As a freshman, it’s easy to come in overwhelmed by the idea of being in college. It is a big change in one’s life, and if you’re like most people you may not handle change well. However, knowing ahead of time what to prepare yourself for and how you should cope with life as a college student can definitely help to make things a little bit easier. Here are some tips I have to help you out:
- First off, do not go into it with the idea that college is entirely different than high school. Yes, there are definite differences (i.e. turning in more of your assignments via electronically, having classes at different times each day, not living at home if you’re a resident, etc.) but they have their similarities as well. Just make sure to 1.) Go to your classes-do NOT skip. Some professors will take participation points off if you skip, while others will do nothing. Either way, you need to learn the material your professor is teaching in class and not miss important information that is only available in class despite possibly having power points and whatnot online. 2.) Do your assignments and turn them in on time. 3.) Study for your test ahead of time instead of cramming. Ideally, try to study the material you have learned in a class right after the class or the night of. It has been proven to really help you learn and retain the information, especially when very few classes give daily assignments/projects. All in all, have good time management.
- Another tip I have is to get enough sleep. If you’re not sleeping enough, then in class you will be less focused…and it continually goes downhill from there. Same goes with eating and drinking water! It’s more important than you may think, but eating nutritious dense foods ( fresher foods instead of processed, packaged foods) will keep you healthier and feeling more refreshed.
- Make sure to get away from your room at times. You won’t be able to meet very many people and make friends if you stay cooped up in your room 24/7. Plus it is too small of an area to be spending a lot of time in. Find different areas to hang out/study such as the lounge in your dorm, the lower level of Krasa, or the library of Kindlon to name a few.
- Take a break from your roommate. If for some reason, you aren’t fond of your roommate, you probably won’t be spending much time with them anyways and will avoid them as much as possible. However, if you become pretty close with your roommate it’s almost more important you get away and find things to do separately. This would only be to make sure you don’t overdue each other’s company to the point where you’re stepping on one another’s heels. Trust me, you will be spending a good amount of time with your roommate as it is.
- Do things you enjoy. Don’t get too caught up in school, make sure to still have fun. Go to the movies or go to eat downtown Naperville, maybe even plan a trip with some friends downtown Chicago. Whatever it is you enjoy doing, just make sure you take some time to do it.
- Stay active. We are fortunate enough to have the Rice Center, which has a lot of great exercise equipment-treadmills, bikes, all kinds of weights and so, so much more. On top of this, it is free for you to use-so take advantage of it! It will help you to lead a healthy lifestyle and give you a break from your studies.
I hope this gives those of you anxious about becoming a freshmen in college the confidence you need to see that it’s nothing to fret about!