This is it.
You’ve gone and enrolled yourself in college and you’re now ready to take the next step into further education.
This could be your first time living alone, or maybe you’re already experienced in that.
Nevertheless, this guide to surviving life as a college freshman will have some tips and tricks for everyone, so read on ahead and pick up some valuable advice along the way!
1. Learn to cook
Now this doesn’t mean that you have to start cooking like Gordon Ramsay, but knowing a few easy, quick-to-prepare recipes will be an instant life-saver once you’re in college and hungry all the time.
Gone are the days where your parents can put food on the table every night.
My advice for this? Ask your mother or father (or whoever it is that cooks in your house) to teach you a couple of your favourite dishes (as well as tips and tricks to make the process even easier). Once you start school as a college student and are cooking for yourself, you’ll be grateful that you’re not living on two-minute noodles and energy drinks every single day.
2. Get to know your roommate(s)
The good thing about social media these days is that nearly everyone’s on it!
That means you can hop onto Facebook or Instagram to track down your roommate(s) and get to know him/her/them as soon as possible. Why is this so important, you may ask? Well, you’re going to be living in ve-e-ery close quarters for some time. Not getting along could really ruin the college experience for you, especially when you’re a newbie freshman!
Ask some questions about your roommate(s), find a common interest to bond over. Forming a connection with whoever you’re living with will be very important in ensuring you enjoy your best possible college experience; so get off your butt and go do it!
3. Manage your money
Leaving the nest means two things: one, you get to decide what to do with your money now and two, you have a lot more things to spend on with said money.
With this newfound freedom comes huge responsibility, hence it would be smart to draw up some budgeting plans and to-do lists once you start living on your own. Figure out the best prices for anything you can get a discount on. Don’t be lazy — even that shampoo bottle can save you a couple bucks if you look for every possible alternative that could be cheaper and better for your wallet.
In the long-run, your bank account will thank you. Smart money allocation never hurt anyone!
4. Choose the right classes
This might sound more like common sense than actual advice, but every year there are hundreds upon thousands of college freshmen around the world who make the crucial mistake of choosing the WRONG classes for their course. Basically: do not pick an 8AM lecture if you’re not a morning person!
Understandably, you can’t exactly avoid compulsory electives.
However, you can try your absolute best to pick classes that you genuinely enjoy. If you don’t do this, it could actually result in lower attendance and bad grades, which could affect your college experience.
5. Form study groups
It’s not easy to maintain discipline when you’re on your own in college, but it certainly is significantly important to your education. As a freshmen, you could get swept up in the relaxed, carefree party life and slacking off.
Try and avoid this by getting a few friends together for study sessions (they don’t even have to be from your major!) to ensure that you’re all keeping on top of your work throughout the year.
6. Explore the Nearby Restaurants
Sometimes, even though beggars can’t be choosers, the repetitive diet of cup noodles and the few home-cooked recipes you do know can get pretty tiring to eat.
With this, you could really have some fun by trying out all the cuisines nearby, whether or not it be simple Chinese take-out or the hole-in-the-wall pizza that you find on a night out! Sample every option to determine what’s cheapest, tastiest and most efficient in terms of keeping up a balanced diet.
7. Take time for yourself
As a freshmen, things are bound to get hectic as you make one of the most important transitions of your life. In this whirlwind of an age, it’s crucial that you take time for yourself to relax and recharge.
College can get ridiculously tiring, no doubt. Put on a movie, sleep in ‘til noon, wear a face-mask. Chill.
8. Stick to a schedule
Even though it’s crucial that you take time for yourself to relax, it’s even more important that you stay on top of a schedule — especially in your first year at college!
Take ten minutes to sit down and plan a timetable.
Fill it with your weekly classes, activities and free-time to create a loose plan for your time as a freshman. This is such a simple way to keep organised and ensure that you not only have a fun time at university, but a responsible, stress-free journey as a student.
9. Get some sleep!
Once you’re in college, it’s going to feel like there’s not enough hours day to get everything done. Between classes and socialising, as well as cooking for yourself and laundry, your internal body clock is bound to go absolutely haywire with all the late nights and early mornings.
Similarly to taking time for yourself, making sure you get a decent rest every night can really improve your overall happiness and health.
Even if you have to pull a few all-nighters, do try to make up for those lost hours by sleeping extra long!
Last tip for a college freshman is, of course, about getting homesick. Honestly, it will happen. Whether or not you lived with your parents, grandparents or any other guardian, college is going to be something completely new that will have you missing something about back home (and if not, then great!)
It’ll be easy to feel jealous of your peers as they visit home and bring their parents in.
If you can’t do the same, make sure you make lots of phone-calls to your faraway loved ones and do not mentally distance yourself simply because there is physical distance!