7 Tips for College Freshmen

Ashley Yoder, Reporter

Make a list
Make a list of everything you have that you need/ want to take to college with you and then make a list of what you need but you don’t have. That way you know what exactly you need to budget for and you are less likely to forget something when you move.

Work as much as you can over summer break and figure it a way to pick up a few hours during the school year 

Let’s face it, FAFSA and scholarships is not going to cover everything. If you have a job get as many hours that you can physically handle to save up money to cover the rest of your tuition and a little extra to make sure you can have a little fun while on campus. Also, try to start looking at jobs in the town your college is located so you can earn some extra money during the year as well and start saving up for the next school year.

“Make sure that your boss understands where your priorities are, and that you need to be flexible. Give yourself one free evening or afternoon a week to do extra homework, or read, or work out or sit and contemplate your navel because you will get burnt out going from school to work every single day.” Zerul Kutina, sophomore at Washburn University, said. “If you can afford it, try to stay under 30 hours a week. Remember there are only so many hours in a day, and so many days in a week. And having an extra couple bucks isn’t worth your mental sanity.”


Try to live on campus at least for one year

Even if you are staying local it is a good idea to stay on campus at least once. You will meet a lot of interesting people and discover a lot of resources and activities you may not have known about had you stayed off campus. Try living in a scholarship hall if there is one at the college of your choice. They are cheaper and you will meet a lot of people and become involved with a lot of activities that you wouldn’t get in a normal dorm.

“They’re [scholarship halls] cheaper, better food, and great communities. I would count any of these guys as my brother’s,”  Austin Yoder, freshman at the University of Kansas, said. “Plus there’s a bunch of events throughout the year and they beat sitting in the dorms all Saturday night. prepare for living with people with completely different lifestyles than you. Some people can be messy, uptight, or just plain obnoxious. You won’t get along with everyone. It’s usually best not to live with your friends in the dorms because you may end up hating each other,”


Don’t let distractions bring your grades down
No one wants to fall behind in their classes, but it is all too tempting to go to that party next door instead of read 100 pages for the next History class. To help keep focused try  investing in a decent pair of earbuds or headphones to block out the extra noise and stick to the tasks at hand.

“It’s okay to go out and have fun occasionally but don’t ignore your classes,” Ariel Smith, University of Kansas freshman, said.  “I’ve seen people fail out  after first semester because they partied every night and they ruined their career before it even started. Basically just keep yourself in check and be self-disciplined.”


Create a routine

When you have a set schedule life can seem a lot less hectic, but make sure that schedule is flexible when it needs to be. You want to have time for your homework but you will want some free time as well.

“Be very regular with what you do and how you do it. And whatever you do, stick to that plan,” Kutina, said. “Do not make anything more important than sticking to your plan. Also, have a set list of priorities.”

Not only should students be organized with their time but their homework as well. If someone has several assignments due in a week and has no organization, surely one or more of those assignments will be forgotten.

“Get a whiteboard and put your weekly assignments and such on there. I also use my phone calendar a bunch,” Yoder said. “ Spend a lot of time in the quiet zones of the library, talking is prohibited and it’s a great place to focus.”


Get to know your professors, teaching assistants, and peers

It is good to have some people who can help with difficult study topics or even life situations. Find some friends, introduce yourself to your professors and their assistant if they have one.

“The best advice I can give incoming college freshmen is to get connected with your professors and ask for help immediately. Not just for school work but really take advantage of the resources they can offer to you,” Helena Howell, freshman at the University of Mississippi, said. “Your professors and advisors have many experiences you can learn from and they can become mentors and advocates for your success. You will be surprised how many opportunities you have if you just ask.”


Take some summer classes

Maybe you failed a class during the semester or would like to take some extra classes to bring you even closer to graduation, but summer classes could be helpful. If you don’t go through your selected university, make sure the credits will properly transfer to the college you will be attending during the regular school year.

“Taking classes over the summer at community college is a life saver. You can repeat classes to raise your GPA or get other requirements out of the way so you’re ahead and it’s a lot cheaper than the university,” Smith said. “I’m taking classes online this summer at Allen Community College for $122 per credit hour  whereas KU is $345 per credit hour so you end up paying over a thousand dollars for one class. Community colleges are a great option for people who need that extra push or just want to get ahead.”