Advice For The Incoming College Freshman

by - June 21, 2018

Sometimes, I can’t believe that I’m a college graduate. 

College was such a great experience and I had so much fun, but also learned so much. I left college without a single regret. I think that is so important.

If you’re going to be a freshman in college, this post is for you! If you’re still in college, I hope to share some advice with you, too. If you know someone going to college, they might find this advice helpful!



College is an interesting time in your life. There are so many changes - being on your own for the first time, new city, new people, intense classes. College is a great part of your life. With all the changes, comes so much fun and new opportunities. 

I was excited for college, but absolutely scared at the same time. I went to college knowing just my boyfriend, David. It was nice, but we both knew that we had to make some new friends.
Friends make college ten times better. 

Here are some questions I've been asked and I'm sharing my advice with you! This post contains affiliate links for some products I recommend.




How can I make friends in college?

There are SO many answers, but first… keep your door open. If you’re just hanging out in your dorm room, keep the door open. Your hall mates will pop in and say hello. Invite them to the dining hall with you. Talk about your majors, what clubs you want to join, and your hometowns. 

Another great way to make friends is get involved. Most college have organization fairs where you can check out all the clubs and organizations on campus. I was involved in a few clubs, including Her Campus, which as a journalism major, was super beneficial! I started as a staff writer, then social media coordinator, and then senior editor! I met so many great friends this way. 

Getting involved in Greek Life is also a great way to meet friends! I am an AOII and honestly, I am so grateful for my sorority. It has shaped and changed my life in so many ways. I get emotional talking about it. There are a few different Greek councils and each do things a little differently, so if you’re unfamiliar with Greek life, definitely do some research about what councils, sororities, and fraternities your college has. 

Is class attendance important?

I’m going to be real honest with you all here. I am a stickler for attendance. I pretty much always went to class, especially since for most of my classes, attendance was a grade. I also just knew I would miss a lot if I didn’t go, but there was an exception. In my economics class (yay for core classes), I had a terrible professor. I couldn’t understand how he taught and just nothing made sense. One day, I skipped class to go through the book and I found that I was able to teach myself the material, so… I only went to class on test days. The professor didn’t track attendance and I got a B in that class, so I mean, I guess I did something right. Do I recommend this? NO! Go to class. If you’ve got an issue, talk to your professor. I give you this example to tell you that I’m not perfect and you know, maybe you might find yourself in this situation and that’s okay. 

Attendance is super important when it comes to your major classes, though. Hopefully, when you start taking courses related to your major, your professors have worked in that field before they started teaching. All my professors worked in media (most of them CNN and ABC News. My sports journalism professor is actually VP of Sports over at CNN currently) so not only did I enjoy these classes, I knew that these professors knew what they were talking about. I was always early to class, only missed if it was necessary and always gave them a heads up first. 

Professors do take notice when you aren’t in class, so just go. 




How will I balance classes, social life, and extracurriculars activities?

This will come with time, but first of all... a planner is your friend. 

You won’t figure this out in the first week, but it so important to stick to some kind of schedule. Make classes a priority, but also make time for friends, fun, and any organizations or clubs you decide to join. You’ll learn that you can’t say yes to everyone and everything and that’s okay. You’ll learn that sometimes, you just need to put off writing that paper and spend an hour or two grabbing pizza and going on a Target run with your friends. Everyone has a different balance that works for them and you will figure this out with time. 

What are some things I’ll need for college that I might not think of?

When it comes to college, bring all the necessities but also don’t bring too much. You will definitely want to have a bathrobe, especially if you’re living in the dorms. Having a bathrobe is so much better than just wrapping yourself in a towel. A good pair of headphones or earbuds is also super important for walking to class, working out, or chilling in the library or a coffee shop. Also, always keep an umbrella in your backpack. I watched so many people run through downtown Atlanta in the pouring rain after class because they left their umbrellas in their dorm room. Don’t underestimate the value of a good mattress pad. My mattress pad actually made my college bed so much more comfortable than my bed at home. 

         

        
When should I buy my textbooks?

I would wait until after the first day of classes and you figure out if you’ll actually need it. Also, sometimes, I would buy the book before the first day of class and then find out that the professor changed the book last minute. That’s the worst. Also, I used the website TextSurf to find the cheapest price for all my textbooks! That website saved me so much money!




What if I get homesick?

You probably will get homesick and that’s okay, but I would avoid going home during the first six weeks of the semester. Stay in your new city. Explore your campus. Make new friends. I went home so many weekends during my first semester and I honestly missed out on so much! Call your parents a couple times a week, but just stay at school for the first six weeks. Soon, your college town will feel like home, too!

I’m so excited for you to start your college experience! If you have any other questions, ask away! I’d love to post some more advice for you. 

I majored in journalism and film media. What are you majoring in? Comment below!

xo,

Amanda



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