With senior year of high school complete and a diploma under your belt, a familiar chapter of your life has come to an end. You may be packing up one stage of life, but it is just the beginning to new experiences and opportunities at college. Transitioning from the former big man on campus to being the newbie at college can be intimidating, but it is a valuable experience that is a once in a lifetime. As an alumni who was once in your shoes would advise, there are things you have to do as a college freshman.
Make new friends
As cliché as it sounds, college is a great opportunity to make friendships that will last past commencement. In the first year, everyone is new to the institution and in the same boat as you. Do not be scared to branch out and meet as many people as you can. College is an emotional roller coaster, and having people who understand your position makes it easier.
Tailgate at a football game
Nothing says school spirit like some hot dogs on the grill and team apparel on your back. Fall semester kicks off with college football– the perfect time for freshman to bond with their fellow peers over the defeat of their opponent. Going to a school with long standing football traditions? Get a jump on the crowd and long lines, and go early! Camp out with your propane, food and friends in preparation for the game.
Get familiar with the town and explore
This will be your new home for the next four years and you should take the time to become familiar with the inter workings of the town. Make it a point to get off campus and explore new restaurants, landmarks, museums, and theaters. Being a student comes with perks and many places offer discounts that you can take full advantage of.
Join a sorority or fraternity
If you are looking for a sisterhood or brotherhood on campus, then pledge for an organization of your choice. Each chapter has their own purpose and values, so you can pick one that will fit for you. There is no better year to join than your first because you will create friendships that will last your whole time at college. You will have more years of growth within the Greek life community, and more opportunities.
The dreaded freshman 15 is not a myth. It exists. A meal plan with unlimited foods and sweets combined with late nights equal a recipe that can leave your waist line feeling tight. Combat the urge to be sluggish, and get your blood flowing! Get involved with intramurals for some friendly competition, or make regular visits to the gym. Good habits overpower the bad.
Get to know your professors and upperclassmen
Too cool for school? Think again. When applying for internships or jobs later down your collegiate road, professors make the perfect resource for letters of recommendation. Many students think that their instructors are impersonal or do not care about their students, and although this may be true about some, there are many who want to see their students succeed. Take advantage of office hours, and don’t miss any chance to network. Upperclassmen also make an excellent resource in advice and guidance. Don’t be afraid… they have been in your shoes.
Try something new
Be a yes person. Be open to trying everything at least once. College is an opportunity for new experiences, and being inside your comfort zone would interfere with your chance to live. Crazy ideas turn into eventful memories from freshman year that you will never forget. Make decisions for yourself and step outside the box, but always remember to be safe!