College can be one of the best and scariest experiences you will ever have. Graduating high school and looking into your options as far as college is concerned can be stressful and tiring, I know it was for me. However, once all the shenanigans of getting accepted are out of the way, the true test begins – being a freshman student.
People joke about how you can easily spot freshmen on campus because they look lost and disoriented. I’m here to tell you how to avoid that and actually keep a straight head during your first days as a college student.
Finding my way around campus
Depending on where you decide to study, your college may or may not have a campus attached to it. A campus represents a collection of buildings and services that are specifically designed for student needs. You can find student dorms, cafeterias, libraries and college lecture buildings on a campus. My own campus was difficult to navigate at first because I moved to my dorm from a small town where everyone basically knew everyone else.
Pro tip: Find or create a map of your campus and memorize important routes and names of important buildings.
Creating a schedule
Since I graduated high school only months prior to my acceptance into college, I was shocked by the amount of lectures and hours I had to put into every subject. I immediately knew that ad hoc learning won’t do so I got a notebook for scheduling purposes.
Some people prefer smartphones and apps but I decided to be old fashioned and keep track of all of my obligations. The notebook quickly grew and became a permanent part of my backpack since I put all of my college and side activities into it.
Pro tip: Find a scheduling system for your obligations as soon as possible. You will be surprised by the amount of work you will have to put in as a freshman, so don’t let the start go to waste.
Lectures & first impressions
If you plan on dazzling your professors during the first week with your smarts or high school grades, don’t bother. While I gave my best to introduce myself to each professor separately, I was preceded and followed by many colleagues who did the same. Professors will memorize you and your colleagues with time, so don’t feel bad about being forgotten at first. Focus on getting to grips with each subject and pay attention to every lecture in your first week.
Pro tip: First lectures are reserved for get-to-know activities and semester overviews – pay close attention to the requirements of each professor and their subjects.
My first week as a college student was stressful and frightening – I didn’t know anyone coming into campus. Luckily, every class gets together as soon as they are formally introduced, meaning that I started making friends by the end of the first week.
Keep it together and don’t panic over college just yet. Freshman year can be the most difficult year of all because you are simply unprepared for the work and flow of everything. Take the semester one day at a time and do your best to be fair to everyone, your college staff and colleagues included.