Making The Most Of Your Freshmen Year At College

Colleges across the country will be welcoming students to their campuses over the next several weeks. For returning students, they got their routine down. For incoming freshmen, the coming academic year will be exciting and challenging.

Colleges across the country will be welcoming students to their campuses over the next several weeks. For returning students, they've got their routine down. For incoming freshmen, the coming academic year will be both exciting and challenging.

Your Freshmen Year Will Set The Trend

Over the next few weeks, this year’s college freshmen class will be arriving at campuses all across the country, a little bit scared, very excited, and certainly wet behind the ears. As much as your son or daughter has prepared for college life, there are many unknowns which will crop up, new experiences which will shape them over the months and years ahead.

All those years of preparing your child to leave home, to sprout their wings, will soon be a fond memory. The training up time is over; your student is now in the game of life.

Surviving Your Freshmen Year

Of all of the college years, the very first year can be the most difficult one as adjustments to a new life are being made. Students who successfully navigate through their first year are in good shape to complete college and on time. Those who struggle during their freshmen year may fall behind and increase their chances that they’ll eventually quit school.

To help your student run the race with certainty, the following tips should be kept in mind:

Relax — The last thing an 18 year old wants to be told is to relax. However, calmness will help your son or daughter to adjust to a new environment enabling them to handle the stresses related to major change. Encourage your student to carry a sensible schedule the first year and not be in a rush to declare a major. This is a good year to take several electives and to explore what direction your child wants to go.

Housing — Most schools require boarding freshmen to live in the college dorms, an experience that can be fun, challenging, and even difficult to get used to. Many schools try to put similar students together as roommate compatibility can go a long way toward impacting your college experience for better or for worse. If you get stuck with an absolutely miserable roommate, you’ll want to rectify that issuer as soon as possible.

Orientation, Registration — Try to complete your orientation prior to registration or you could be doing both just about the same time. Some colleges will not even allow you to register for class before going through orientation, a step that can give you a good feel for where everything is on campus. At this time you’ll get your food passes, dorm assignment, parking sticker, etc.

Classes, Books — If you can wait to buy your textbooks until class starts, then you can learn which textbooks your professors require and which ones are optional. To save money, consider renting your books through a service like who can quickly ship to you whatever you need. Get all of your other supplies while still at home shopping the “back to school” sales to save on paper, pens, notebooks, etc.

Have Fun — Your lighter freshmen load can work to your advantage, giving you a chance to boost your GPA and consider the ensuing years of your education. This can be a good chance for you to find out about various college related activities including football games, clubs, special events, and more. It can also be a time where students who are not rooted and grounded in a solid moral upbringing begin to stray. Without offering to you a lecture, you’ll want to be on guard for those people who look at college as a four-year party instead of a chance to pursue academic excellence.

Its A Wrap!

You’ll have plenty of other decisions and situations to handle during your freshmen year including homesickness, whether to work a part time job or not, adjusting to college food, new professors, relating to people from around the world, and much more. There isn’t enough room to cover everything here, but the related reading and resources you follow are certainly worth perusing and bookmarking for future reference.

Best wishes to you this academic year whether you’re an incoming freshman, sophomore, upper class men, or a grad student.

Related Reading

Quitting the books — About half of college freshmen fail to graduate within six years

Tips for Freshman Academic Success

Your First Year of College: 25 Tips to Help You Survive and Thrive Your Freshman Year and Beyond


College Planning Tools

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Categories: Education Tips