Hey, my name is Alejandro and I’m a senior at Babson College (fellow Beavers hello!). I’ve had my own personal experience with college— obviously— and I've also spoken to tens of students at different universities about what they think are the essential tips you need to be prepared for university in preparation for this blog. Of course, these tips are not completely exhaustive but they are what I think are the most important tips for an incoming freshman. The tips are not ordered by rank and none are more important than the other!
- Balance your social life and your school life: The typical cliche, I know. But trust me, it’s as important as people say. You will be invited to many events, go out on the weekends and also on school days; it’s important to find the correct balance between your social life and school if you want to get the most out of your university experience. There is no formula to this. For some it’s 50/50, some 70/30, some 20/80, they all work if you know how to manage your time. The issue is not giving into pressure and going out when you really are not supposed to.
- Join a club: Your university will for sure have some amazing clubs that you should join. If you’re into dancing— joining the dance club; love chess—join the chess club; math wiz? You know where I’m going. Joining these clubs is a great way to meet new people and do the things you’ve loved doing before joining a college.
- Take advantage of orientation: Orientation is the best way to meet new people in the first week of school. The first week is nerve racking, no way around that. The best way to manage that is to put yourself out there because remember, everyone is in your position and is as nervous as you are.
- Mingle with dorm mates: You will most likely, 99% chance, live your first year in the dorms at your school. There will be tons of people living there with you. Take advantage of this and go to the common room, kitchen, or any space your dorm provides to meet new people!
- Remember the names of people you meet: This tip is not only for your freshman year but for life in general. Remember people's names: people really appreciate it. This is a sure way people recognize you and potentially invite you to events if you know their names.
- Maintain a healthy relationship with your roommate(s): You will most likely live with a roommate your first year, and you will spend the majority of your time with them. Sure, there are people that are just not in the dorms ever but it's very rare. Maintain a healthy relationship with them by setting boundaries, sleeping schedules and noise levels during the night, and overall just trying to be friends with your roommate. Most problems people tend to have freshman year is with their roommates, don’t let that be you.
- Do your homework: Easy to say, harder than you think to follow. A lot of homework/pre-class assignments are optional. Most reading assignments are optional. Doing those will not only help you in the graded assignments, but they will also help your reputation with the professors and TAs as they will know you came prepared to class.
- Maintain a healthy lifestyle: Freshman 15 is real. It’s not easy maintaining a healthy diet your first year— I have first hand experience of this… Go to the gym! Eat balanced meals at the cafeteria. Don’t know what that is or how to work out? Watch a youtube video, honestly lifesavers and it’s free.
- Explore the area around campus: A fun part about college is that you don’t live in your parents house anymore. Take advantage of getting to know now only your campus but also the city/town it's in.
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It is simpler to say than it is to do. Many of the pre-class and homework assignments are optional.The majority of reading requirements are optional. You can check out at SweetStudy. By completing those, you will not only improve your graded assignments but also your reputation with the professors and teaching assistants because they will see that you were prepared for class.