10 College Hacks Every Incoming Freshman Needs To Know

The first year is a time of discontinuity for students. You miss your hometown and high school friends. And you’re looking for your place in this new world. Simple hacks can prepare you for a quicker assimilation into a college community and improve your experience as a freshman. I’ve compiled a list below of several tips to help you, make the most out of your first year at college!

1. Always go to class
Nobody’s going to call your parents if you don’t show up to class or fail to complete an assignment. But let’s follow these actions to the possible logical conclusion. You skip a lecture, miss important information, and fail an exam.

OK, the scenario can be more optimistic. Anyway, why to deprive yourself of education you pay so much for?

2. Relearn what it means to be a student
It’s not your professor’s job to spoon feed you information. They won’t adjust classes to your particular learning style. Adapt to the differences in college instruction.

3. Develop better study strategies
Learn to take good notes. Writing the information down helps you retain it better. Exam preparation is also easier as you reduce the time you spend on studying from the textbooks.

4. Avoid distractions that eat your time
Here are the tips specific to the first year:

  • Don’t get a TV until you learn to limit watching it.
  • If you’re a gamer, restrict your hobby to weekends. Or give it up for the first year if you don’t want to procrastinate and fail out.
  • Don’t party too much. You are going to spend 4-5 years in college. There will be a lot of parties to go later.

5. Look for the ways to save up
Consider these tips:

  • Never pay full price for textbooks. Buy used books online for cheaper prices.
  • Use student’s discounts. Save on local and online shops, transport, car insurance, cinemas, theaters, restaurants, etc.
  • Find places to eat free food. During the first few weeks, such opportunities are limitless. Attend freshman welcome events, club recruitment events, and student government activities.
  • Improve your writing skills. Many students nowadays choose to submit a write my essay request, so that a professional can get it done on time. Choose this option in case of absolute necessity. Use free apps and tools. They can help you craft excellent papers by yourself.

6. Get involved in college community
If you have to choose between double-majoring and getting involved on campus, you should get involved. Make connections. Joining clubs and organizations gives you the opportunity to surround yourself with like-minded people. It will enhance your potential in the “real world”. Become a mature person outside of the library.

7. Make friends
Be sociable. Talk to your dorm dwellers, to other students in your classes or in the cafeteria. Many of these budding friendships will be brief. But some will last a lifetime.

8. Build a relationship with your professors
If you establish healthy relationships with your professors, it will be easier to get help from them with questions or later requests. If they know who you are, they are more likely to write the letters of recommendation for you. Exploit these tips to make a positive impression on your educators:

  • Sit in the front row. Your teacher will be more likely to remember your face.
  • Ask professors about their research. Every scholar will be flattered by your interest. If you find the topic truly interesting, ask if you can work in their labs.
  • Go to office hours. It’s a prime time for one-on-one tutoring. If you have difficulties with paper writing, ask your professor for advice.

10. Watch your health
Make your health and wellness a top priority — no excuses. Follow three rules:

  • Get enough sleep
  • Exercise daily
  • Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables.

The basic elements of college don’t differ from high school. They are classes, homework, communicating with friends, clubs, and sports. These are the expectations and responsibility for these things that have shifted dramatically from guidance to self-control. Learn to use your independence right. Thus, you will not be disappointed with your freshman year.

The good skills students develop in college go further than simply improving their grades and being satisfied with their study experience. They will move them ahead of other job-seekers who have not mastered some of these top skills valued by employers.

Using different resources will make you a good researcher. It’s a valuable skill for writing academic papers, such as a research paper or a dissertation.

Problem-solving tasks. Do you pay your attention to the quizzes at the end of the textbook chapters? Answering those questions will help you understand the material better than rereading the chapter. They force you to use the new knowledge to solve problems.

Study applications. A lot of apps that can help your college grades are available for free or for a couple of bucks. Many of them are developed for students by students. They can help you manage your time, upgrade your study habits and productivity, and even prepare for tests and exams.  

Besides the practical advice, you need a mindset tune-up. Studying is challenging. You have to memorize huge amounts of information and complete a lot of assignments. Don’t let possible failures to get you discouraged, demotivated or frustrated. Keep moving towards your goal!

What tips or advice helped you make it through your first year of college?

Photo by Element5 Digital on Unsplash

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