It’s that time! You’ve worked hard, graduated from high school and now you’re on your way. Freshmen year can be exciting, fun and also overwhelming. Remember this is a monumental moment in your life. Life as you know it has changed. Many adults will say it is the best time of your life. Why wouldn’t it be? As a college student you can come and go as you please. No one tells you what time to get up, when to study or what to do. However, what may seem to be an advantage can actually be a disadvantage. With freedom comes responsibility. As an adult, YOU are accountable for getting up for class on time, studying, acquiring/maintaining good grades, managing your money, and leading a fun yet sensible social life. It is a great deal for a young person to manage. While the transition may not be easy, it doesn’t have to be hard. If you implement these useful pointers, you can start your first year off on the right foot.
1) Prepare to Move In Ahead of Time-Whatever you do, DO NOT wait until Move In Day to pack. Doing so guarantees a moving day from hell. Take the necessary measures to avoid the hassle. Make a list of the items you plan to take with you at least a couple weeks before. Being organized is your weapon against sudden inconveniences and unforseen catastrophes. Pack your car, truck or van the night before. Not only will you have a restful sleep, your head is clear and you can make any quick adjustments if necessary.
2)Move In Early– Move in day is hectic enough. You have thousands of students (and parents, siblings and/or other relatives) moving their entire lives into a residence hall (dorms in my day). My parents and I would pack the car the night before and get up EARLY the next morning just to beat the mad rush. My dorm opened at 7 a.m. We would arrive no later than 6:30. I know what you’re thinking…YES it was early. However, we were always guaranteed a parking space right in front of the dorm. I had first choice of a large move in cart (which held most if not all of my items) to transport rather smoothly because the number of people moving in was small. By the time we moved everything in, made my bed, hung my clothes and arranged all of my things, the campus was full. There was little space, no place to park accept far away, carts were all reserved and the elevators were extremely slow due to the volume of people. By ten o’clock, there was madness…and we were done! I understand you may not be a morning person. But for the sake of your sanity, sacrifice this day. You’ll thank yourself by noon. Not only does the early bird get the worm, he gets the parking space, moving cart, easy access to the elevator and an early lunch.
3) Become Acquainted With Your Roommate-Unless your roommate is a friend of yours (which I advise against), take some time getting to know one another. My first roommate was Lucia Garcia. Our differences were like night and day. Not only were we from different races, there was a difference in cultures, beliefs, and age. We were a bit apprehensive at first. However, after getting to know one another we got along well.
4) Get To Know Your Campus-The last thing you want to do is be late on the first day of class because you have no idea where your class is located. Review your campus map, find your designated buildings and take a walk across campus. This is also a good opportunity for you and your roommate to get acquainted. Find your building, room location and rest easy knowing that you will not be confused on the first day of class.
5) First Day of Class-Attend all classes and be EARLY! It’s pretty self explanatory. Nevertheless, without your parents directing your every move, it’s easy to slack off. This is where self discipline comes into play. Not only do you want to make a good impression, you want to be ready and alert. When you receive the class syllabus…READ IT! The syllabus provides a detailed breakdown of the class, subject matter, assignments, and exams. Be aware of due dates for each assignment, quiz and exam. If it’s listed on the syllabus, it’s your responsibility to complete and submit all assignments ON TIME.