college experience. The following list provides suggestions that every freshman should know before they begin their collegiate adventure.

Six Things College Freshman Ought to Know

1. Start applying for scholarships… NOW

You may be tempted by all the easily accessible student loans available to you, but don’t solely rely on them to pay for your college education. Do yourself a huge favor and start applying for scholarships early. You can never have too much financial aid money, so you might as well aim to receive as much funding as possible.

2. High school pranks don’t cut it anymore

The jokes you once thought were funny will now seem immature. If you notice people rolling their eyes or dismissing you when you try to be funny, you need to think a little harder about what you are saying. Don’t worry, you will develop your style over time.

3. You will probably get picked on

Unfortunately, some students may experience a little bullying when they first arrive at school. Hopefully, this will not be as bad as elementary or high school, but still it’s something to watch out for. You just have to take everything in stride and ignore any mean comments that drift your way. When bullies know they aren’t impacting you, they will stop messing with you.

4. Getting wasted is not cool

As tempted as you may be to get wasted at a toga party, you must keep your alcohol intake in check. Cops love to check in on college parties, and they WILL arrest you for underage drinking. Even if you will be of legal drinking age (or you avoid getting caught by law enforcement), you’ll be liable to make a complete fool of yourself under the influence, or make decisions you will regret. While partying is a fun experience in college, try to remain sober as much as possible and focus on your studies – even if you think that’s dorky because…

5. You actually have to study in college

You won’t be able to ignore the professor when s/he gives a lecture, and wait for the last minute to study for an exam. High school is much easier than university, and you’ll learn that the hard way if you procrastinate. Show up to class, focus, or join a study group. This will allow to get into the momentum of achieving good grades.

6. It will be worth it in the end

As stressful and lonely as your new life may seem sometimes during that first semester, you need to know that it will get better. Just like you went from freshman to senior in high school, you will accomplish the same growth in college. Focus on getting your degree and getting through this year in one piece. In the end, you will be proud of all the hardships you overcame.