Nobody knows what to expect going into their freshman year of college. You can be the youngest of 3 brothers and visit your bros at school countless times before going to college AND your parents both work at a university and you still won’t know what to expect. Below, a bunch of people shared the things they wished they had known before starting college, and I think a lot of us can relate to this info. And those out there who can’t relate might be heading to college next fall, so it’d be wise to keep this info in mind before starting (via AskReddit):
The first friends you make at college don’t need to stay your friends for all of college.
Once everyone starts to adjust to the college lifestyle, you’ll probably find other people you get along much better with, and that’s okay.
8 o’clock classes are tough when somebody isn’t there to wake you up.
It is HARD to get your GPA up, but it is easy to lower it.
Have some fun
GPA simultaneously matters less than most college kids think and is also much easier to maintain than most college kids like to pretend.
That long distance relationship isn’t gonna work
This would be my #1 piece of advice. Not only will that long distance relationship not work, but you’ll be limiting yourself on the full freshman year experience in ways you can’t fully realize until years later.
Do not fall behind. Catching up is a pain in the ass.
Do your homework the day you get assigned.
Join a club or something, makes it easier to make friends.
SIT NEAR THE FRONT ROW. This is psychologically proven to have better grades and your professors and instructors will recognize you more.
Safely, fuck everything.
-You are about to go through the worst emotional state you’ve ever experienced. Please stop trying to be gung-ho about it and get help. Your GPA and friendships will thank you.
-Yes, you took this exact class in high school. The college version covers more material and is much tougher somehow. Please don’t treat it like an easy A.
-There’s a Panda Express hidden away in the union. It’s cheap. Go forth and eat terrible fried rice.
For the love of god, don’t buy any of the textbooks until the teachers explicitly tell you that they are necessary; even then pirate them!
If math isn’t your strong suit, online math will suck
Wrong answer: 0 attempts left
Your answer: 0.25
Correct answer: 1/4
Do not start playing League Of Legends
You are going to get frustrated and overwhelmed at certain times and as big as those moments feel at that time, they are very small and insignificant moments when you look back later.
This is what my best friend’s advice on college was:
1. Don’t bring as much stuff you wont use 80% of it
2. Call your mother at least twice a week, walking to class usually works.
3. The first weekend is the most important for making friends
4. The first few times that go out drinking and you think you need one more shot or beer, you DON’T
5. Keep you stuff clean, and you and your roommate will get along much better.
6. When you go out, drink water before bed.
7. The library and gym are great places to meet people and also the most productive places to be.
That the school offered 12 therapy/counseling sessions a year and I might’ve been able to work out more. I didn’t find this out until I was already halfway through my second semester and it was almost impossible for me to save my GPA. Always check what is offered to you and use the facilities and resources available to you. You’re already paying for them.
Always check your calculator before a test to make sure that its working. You can easily lose a lot of points over dumb little things
Do not sign up for a course early in the morning. Just because you took classes at 7 in the morning before, 8:30 is far too early for Chemistry 101.
1. Make friends in your classes, you will need people to hook you up with tests, announcements and have fun with.
2. GO TO RATEMYPROFESSOR.COM BEFORE PICKING YOUR CLASSES!
3. Don’t overwhelm yourself with too many classes, quality over quantity.
Getting a College diploma is great and all, but it’s just as important to get work experience.
1. “When someone shows you who they are, believe them.” -Maya Angelou. I gave some people way too many chances when it was obvious they were d-bags. Conversely, I’ve forgiven certain close friends many times because I KNOW they are good people fighting demons.
2. Be in your room for a purpose. TO study, TO sleep, TO spend time alone and unwind. It’s easy to let time slip away if you just chill out by yourself for no reason.
3. Go as wild as you can as long as your grades are good.
4. There are more people like you than you think.
5. If therapy/counseling is free for students, by God take advantage of it if you’re struggling mentally.
(also, if you dance in front of the entire freshman class at orientation at an assembly, girls will think you’re confident and really attractive…found that result out too late, unfortunately…_
Transfer student here: MAKE SURE YOU HAVE ENOUGH CREDITS SO YOU CAN TRANSFER BY THE END OF 2 YEARS.
I feel like it’s my fault for not knowing, but it sucks that no one told me about it… spending an extra year before I can transfer because even though I was a full time student, I didn’t have enough units by the end of the spring semester.
Join a club. Not to sound like a college brochure, but they really are great places to meet people. Especially if you go to a commuter school where the majority of people live off campus, and it’s hard to make friends.
Ask people out often and don’t be nervous if they don’t respond to your friendship.
Bust your ass to get an internship, soo many people think a degree is a sure fire career, it’s not.
If your degree seems easy it’s likely not worth your money or time, many schools feel like diploma mills these days.
Last, but not least.
Take good stock of what is required of you in each course and maximize your returns. This isn’t a “go to class, it’s expensive!”, “study every day!”, “go to more parties” type of statement.
Sit down and look at all your courses. The syllabus. Is there mandatory attendance always? Sometimes? What is the reputation of the professor? How many exams are there? How many assignments are there? Is the final cummulative, or is the course split? Would you benefit from previous exams? Is this a Professor you want to have a relationship with? Will an A or B make a difference in your life path?
Then, you plan. Plan. Seriously. Plan your slacking. Plan your last minute work. Plan your studying. There are some classes where you can learn all the material in two weeks. There are others that need two months. There are some where your grades on coursework and earlier exams don’t really matter. Oh, the final is worth 80% and 70% is typically an A on the curve? That 20% coursework, don’t get burned out over it.
Calculate your payoffs and act accordingly. If going to a tutorial every week for 13 weeks gets you 5% overall, you may be able to skip a few. If it’s worth 30%, skip none.
The key to not burning out is properly calculating your payoffs and knowing what will happen in each scenario. You waste less time. Have less stress and are happier. Just be honest with yourself.
Also, your social life doesn’t have to be anything like anyone says. Do what you like. Calculate your payoffs. Fraternity? Calculate. Finals Club? Calculate. Never go out? Calculate. Glee Club? Student Government? Debate Society? Christian Fellowship? Calculate. Know how much time it takes and what your payoff is.
Critically analyze how you spend your time and you will NOT go wrong.
I would add:
If you go to a college that’s big on sports try and attend as many games as possible. Not just football and basketball, but every sport. It’ll be the only time in your life that you can attend that many sporting events for free, and when you graduate and some of those players go on to become pros it’ll be fun to think back on seeing them play in person.