Advice for College Freshmen: Make Your Freshmen Year of College Better.
Looking for advice for college freshmen? Thinking back to my freshmen year in college, there are a few things that I wish I'd known about. This page is full of advice for college freshmen, and it's some of those things I wish I'd known about.
I have tried to cover the most important points so that you can get the information you need if you are already a college freshmen.
Scroll down this page, look at the bolded sub-titles, and read the sections that interest you most or that you need first.
There are many other important points about college success that aren't mentioned. So, don't assume that this page has everything you need to know about life as a college student.
Use this website to find answers to the other questions you have as a college student.
Registering For Classes
Some advice for college freshmen who are registering for classes for the first time is that you must learn that you are responsible for your future now. You need to choose wisely.
As you think about what you want to major in and what classes you need to take, talk to a counselor and visit the career services or career placement department at your school.
Talk with the counselor about choosing a major based upon your interests and goals. It's important to consider what kind of work and income you can make with the specific majors you're interested in.
Also, learn which professors are best to have for the classes you need. A great resource to use while learning which professors are better than others is a website called ratemyprofessors.com
When you get to the website, search by school using your school's name. Then you can look up reviews of the professors alphabetically by his or her last name. You'll know which teachers are teaching the classes you want when you pick your classes.
A good professor can make all the difference when learning new material. So, don't skip this piece of advice for college freshmen.
Register quickly! Classes fill up fast and since you are a college freshmen you will get to register last, after everyone else has had a chance (don't hate this part the system, just do your best with what you have).
Know the exact day when you can start registering.
You can learn this by looking on your student portal (if your school provides this to you online) or by calling the registrar's office.
You need to know what classes you need to take by this day in order to ensure you get in them. So, be proactive in the choices you make.
Go to Class
I know that this advice for college freshmen seems like a no brainer... but how very important it is!
Going to class and paying attention will help you learn material so that you can do better on the homework assignments, pop quizzes, and tests.
Also, professors will sometimes tell you what is going to be on the next test as they lecture! This is so important because you will know exactly what to study for the upcoming test.
So, if the professor says, "You'll need to know this for the next test", or "There will be a problem like this on the next exam", be sure to put a big star or reminder next to it so that you will remember to study it later.
When it comes to when and how to study, this is advice for college freshmen that helps with understanding the subject of the class.
The best thing you can do is to set aside a specific time and place to study daily. Shorter, more frequent, study is always more effective for learning the material than longer, less frequent, study sessions (i.e. cramming).
By doing this, you'll be able to concentrate more easily when you need to study because your mind and body will know, when you come to this place, it's time to study.
It might sound weird, but it works!
Plus, by having a place set aside to study, you can have extra materials (like extra pencils, paper, staples, etc.) on hand so that those things don't distract from your study time.
When it comes to knowing how and what to study, I'd start with your in class notes and the syllabus that your teacher gives you on the first day of class.
Then, use your previous homework assignments, quizzes, and even tests (as you take them of course) to help you study the most important material.
Preparing for Tests
When it comes to test preparation always remember to start preparing in advance. This advice for college freshmen is advice for any college student.
Luck favors the prepared!
Cramming isn't the way you want to spend your college life. I know that there will be times that it happens, but having shorter, more frequent study sessions will be more effective.
Shorter and more frequent studying allows the mind to develop the intuition that you need to do well on any test you have in college.
Make sure to use your notes from class and the assignments covering the material as you study. Professors will sometimes announce in class, "This will be on the test" (as was mentioned earlier)!
Remember to put a star or circle that material with a red pen so you can come back to it when you study. This will help make your study sessions more efficient because you know exactly what to study.
Another word of advice for college freshmen about tests is that if you don't pass a test, don't fret too much.
This is of course easier said than done.
I know it is hard to keep a good attitude when you just found out you scored low on a test. But, any test result loses importance over time.
Just take a bad test score as good feedback for where you need to improve. If you don't know why you missed certain questions, go talk to your professor during his/ her office hours.
