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How To Survive Your Freshman Year of College

Congratulations! If you are reading this post, it means that success may not be measurable for you yet, but you have a zero tolerance mindset for mediocrity - you are striving for excellence! Research and action is equal to progression, and that is what college is all about.

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College is fun, if you like to party hard, be sure to study even harder. Before my freshman year in the Fall, I had an opportunity to take summer courses.

Firstly, there is a difference between learning, which is when you retain the information, and learning how to just get by. I may not be the first to tell you any of this, but barely getting by in college isn't as 'cool' as it was in high school.

College serves as preparation for the workforce. Whatever career of your choosing, you need to take the information seriously. I'd rather hire a doctor who received straight A's in all of their courses, compared to a doctor who 'barely got by.' What about you?

Here are some things I gained from choosing to do a summer semester of college:

The Campus

I lived in the on-campus apartments and I had to commute to main campus every day to arrive to my classes, which took about 5 minutes on the bus/15 minute walk. (Some days I had no other choice, I had to walk because the bus was so crowded but hey that was good exercise.) All that walking around did help me become familiar with the campus; I saved so much time in the long run.

Academics

One downfall of opting to do a summer semester, in my opinion, is that a typical college summer semester is 6 or 7 weeks; a typical Fall semester is 16 weeks, which means summer school students will be doing 16 weeks worth of work in 6 weeks. Some students may not find an issue with this, but the work did tend to become overwhelming.

Speaking of the workload, I did slip up this summer. I didn't do a few worksheets and my professor told me even though the worksheets did not have a lot of weight point-wise, those worksheets could have made a difference between a B letter grade and an A letter grade.

Lesson: Do ALL of your work yes, even the little worksheets. The extra padding in points will help you, for instance, if you don't perform well on an exam. I learned that the hard way.

I could have spent my summer partaking in an internship, but I opted to get an early start on my college education. Even though I did not participate in the internship I was supposed to take this summer, I did stay in touch with the coordinator maintaining a good relationship with an organization/business will help you in the future. I plan on graduating at least a semester early. I also plan on having an internship every year.

Communication

Know who is who on campus; familiarize yourself with your student leaders and professional staff on-campus. Attending college this summer, I had an opportunity to make my mark on campus. I communicated with many upperclassmen on Facebook before making my decision of attending this college. As a result, when getting to campus, I ended up running into many of the people I talked to; so much, I barely remember who I communicated with, but they remembered me.

A simple message or email can do wonders.

Warning: Being too nice will make people think you're running for a leadership position. One day, I decided I wanted to cook spaghetti. One of my friends asked could they have some and work got out I was cooking and sharing. I ended up giving away 10 plates of spaghetti. After speaking with other people around campus, I heard that some student thought I was preparing for a campaign, when in reality, I have no intentions in getting involved in student government. Nutshell: Be mindful of what you say and do. It may be misinterpreted.

Study Habits

This is too typical your friend comes to your dorm, bangs on your door until you open it, and then begs you to join him/her at this meet-and-greet or party tonight. It is very tempting, you're really tired of studying, you're hungry and the party has free food and then you find out some more people you know plan on going to the party as well and then you say to yourself: Well then if they're going, I can go!

We (yes, including me) fail to realize that as college students, we have freedom to choose our own schedules. No one has the same schedule as you do. Throw your classes into the equation along with extracurricular activities, out-of-class requirements, university mandates, etc. and you may find yourself over booked! As a college student and as a rising professional, learning to organize and prioritize is essential to your success.

Easier said than done.

Here are some tips on how to manage your time:

1. Get a planner and calendar

2. Invest in a bulk of sticky notes I find that writing in different colors sticks out. You may know you need to return those library books, but after scanning over that note many times it becomes repetitive to your brain and may slip your memory. Make it stand out by using different colors.

3. In your calendar or planner, set aside time to relax. So if you want to party, make sure it is not going to interfere with sleep or class. If you plan on going out late, I hope you have a class after 12 noon.

4. Find a quiet study area such as the library NOT your dorm. I found it was best if I studied with someone who could keep me on track and away from distractions, like notifications on my cell phone. For me, studying alone is really stressful.

5. Studying is a lot of work, so make sure you reward yourself. I found that studying in intervals (30 minutes, 6 times a day) works best for me. I reward myself with dinner or some ice cream.

6. Do NOT schedule all of your courses back-to-back! Remember, I found that studying in intervals was most effective! Cramming information after a day full of difficult classes is not going to make you retain information. After class each day, I look over my notes and even call my classmates and compare notes. I noticed when I talk or engage with someone about a lesson, I am more likely to retain it.

Put yourself to the test to prove you truly have retained the course lesson and even talk about it with someone else.

Grammar

Please, brush up on your basic grammar skills! For example, familiarize yourself with the difference between: there, they're, and their.

Also, omit contractions from your creative writing incubator. Most professors hate reading contractions such as that'll, wont, don't, can't.

The Freshman 15

The Freshman 15 is the idea that during your freshman year in college, you will gain 15 additional pounds which forms after eating high carb/high fat foods. This is deadly, avoid it at all costs! To avoid gaining the Freshman 15 1) Stop eating junk food 2) Stop sitting around after eating 3) Find workout buddies.

Lastly, do not forget to take advantage of your campus resources, they can definitely help you cope with the Freshman 15 and other college stress.

If you feel like you are going to slip up, remember why you chose to go through all of the trouble of reading this post about succeeding in your first year of college. You've been through too much to give up.

Posted in Health and Medical Post Date 07/17/2019


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