Since school is right around the corner, figured this post would be fit for the BTS season! Whether you are a recent high school grad or non-traditional student headed for college, here are a few tips I thought I would share from my freshman year (and all-around) experience!
1. Supplies: Unless you are in architecture, arts or a “very hands-on” major, you will probably fall under the “5-subject notebook, pens and paper supply list.” My first semester (mind you I was very excited) I bought five different binders, pens, paper, pencils, notepads and the list goes on. I eventually used it all but looking back at what I bought this weekend in comparison to my freshman year–there’s a big difference. There will be plenty of other things you will need to spend money on.
Tip #1: Buy the basics (college ruled subject notebook, paper, pens & pencils). Save money.
2. Textbooks: I am sure my upperclassmen followers and older folks reading this may have differing viewpoints, but here are my thoughts on textbooks: never buy them new (unless you have no choice) and always wait until the first week of classes to hear what professors have to say. I have learned the hard way and returning textbooks is never fun. Now, there are even options to rent books which is definitely the way to go! Most of the time, it is cheaper and more convenient.
Tip #2: Buy used textbooks and wait for instruction from professors before making the purchase.
3. Grades: Be smart and proactive about making the most out of your first semester of your freshman year. Most classes your first year will be basics, so make sure you have a good balance between difficult subjects and your easy ones. Know which ones will require more studying and focus on getting good test grades from the get-go. Basically, you are starting of with a clean slate (no GPA from high school). Your GPA has been and always will be a strong determinant of your capabilities. How high will you set your standard?
Tip #3: Set goals for yourself and do your best to achieve them. A good GPA will reflect very highly of your academic achievements.
4. Resources: As a freshman, there will be many many changes (if there aren’t already). Know that your university has all the resources to help you achieve success. So, look for them! Financial aid, admissions and the library are great starter points. Always ask questions if you are unsure and be open to exploring new facilities and opportunities! Professors, faculty, staff and student ambassadors are there to help you. Find them.
Tip #4: Resources are available. If you are unsure of anything at any time, ask for help.
5. Experience: Remember that you are going to college to get your education, to be successful and to make your family proud. But don’t forget to enjoy every day and learn something new. It is not just in the education that we learn but by every experience that we encounter. Study abroad. Eat at a new restaurant. Volunteer at a homeless shelter. Go greek. Join a ministry.
-Whatever it is, remain true to who you are, make friends and enjoy the new opportunities that come your way. And of course, do everything with limitation. The moment you become a new student at any institution, you also represent that institution. So make your family, friends, professors and most importantly yourself proud!
Tip #5: Enjoy every experience to the fullest, and grow in your learnings.
Are you ready yet? Hope so! Of course, there are a million other tips to help you succeed, but some are meant to be learned along the way. If you have any questions/thoughts or concerns, let me know. I am glad to help you all in any way I can. Also, any upperclassmen/prof. want to add anything to these tips? Comment below!
Good luck freshies! And if you are a U of A freshman, I look forward to seeing you on campus in the fall! 🙂