First-Time College students: Beginning college is one of the most important milestones of everyone’s life. It’s a young adult’s first step into the real world.
This is especially true if you’ve decided to study abroad or if you’re the first person in your family to do so.
From acquiring a fruitful education to learning all the necessary life skills, college is one of those things that will always benefit you. However, newcomers, in particular, might not know how to go about things.
My mother, who worked two jobs to support my sister and me, made every effort to get me ready for the big change. She bought everything on my wish list for dorm furniture, helped me move into my room, and encouraged me to succeed.
My send-off did not contain advice on how to succeed, what to anticipate, or where to go if I needed assistance.
I had to figure out some things on my own because I was a first-generation college student.
Amazing Tips For First-Time College Students
Here are some suggestions on how to maximize your first year of college for those who will be entering it this autumn.
Once you begin taking classes, keep these suggestions in mind, but most importantly, don’t forget to enjoy yourself!
Here are a few tips for first-time college students.
#1. Choose Your Degree Wisely
Some already have their career planned out and took the prerequisite courses during their time in high school. However, not everyone plans out their college career, and that’s perfectly fine.
If you’re in this scenario, you get to spend time exploring the near limitless degree programs. Although it’s tempting to get caught up in the moment, it’s important for you to remember that you need to choose wisely. Choose a degree that suits you best. You might even want to aim a little higher than you originally planned and pursue a career in the medical field.
Though it should be noted that some degrees are more expensive than others. The medical field is home to some of them.
However, there are ways for you to finance a medical degree as well as the costs of medical school. You can do this by taking out Earnest medical school loans. Medical school is actually a separate entity from the degree and can cost a lot of money at times. If you decide to go this route, make sure to research medical schools ahead of time to see what their requirements are.
#2. Take Advantage of the Available Resources
Something that a lot of students don’t do is take advantage of their college’s resources. These resources include:
- Your academic advisor
- Free online tutoring
- The college library
- The available forms of telehealth
- The career center
These resources are available to help new students get situated in their college, regardless if it’s in real life or online. You’re typically introduced to these resources during your orientation course.
#3. Don’t Be Afraid of Failure
One tip that all new college students need to know is that you shouldn’t be afraid of failure. Failure is a prime de-motivator for anyone. Seeing a failing grade after putting in a lot of effort is frustrating.
However, it’s not as bad as you think. If anything, failure is one of the best teachers you’ll ever have. It allows you to go back and assess the situation. You get to see what mistakes were made and where things went wrong.
Furthermore, your professor will give you additional information on what needs improvement.
#4. You Can Change Your Major When You Want
It’s not uncommon for certain students to go through a program, but in the middle of it, they decide to change their major. Changing your major is far from a bad idea. Sometimes, things just don’t mesh with you anymore, and that’s completely okay. Research the other options that interest you and simply ask your advisor to switch.
#5. Keep in mind that everyone you meet in college has something to offer you.
At college, you will meet hundreds of new people – classmates, teachers, advisors, recruiters, campus personnel, and so on. Naturally, you will not become friends with everyone, but we encourage that you network with as many individuals as possible, especially if you are new to the institution.
#6. Be organized and prioritize deadlines.
Get a calendar, whether it’s an online tool or a good old-fashioned paper diary, and record all of your deadlines, tests, group meetings, and school events. During your college years, you will have dozens of different assignments, and the sooner you develop a schedule that works for you, the better. Make it a point to never turn in an assignment late. Being conscientious and dependable is always advantageous!
#7. Avoid plagiarism at all cost
This is one of my all-time best tips for First-Time College Students. Don’t even think of plagiarizing. Learning to write is one of the most important skills you will acquire at university. Don’t sabotage the learning process by copying and pasting words from another source.
Instead, gather enough diverse resources, learn how to correctly reference sources, and establish your own writing habit. You can also use one of the several applications and apps available to identify plagiarism in your work.
#8. Develop a note-taking system that works for you.
Another important tip for First-Time College Students is developing a working strategy for taking notes in class.
Taking notes on a laptop may be faster and easier than making notes by hand, but jotting them down with a pen may help you remember the lecture content better than typing them.
Determine what works best for you in each lesson so that you can get the most out of your notes while revising or studying. In our previous article, we discussed when you should take handwritten notes.
#9. Always make a backup of your files.
This tip might not seem important enough. if you have ever completed an assignment but can find the file at the dying minutes of submitting the assignment you won’t appreciate this point. Thus, you won’t blame me for adding this to my First-Time College Students’ advice.
Nothing is more frustrating than having your laptop break down in the middle of finishing an unsaved essay or losing an entire file of data.
#10. Schedule regular meetings with your academic advisor.
Contact your school’s academic advisor and a career center. Your academic advisor and career counselor may both play an important part in your college years and future decisions. Also, whether you’re looking for a job or just want to network with recruiters, go to most career fairs on your campus or in your community.
