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How To Survive And Thrive During Your Freshman Year Of College

Friday, February 22, 2019

Starting college as an incoming freshman is exciting, but it can also be nerve-wracking. You will likely make lifelong friends, but you may also encounter dilemmas you have never faced before — all in a new environment. Fortunately, there are several best practices you can adopt that can help you survive freshman year — and thrive in the process.

Freshmen Face a Variety of Challenges

One of the most exhilarating parts of college for many freshmen is the gain of independence. That newfound responsibility comes with freedoms, but it can be tough to learn how to balance the two. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Managing your time: When you were in high school, there may have been someone in your home who helped make sure you attended school every day and reminded you about homework. When you’re at college, you are responsible for getting to class and budgeting your time to finish homework, study, and complete papers and projects.
  • Meeting people: Many incoming freshmen worry about making friends. You may know some people at your college, but there will be many more unfamiliar faces. You might feel like an outsider — but the reality is, most new students feel the same way.
  • Staying on top of the workload: College coursework is usually harder than high school coursework. In addition, where high school teachers may have given you opportunities to turn in work late or re-do assignments, most college professors expect a higher level of performance from students.

Tips and Best Practices

Whether you are getting ready to head to college next year or you’re already midway through freshman year, these suggestions can improve your experience:

  • Stick to your schedule: It can be tempting to skip classes when nobody is there to make you go to them. That’s especially true for larger classes where students perceive their professors won’t notice their absences. However, college classes generally move quickly. If you miss class, you could fall behind and will have a tough time catching up with the material. Stick to your class schedule to maximize your college education.
  • Organize your life: Whether you use a paper calendar, planner, electronic calendar or an app, get organized by scheduling exams, papers and planning your time wisely so you meet deadlines. Keeping your desk and belongings organized can also help your frame of mind, so you don’t become overwhelmed.
  • Use your college’s campus resources: Some students are hesitant to use on-campus advising resources, career services or visit health services’ offices. Remember, those professionals are vested in helping you succeed. Don’t be afraid to leverage your college’s resources.
  • Get involved in clubs and activities: One of the best ways to meet people and make friends as a freshman is to step out of your comfort zone. Learn what clubs and activities your school makes available and attend at least one meeting for those activities that interest you. Odds are good you’ll meet like-minded people who can help you navigate the college experience.

Following these strategies can set you up for success as you work to complete your degree and start your career. MacCormac College in Chicago understands the challenges incoming freshmen face. We work hard to help students thrive in their college experience. To learn more about our degree and certificate programs, contact us today.