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What's it like to be a firstyear student here?

Like I know college is hard but how will it be for someone new starting there first year and any advice going in to my first year. #college

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John’s Answer

Jaylen for most young people, college is the first time in their lives when they’re truly living an independent life, able to make their own decisions, set their own timetable, and look after themselves each day, not needing to rely on mom or dad or anyone else. This can be exciting, but it can also be quite a tricky adjustment. In many cases, first-year students, in particular, can find it difficult to manage their time effectively, but this is something you need to work on if you want to have a great college experience. Try to set yourself a schedule and stick to it, which means getting up and going to bed at roughly the same time, setting aside time for work and study, and having a regular routine you can follow.

When you first arrive on campus, seeing the size of the place can be quite daunting. Many first-year students are overwhelmed by how big their colleges truly are, and it can take quite a lot of time for many of them to figure the place out, learning the fastest ways to get around and making sure to get to every class on time. If you don’t know the campus too well, you’ll be more likely to get lost and end up late to class. Not only that, but this may also increase your stress levels and make you more likely to slip and fall if you’re running around to try and find your way. Take some time when you first arrive to study campus maps and ask other students to guide you if you need some help.

Once you’re on campus, make sure you’re ready to make the most of the experience. College has a different schedule and a different approach to learning, and that requires flexibility on your part. Learn to make the most of your day and the most of the resource of the college, and develop a schedule where you won’t be burned out by the end of the week, or the end of the first semester. There are a lot of new things at college. Take them in a little at a time, give yourself room to grow, and it will be an incredible experience.

Hope this was helpful Jaylen

Thank you Dexter for your continued support. When we change our thinking, we change our actions, when we change our actions we change our futures. John Frick

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Malia’s Answer

This is a great questions and one I asked so many people as I was starting out. I was a first generation college student, so I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I applied and was accepted. The main thing to focus on when the process feels overwhelming is that you finished high school, an amazing accomplishment, and now you are well equipped for continuing your education in college. No matter what university you attend, there will be introductory courses that prepare you with what to expect, and the resources you will need to accel.

The advice I always give when answering this questions comprises of 3 tasks:
1. Ask your professors for help/clarity, not matter how small the problem,
2. Stand out! Don't sit in the back, quietly listening... Engage and become well-known to your professors, mentors, and advisors and
3. You are there to learn, so do the work - but give yourself breaks and time to digest the material.

I think what made college less scary during my freshman year was that I would consistently ask my professors for their help and extra time explaining any material I was stuck on. Having a mindset that you want to learn and truly using the great resources and minds that are provided for your education will reward you greatly in the future!

Depending on whether you have previous friends attending the school, another great way to ease your stress and engage in your education is to attend club meetings and extra-curricular activities through the school. Surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals and doing something you love within the University is a wonderful way to further encourage yourself to make the most of school! There are myriad clubs, opportunities, organizations, etc., that you can devote a portion of your time to that both give your mind a break and provide great resume builders for when you are finishing up school.

Talking to your advisors and/or mentors often, about how you are feeling in school, what classes you will need to take to pursue specific majors/minors/degrees, and about different clubs and opportunities on campus, will keep your options and path clear with little confusion and deeper understanding. Everyone is willing and ready to encourage and propel you through your career, you just have to make the first step!

I wish you the best of luck in this amazing process; Just remember, be confident and make the most of it!

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Lydia’s Answer

Hi Jaylen!

Being a freshman is a unique experience to say the least. It's super fun and exciting but it's also sometimes stressful and even a little lonely. I am a very independent person and going into college I didn't expect to be homesick, but I was. It's hard to be away from really everything you've ever known and it takes time to adjust. I thought college seemed so perfect and where you meet your best friends right away and everything works out, but that's not always the case. I didn't really find friends that I really loved and connected to probably until my second semester sophomore year. I'm a junior now and it's easy to forget that there was ever a time that I wasn't friends with my college friends since we have all gotten so close. I don't say all this to scare you but to tell you that it's not always as fun as it may look in movies or on instagram. On the academic side of things, it is so helpful if you really focus on school freshman year and boost your GPA as much as possible. Many freshman either haven't decided their major yet or haven't applied to it so it makes it that much easier applying to majors when you have a good GPA from your freshman year. I've seen a few people that screwed around their freshman year and really ruined their GPA's and have had a hard time since. Some people will adapt to college classes easier than others so if you struggle for a little while, that's okay. Just remember that you can always go to office hours and find classmates to study with. You're never alone in your struggles freshman year. Trust me, if you're struggling with something, I can guarantee so many other people are feeling the exact same way even if it seems like everyone has it together (they don't). It's okay to mess up or make a bad choice once in a while as long as you can get right back up. I hope you have a great freshman year and college really isn't as scary as it seems it just takes a little getting used to.

Good luck!

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Edgie’s Answer

Being a first year college is exciting but you may feel nervous as well and that is normal. Just be you, make friends, maybe you could explore nearby places whether it is a mall, museum or a small café around the corner, if you are new in the area. I also agree with Skylar that as early as 1st year, keep in mind that studies is your top priority, but also have fun and be involve with activities (inside or outside school) that will also help you be a better version of yourself, and at the same time you gained friends and meet people that for sure will give you learnings and you may also learn something from others' experiences. Enjoy the process and journey as a college student.

All the best! I know you're going to be amazing! :)

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Simeon’s Answer

For classes, I'd recommend printing off a copy of the curriculum for each class. The grade point breakdown is really helpful for giving the right amount of time to different assignments. This will help you use your time effectively. Use your early classes, which are usually easier, to experiment with different studying and note-taking approaches. Find what's comfortable for you and gets the best results. Also, try to take advantage of your ability to choose what times your classes are at to choose a schedule that is favorable for you.

I'd also recommend Chegg.com for textbook rentals that are much more affordable and the free app Quizlet, which is full of great study resources for many of the classes you'll be taking.

Lastly, don't be in a rush to join too many extracurricular activities. Give yourself at least a semester to settle in and learn your preferences before you commit to too many things. You'll also be learning your priorities as you have gained a new level of control over your life.

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Tiffany’s Answer

you should determine what are some things you know you DON"T want to do then rule these majors out. A business degree has alot of careers wrapped in it.

This is good advice on how to pick a major but do you have any other tips for this student's first year? I think the student would find more insight helpful Gurpreet Lally

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Skylar’s Answer

My advice is to prioritize your studies, but also to get involved in organizations on your campus! Whether you're interested in sports clubs, academic clubs, Greek life, or philanthropic organizations, there is more than likely a group at any college that will be the perfect fit for you. Enjoy your time in college, make friends, and make a positive impact on your community!