#11. Actively participate in university/faculty-organized activities.
Whether it’s an extra-curricular lecture or a faculty-organized Christmas party, these activities are a terrific way to not only get to know your classmates, professors, and professionals better but also to learn new things.
#12. Do not be hesitant to drop a class that you dislike.
Another all-time best tip for First-Time College Students is to drop the class if you are not getting with it.
You are not required to attend every class that you register for. If you dislike them, drop them and devote your time to a more meaningful class. At the end of the day, college is about figuring out what you want to do with your life.
#13. Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Taking care of your body and mind is important every day of your life, but it is more important when you begin a new chapter at a university, which is typically thousands of miles away from your family and home.
Due to a shortage of time, you will most likely be tempted to eat unhealthy foods, prepare low-cost meals, and avoid physical activity. Nonetheless, it is critical to maintaining a healthy lifestyle by eating plenty of fruits and vegetables, drinking plenty of water, sleeping properly, and exercising frequently.
Particularly in times of worldwide epidemic. Bottom line: Your health is the foundation for everything else, so take care of it.
#14. Become acquainted with your lecturers.
College is about networking as much as it is about taking lessons. Furthermore, most teachers will be delighted to get to know you, offer their knowledge, and advise you through your college experience.
#15. Accept the fact you won’t always have money for everything you need.
If your parents can’t afford to give you a little extra money every month, that’s fine. Live within your limited financial resources. Seriously, it’s perfectly normal to be broke in college.
It may be tempting to work more hours at your job or apply for a credit card to keep up with the rest of them, but credit balances must be repaid (with interest), and you have the rest of your life to work those long hours.
I guarantee you that when you look back, you won’t recall the clothes you fought so hard to get. You’ll remember those carefree moments clowning around at the student union the most.
#16. Hard work outweighs everything.
You’ll be sitting next to students who have spent their entire lives preparing for college. Some will have connections and resources you can’t even imagine, but hard work always wins. Your perseverance and work ethic will more than compensate.
#17. You are welcome here.
Whether it’s the academic advisor who mildly criticizes you at every conversation or the bougie girl in your hall who never misses a condescending sneak remark, you’ll come across people who will go out of their way to disparage you. Their goal is to get into your skull and persuade you that you don’t belong in their world.
Don’t take the bait! Those who derive their esteem from their perceived status go to exhausting lengths to maintain their false air of superiority. This is their problem, not yours.
#18. Make inquiries
This is not the time to pretend until you make it. In fact, this is one of the few situations in your life when being clueless is totally fine. If you’re unsure, ASK!
#19. Be aware of your limitations.
My undergraduate bestie had the wonderful ability to recognize things on the first hearing. he could sit through a lecture and remember everything. She could afford not to study because of her memory.
he could go out every night and still do well on the exam. In order to reinforce what I had learned, I needed to check notes, read chapters, and prepare note cards.
I learned the hard way that I couldn’t do what he could. At the end of the day, we both graduated from the same university with the same degree. It didn’t matter how we got there; what mattered was that we got there.
#20. Pick your friendships wisely.
Your buddies will have more effect on you than your teachers, advisors, and family combined at this time in your life.
Choose your team carefully. Live life, have fun, and let your hair down (a little), but remember to surround yourself with good, goal-oriented people who inspire and push you.
#21. Participate in what is Happening Around you.
Do as much as you are capable of. Join groups, run for office, and make a commitment if you wish. This will undoubtedly be the best moment of your social life. Your networks and connections will last a lifetime, and your leadership experience will look fantastic on your resumé.
#22. Broaden your horizons
Take advantage of any opportunity to broaden your consciousness. Make friends with people from completely different backgrounds, attend seminars with speakers who hold opposite viewpoints to yours, and apply for free study abroad chances.
Make it a personal aim to graduate from college a more well-rounded person than when you started.
#23. Make use of your resources
Go to the career center for help with your resume, and sign up for free tutoring if you need it. Make the most of every resource available to you. Why not? It is paid for by your tuition.
#24. Consult with your professors
Make certain that your professors are aware of your identity. Make use of their office hours. Your visibility could mean the difference between passing the class and failing it. But be genuine…they’ve seen it all and can see a game from a mile away.
#25. Find a mentor
Major key alert! Finding a mentor is probably the most important thing you can do. In my opinion, these relationships should grow organically. My mentor was a grad student with a similar background as me. Not only did he provide practical coaching and advice, but he was a walking example that I, too, could succeed.
Participate in student clubs and organizations. Joining a student group and/or organization means not just more networking and possibly more friends, but also the opportunity to improve your resume and have a say in how things are conducted.
Nonetheless, you’re about to embark on a journey of incredible experiences, accelerated self-discovery, and even painful agony. Everything is vital, but finding a balance that works for you is the key to success. Take everything all in, but remember that the end goal is to graduate.