Preparing for Your First Year of College

Top Tips for Preparing for Your First Year of College

Entering the world of college as a freshman can be overwhelming and a bit scary. There’s a whole college campus to get used to, along with new classrooms, schedules and so much more. Are you prepared for it?

You might think you are ready, but you really won’t know what college is like until you step foot on campus as a freshman. There will be lots to learn and get comfortable with.

Go to Class 

The biggest temptation for college freshmen is to skip class. Lots of colleges do not require attendance, but that should not deter you from showing up. There really isn’t a lot to gain from skipping out. You pay big bucks to go to college, so you must use your time wisely.

Get Used to Reading

One of the biggest differences between high school and college is that you will read a substantial amount more in college. You have to get used to that. Professors in college will expect you to do much more outside of the classroom, and that includes tons of reading.

Start Building Your Credit Score

College is the perfect time to begin building a great credit score. You should open a bank account, and get your first credit card. Keep in mind, you want to be as intelligent as you can with these accounts. Know your terms, fees and be in absolute control of your finances.

If you can’t seem to keep your spending in control, it would be best to just cut up your card. You need to make smart decisions in order to create good habits with money. Simply put, don’t spend what you don’t have.

Don’t Be Rude

One of the biggest differences in college versus high school is that you will do a whole lot more sharing. You will share common areas, kitchens, public spaces, washers, dryers and living quarters. With all this sharing, you need to do your part in being kind and respectful. Don’t wait to move your clothes from the washer to the dryer, do your dishes, don’t leave trash in the common areas and be kind to your roommate(s).

Get to Work

College is a great time to learn the balancing act of school and work. It is the perfect time to land a part-time job. Ideally, you should look for something that will directly relate to your major. If that is not possible, look for a job that will let you do quiet study on the clock. For example, working the desk at the library or athletic center are great choices.

Find All the Ways to Save Money

Likely your bills will still be minimal in college, but you want to make good habits that relate to saving money. A great idea is to not bring your car. Most college campuses are small enough you can walk everywhere or most have decent public transit for a longer journey.

Also, take advantage of your campus amenities. Many campuses have free health centers, tech support, medical facilities, etc. Get to know what freebies you can score.

Get to Know Your Professors

In college, you want to make long lasting relationships, and this includes your professors. Most professors are a wealth of knowledge beyond the classroom. They can help you not only with homework, but they can help you see the bigger picture with your major and future career.

Step Out of Your Comfort Zone

The best part about college is that there is always something to do. The campus usually plays host to a plethora of activities, clubs and events. Go to them. They are usually free and require little to no obligation. This is the time to explore yourself and find out what it is that you truly enjoy doing.

Be Careful

Your first year in college will be absolutely exciting. There are going to be lots of people to meet and lots of things to do. You never want to completely let go of your safety. This means always being aware of your surroundings and avoiding dangerous situations, like getting drunk.

Take care of yourself in college. Many people will want to take advantage of your good nature, especially when you let your guard down. If something bad were to happen to you, report it immediately to the police. Be smart and make good decisions, always.

Final Thoughts

There is a lot that goes on when you are a college freshman. Not only must you get used to a new campus and a new school, but it truly is a turning point in your maturity. It is time to step out of the shadows of your parents and off their coattails. It is time to become the adult you were raised to be with a smaller safety net.