How To Make It Count: 9 Things I Wish Someone Told Me As A Freshman

Going away for college is an incredible experience I think everyone should have. However, acclimating to a new environment of newfound freedom can be overwhelming.

It's important to remember you're there to get an education and prepare yourself for the real world, both academically and personally.

Use the four years you have wisely, and make every second count.

1. Utilize school’s free resources.

Your tuition pays for tons of resources that are important to utilize.

Some examples include free tutoring, computer labs, writing centers to aid with papers or assignments, gym memberships, free pick-up services if you’ve been out drinking and so many more.

It is important to familiarize yourself with these different services because they are here for students to use in order to succeed in school.

2. Go to class.

Being successful your freshman year is essential to your college experience.

During your first year, you will take general education requirements, which are classes such as English composition, maths and sciences.

These classes will probably end up being the easiest classes in your college career.

It is for that very reason you need to get As, in order to keep a high GPA for when you enter your actual major requirements.

Succeeding is as simple as attending class and lectures and completing necessary assignments on time.

Class really helps, especially because professors like to give pop quizzes and free test answers for students who actually try to attend classes.

3. Try to avoid early classes and Friday classes.

If you know you’re not going to be able to wake up for an 8 am class after going out the night before, don’t sign up for them.

Of course, if that is the only class time offered, you need to make arrangements and reconsider going out.

However, if you can avoid it, it is always best to take classes starting at 10 am or 11 am.

It is way more reasonable, and you’re going to need all the sleep you can get once you start procrastinating on papers or decide you need to make it to that party or bar the night before. Trust me.

4. Join a club or student organization.

It’s important to stay busy and meet people. What better way than to join a club or organization? Every university has many ways to get involved, no matter what your interests are.

And if they don’t have that specific club, you can become the founder of a club. Just find people who are also interested and get involved.

Whether it’s the chocolate lover's club or student government, universities always have ways for students to get involved.

5. Go through rush.

Even if you think it’s not for you, I highly recommend you at least go through rush to see if it’s something you see yourself doing.

Although it is pricey, sororities and fraternities are a great way to meet people, get involved and make a difference in your community.

A lot of people work in order to pay for their dues, and they are expensive because you are paying for things such as events and even meal plans.

It’s worth a shot because it’s better to try something and not like it, than to regret not doing it at all.

6. Put yourself out there.

Unlike high school, college is a judgment-free zone. People care about themselves and their success, not if you’re wearing Crocs or riding a bike.

So don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and do what makes you happy.

It’s also important to reach out and meet people, whether they are in your residence hall or in your class, chances are they are looking for new friends, too, so don’t be shy.

7. Know when you can and can’t go out.

It’s important to remember when you’re here, school should always come first. Sometimes, you’re going to have to be responsible and make tough decisions.

Mom and Dad aren’t here to tell you what to do, so you need to decide what's more important. I promise you, in the long run, it’s going to be school.

8. Watch what you eat.

The Freshman 15 is inevitable when you’re eating dining hall food and snacking until 3 am finishing assignments.

But no one wants to go back home in the summer, look in the mirror and realize you’ve gone overboard.

There are always healthy options surrounding you, and even if they aren’t always appealing, you should still make a conscious effort to try every once in a while.

9. Have fun.

College marks your last four years to live up your life before the real responsibilities happen. So take chances and make the best of it.

Discover yourself and your passions, and meet people who have the same interests as you. But most of all, HAVE FUN!