University teaches you an abundance of lifelong information about yourself while testing out new opportunities, making mistakes, and going out of your comfort zone. Simply walk into university with an open mind and join everything. Always remember to stay positive and optimistic, because every freshman is on the same boat. Be confident, embrace your quirkiness, and don’t fear change.
There’s so much that I wish I had known walking into the doors of my university, so here are a few helpful tips to make life easier for you!
1. Making new friends is hard.
A big difference between high school and university is the fact that everyone has a different schedule, meaning you won’t see the same people daily. The scheduling differences makes the process of making friends a bit longer and tedious. It’s understandable that not everyone’s a social butterfly, but it’s important to make friends in your courses that you can rely on when you miss class.
If you’re having difficulty making friends in a classroom setting, try participating in school events like frosh, homecoming, and interesting extracurriculars. Remember, even if someone doesn’t become your close friend, it is beneficial to grow your network.
2. Always stay on top of your readings.
Although it may seem that you have all the time in the world to do readings and assignments, due dates creep up on you faster than you think. You will find your readings pilling up faster than you can read them, so it’s important to keep organized. Try to create a balance between your personal life and studying by making a study scheduling or using an agenda.
3. Get to know your campus resources.
During your first week as a freshman, you get bombarded with information that you never paid attention to or might forget. Every university offers unique programs, facilities, and resources to make the transition into university easier and to relieve stress. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, there are mental health resources for receiving guidance from professionals. The library may just become your best friend for the next four years, offering research sessions and textbook rentals. The best part about campus resources is that for the most part it’s free of cost.
4. Make use of professors’ office hours.
Office hours are like golden tickets sent from heaven. Not only can you ask for help with assignments, your professor or TA will get to personally know you out of their thousands of students. The next time they see your face or your name on an assignment, they may be tempted to slightly boost your mark because you went to ask for help and showed interest in the course. Few students take advantage of office hours, which makes it easier when you need to ask them for a letter of recommendation since they already know your behaviour.
5. Sit in the front row of the lecture hall.
Siting in the front row is an easy way for your professor to get to visually get to know their students. It is also the best spot to ask questions as they’ll be to see your hand first and hear you more clearly. If you have bad vision, even if you wear glasses, some things at the back may be blurry, making your notes unorganized. Additionally, some students in the back tend to use their electronics for social media, which may cause a big distraction while listening to the lecture.
Stay open to opportunities, and never forget to enjoy your youth. Comment below with anything else you’ve learned during your freshman year of university!