Best Advice for College Freshmen

Gabriella Scalf
Edited by Sophia Patane
Published on
April 20, 2023

Freshman year of college can be an exciting but also stressful time for students. Here are ten helpful tips for getting through your first year of college. 

  1. Prioritize your mental and physical health. Arriving at college and being thrown into a new environment may overwhelm you. Taking care of your health is extremely important to allow yourself to perform at the highest level possible in your classes and other school extracurriculars. 
  2. Maintain a college budget. While most costs like tuition, room and board, and your meal plan are upfront, college comes with many hidden costs. Keeping a record of all expenditures will be helpful to students, considering they will be accountable for extracurricular spending.
  3. Be cautious when choosing roommates. One major transition for many college students is adjusting to sharing a room with people who could be acquaintances or strangers. Roommates may be able to avoid issues if rules and boundaries are made clear from the beginning. 
  4. Battle college stress. Freshmen can reduce some stress by getting enough sleep every night, exercising regularly, or seeking counseling services on campus.
  5. Consider joining clubs or Greek life. Freshmen who worry about making friends on campus should consider joining a fraternity or sorority. Greek life exposes students to upperclassmen from whom they can receive advice, especially on navigating their first year of college. Other clubs can achieve similarly beneficial goals!
  6. Make an impression on faculty members. Go to a faculty member’s office hours at least once per semester, if only to introduce yourself. Be more than just a face in the crowd to them. Creating a well-established relationship with them may end in your favor when asking for recommendation letters.
  7. Remember that grades don't define you. You may do worse on more tests and assignments in college than in high school, but that doesn’t define who you are as a student. Discuss with your professors why you got questions wrong if you don’t understand why. Discover new studying habits that may improve your concentration and motivation to continue studying. 
  8. Pick friends wisely. Surround yourself with motivated and kind people. You commonly turn into people that you hang out with. Don't become friends with someone that could hinder you from being successful in college or other aspects of your life. 
  9. Work hard from the beginning. A GPA that is too low can put you behind the ball for later years. You should work hard from the start, and avoid waiting until you get to the more difficult courses in your later years at the school.
  10. Take breaks. The brain can only handle so much information at one time. Taking a  break will give your brain a needed rest and help you better concentrate and retain more information overall. 

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