13 Tips On Starting And Surviving Your First Year Of College


1: Take advantage of scholarships: Do you like “free” money? because that’s what scholarships essentially are. Many scholarships have certain requirements that the candidate must fit in order to apply, but some are simply fill out and send in. Do as many as you can, to help your chances on being selected.

2: Talk to professors: Your professors are there to help you, so don’t be intimidated by them. Most professors actually enjoy when students show interest in their well being and grades. Don’t be afraid of them, even if it’s just to stop in and say hello, they appreciate it.

3: The dreaded freshman 15: While university meal plans provide plenty of food and snacks, you must learn some self control because they are tempting to go over board with. It’s pretty easy to grab a couple hamburgers or french fries instead of hitting the salad bar, but in the long run a healthy body is just as important as a healthy mind.

4: Research different schools: Don’t just go with the first university that accepts you. Apply to various different schools and university’s and research them vigorously and methodically. This will help better prepare you for your future ahead at a school you will likely be spending four or more years at.

5: Talk to actual students, not just tour guides: Tour guides are great at selling a university as a product and not so much as a service. While they’re great to help you learn about the buildings and different restaurants around the area, they’re there to sell it to you. Sit down with a student you see whose maybe studying or having coffee. Hell, buy their coffee for them and ask them the questions the tour guides didn’t answer or that you were maybe to afraid to ask.

6: Don’t be afraid of distance from home: While being close to home is a great luxury for many students, going a little bit past your comfort zone may be a great opportunity for you to excel and learn. Distractions of old friends, going home too much, etc.

7: Explore the town or city your college is located in: This is a very important step in understanding the culture surrounding your university whether it be looking at the art fairs or concert venues in your area they are all great ways to explore your new world around you.

8: Learn to party (socialize) but in moderation: Ah yes, one of the biggest advantages to going to school is no more parents to tell you what you can and can’t do, but it’s important not to let this go to your head and affect you or your grades. Don’t be that student who as soon as they get a taste of freedom you go out there and abuse it by getting hammered every night or smoking weed on your buddies futon. Treat it as a reward for a hard week at school.

9: Utilize school resources: University’s have so much to offer when it comes to resources that help expand a students mind. From the ever dreaded library to the vast services such as Ebsco Host or e-books that are available through your university account, use them to help you with your assignments and projects.

10: You don’t have to buy the books from the university book store: One of the biggest complaints in college is textbook prices. Well, many of these textbooks can be rented through sites such as Amazon or Chegg. Make sure you also look through your library to see if maybe checking out a book may be possible.

11: Revisit those professors you liked: You know those professors that you absolutely adored and loved? Well show them by visiting them during their office hours, even when you’re not in one of their classes. They can help you immensely after your college career by being used as reference or even recommending you to fellow colleagues.

12: Commute if you can: Living on campus is a fantastic way to start your college career and as mentioned in tip six, dont be afraid of distance. But, if you do end up choosing a school or university near your hometown, commute. Its a great way to save A TON of money by not having to pay for room and board, as well as meal plans.

13: Hang in there: While it may be tough and the end seems very far away, hang in there. Getting through college is a daunting task that sometimes seems unbearable at times. Just remember what you’re there for. A good education where you’re able to grow as a person as well as meet new and exciting people during your time there.

More From Thought Catalog