Freshman year of college comes with a lot of changes. Practically overnight, you go from being on the top of the high school totem pole, to the bottom of college’s.
You’re in a new academic setting that is completely different from anything you’ve experienced before, and it can be very intimidating.
Unlike high school, where all of your classes are conveniently located within the same building, you’re left to navigate a large, confusing campus by yourself.
As a college sophomore, I’m sometimes still overwhelmed by everything college entails. However, nothing was worse than adjusting to the changes that freshman year brought about.
I started my first semester at University of Tennessee Knoxville. This city was a few hundred miles away from my comfort zone of Memphis, Tennessee.
I had only been to this town a handful of times, and, as a result, I experienced an influx of stress during my first semester.
Long story short, I ended up transferring home. While, that choice ended up being the best one I could have ever made, I know transferring isn’t an option for everyone.
As a result, I am here to give you a few pointers. I hope that this list makes your first semester a little bit easier:
Find where you classes are prior to the first day.
Campuses are extremely intimidating, especially if you’ve never stepped foot on one before. My advice to you is get together with some of your friends, and map out where your classes are prior to the first day.
I know most of you have already started your first semester, but this is something that comes in handy every semester.
As a sophomore, I still don’t know where 70% of my campus’ buildings are located.
Don’t drive too much
If you go to a big school, you already know the horrors of trying to park.
Needless to say, don’t drive to class if you can avoid it. Leave your car parked in that garage until the weekend comes around.
Don’t make the mistake I did of trying to go out every night, because you will be driving around until 3 a.m. trying to find a spot.
Make friends with your roommate
This one may seem like a no-brainer, but some people are hesitant to strike up a conversation with the person they are sharing a room with.
However, you will make life a whole lot easier if you are on good terms with this person. After all, you will be spending a lot of time together.
Avoid passive aggressive post-it notes by befriending your new roomie.
Invest in some earplugs
If you were forced to live in a dorm, like I was, I would strongly urge you to buy some earplugs. Believe it or not, some people were raised without manners.
These same people enjoy staying up until ungodly hours blasting their favorite pop songs. You would think RA’s would put an end to it, but you would be wrong.
So opt on the side of caution, and go to sleep in silence.
Get a Keurig
Dining dollars are awesome, but you shouldn’t waste them on Starbucks every morning. Instead, invest in a Keurig and travel mug.
You wouldn’t believe how much you end up saving–especially if you have an 8 a.m. class!
Don’t freak out if you haven’t declared a major
You’ve probably heard this a thousand times, but it is 100% true.
Don’t be intimidated by the other people in your class claiming to be pre-whatever. I can assure you they’ll change their major just as much (if not more) as you.
Take time to finish up your general education’s before you land on your major.
College is all about self-discovery and exploration. You’re going to grow up a lot in that first year, and it is not worth your time to declare a major yet.
These are just a few tips to help you navigate this turbulent first semester.
You will learn plenty more as you go. However, I hope these help you out at least a little. If you’re still feeling uneasy or stressed, don’t be afraid to reach out to the numerous, on-campus resources.
Comment your favorite college survival tip below!