Freshman year can be hectic. You don’t know what to expect when you arrived in University. It is totally different from high school in terms of the school system, curriculum and the students around you. Here are some things I wish I knew before going into my first year university.
1) You and your dorm roommate might not get along
Believe me, not everything is perfect. A lot of people might think that their roommate will become their best friend for life. This is however not true for everyone. It could become your worst nightmare if you pick the wrong roommate or randomly assigned to you in university.
2) Waking up early in university
Just because you woke up early every day in high school doesn’t mean you will be able to in college. When you are doing course selection, please take this into consideration. Don’t take 8 AM classes, because you will most likely skip a couple of them.
3) Learn about yourself
You should learn to examine your personal biases. Ask yourself why you have a certain opinion. This is very important as you will be interacting with a lot of new people. The best way to know someone else is to first know yourself. When you know yourself, you are able to make better choices about everything. You will also understand what motivates you to resist bad habits and develop good ones.
4) Choose your course load wisely
There are plenty of students who have taken 17, 18, 19 hour course loads and they have been successful; however, this might not be for everyone or it may not be financially feasible. Don’t make yourself physically and psychologically exhausted. Learn how to free up some time and enjoy life!
5) Searching for university financial support
Searching for scholarships doesn’t stop when you get to college. Keep looking for them and applying for them. Create a separate email account to receive and correspond to scholarship emails. This will definitely help you financially in university and also create less pressure on your student debt loan when you graduate.
6) Visit your academic adviser
Don’t think you know it all. Go and visit your academic adviser when you are in university. Mine absolutely saved me when I was going through the lowest point in my life.
7) Get involved in university
Get involved, but only if you want to. University clubs or greek life is definitely one of the best way to make friends. However, they are much more time-consuming, so be certain that it is something you really want to do. Make sure to have a good time management for your academic and social life.
8) Have fun and enjoy your life in university
Have fun! You don’t have to go out every single weekend. But go get coffee or study with a friend. Have some sort of interaction with others. This is one of the most important thing in your university life and can definitely help make things smoother.
9) Get a part time job while in university
Getting a job really eased my financial burdens and I made friends, and established references. Having money just feels good. It is also something good to put in your resume or portfolio to show your future employers.
10) Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Be honest with your support system. Many times, those closest to us would help us in a heartbeat, but they never knew we needed help in the first place.