Real Tips for College Freshman

  1. You don’t have as much free time as you think you do! If you find you have time to burn, something is wrong. There is something you should be doing and you probably need to get help figuring out how to manage your time.
  2. Keep in mind that you write your resume every day, with every action and every choice you make. If you haven’t done it, it can’t end up in your resume when you get ready to apply for internships, jobs, scholarships, or graduate school.
  3. Do some personal exploration to learn more about who you are. Don’t leave college without knowing your V.I.S.A. (Values, Interest, Skills, and Abilities).
  4. Plan to participate in at least one Internship, Study Abroad, Alternative Spring Break, Volunteer, or Campus Leadership experience the summer after freshman year.
  5. No matter how big the class will be, a professor can still know you by name if you participate in class, ask questions, and/or go to office hours.
  6. Find them and use these study-resources on campus:  Academic Advising Office, First-year Experience Program, Writing Center.
  7. College freshman year is FULL of decision-making points. Take responsibility for your own actions and learn how to make decisions.
  8. Find wise people to have conversations with and ask questions.
  9. Keep connected with your off-campus support group. All those people who helped get you to college are still available for you. Don’t keep challenges to yourself.
  10. Don’t be worried if you change your major. Most college students do. However, the smart thing to do is to get advice on how to do it.
  11. Don’t jump into career decisions. Think more about what you want to DO when you graduate, instead of what you want to BE. The career direction you ultimately choose might not even exist now.
  12. Watch your social media habits. Keep your reputation online positive. Like never before, YOU are responsible for your own brand. A good name is good to have, easy to lose, and hard to get back.
  13. Do all you can to develop your teamwork and communication skills as well as the ability to analyze situations.
  14. Expect to feel overwhelmed sometimes. Whether you are living on campus or living at home, the college freshman year will bring with it a lot of changes.
  15. Make good choices about how to spend your money.
  16. Make good choices about the food you eat. Being sick at school is no joke.
  17. Read your syllabus and know when projects and assignments are due. Before you know it, it will be time for mid-terms.
  18. Time management MUST be a priority. Use tools like a day-planner, stop watch on your telephone, or alarm to keep you focused on priorities.
  19. “Show me your friends and I will tell you who you are.” Keep this as one of the mantras you try to live by as you discover your way through college.


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