Most professors will be happy to help you if you are considerate of their time.
Should I Buy My Textbooks at the School's Bookstore?
My short answer to the question above is NO! My long answer is only if that is the last and only place you can find it!
My word of advice for college freshmen about textbooks is to buy used textbooks whenever possible. College is expensive already! Why make it even more so?
An even better alternative to buying new textbooks, especially for those general requirement classes that aren't relevant to your major, is renting your textbooks.
You just rent the textbook for the semester, at a much lower price than buying, and then send it back at the end (the renting company will usually pay for shipping both ways)!
Use the internet to help you find used textbooks quickly. A website that I have found to be very helpful in finding cheap textbooks (both to buy and to rent) is www.valorebooks.com.
This website provides prices for new, used, and rented textbooks from a variety of different sellers. It is like a search engine for the best price on textbooks! You will also find customer reviews of the many different textbook sellers before you buy.
All you need to do is go to this website with the ISBN numbers (the 10 to 13 digit number found on back cover of the book just above the bar code, or on the inside of the book with the copyright info) from each of the textbooks that you need, enter in your ISBN numbers into the search bar, and then go with the cheapest option.
Cheapest in dollar amount isn't always the best though. A used book does read as well as new book, but you don't want one that is missing pages or one where the cover is hanging by a thread!
Read the item descriptions of those you are most interested in and then decide.
What about Fun in College?
My advice for college freshmen about fun in college is- make sure you have it!
I think that is enough said.
But, if you need some ideas, just look around campus. There are always fliers and posters advertising things happening on campus!
Join groups, get involved in extracurricular activities, and go to different events.
If you have an athletics program at your school, then the sporting events are always a good time and a good place to make new friends.
Family & Friends
As you go through school, you may or may not have family help. My advice for college freshmen is to keep in touch with family, and especially with your parents.
Even though you are away at school, make sure to keep your relationships with family members alive. Before, during, and after school, your family will be around.
Keep those relationships strong.
If your family is supporting you through school, be sure to develop an attitude of gratitude. Thank them often for their help and support.
College is the perfect place to make new friends. As far as advice for college freshmen, there are three places I would say that you definitely need to make new friends in college.
1) Make friends in every class. You need a friend in every class to sit by, study with, and to get information from if you ever miss a class.
2) Make friends in groups and clubs that you join. Since you're joining these groups because you have interest in them, you can bet the other people in the group have similar interests as you.
These will be easy friendships to make because you already have something in common with every person in the group!
3) Make friends with your roommate(s). You might as well since you have to live with them! Be a good roommate yourself and do your best to get a long with your other roommates!
Should I Work As a College Student?
My work advice for college freshmen is ONLY if you have to. Remember why you are in school- to educate yourself so that you can improve your earning power!
Working can easily hinder your school work. Then, you will get behind in your homework (which is like being thrown into the deep end of a pool without knowing how to swim). This will cause your grades to slip, and you won't be a happy college student!
However, a job is doable (I know because I have one while I'm in college). Just make sure if you do have a job that it will work with your school schedule, and that you can manage it and school.
You don't want to burn yourself out from doing too much (advice for college freshmen, but advice that any wise student will follow). Learn to follow your hunches. If it seems that it might be too much, then follow that.
Also, remember the old saying, "All work and no play make Jack (or Jill) a dull boy (or girl)!"
If you do get a job, make sure you still have plenty of time for your school work. As with any job, know that you will be expected to work between semesters and on school holidays.
If you don't manage your time well, you will be paying a lot of money to only get a mediocre education. If you get mediocre training, then you'll only be a mediocre worker.
AND MEDIOCRE WORKERS MAKE MEDIOCRE SALARY!!!
So, remember, your education must take priority whenever you have a choice. But, when you have to work, it can be done with good time management.
In the End...
In summary, this page is full of advice for college freshmen, but it is helpful for any college student. It isn't everything that you need to know for college, of course.
But, these ideas will give you a good start!!!
Skim through the different headings and put this advice to use.
Have a good freshmen year!