College Hacks for Freshmen

So, finally! You have made it to college. Not just any college, but your dream college.

A couple of days later, after orientation, you realize everything is out of control because there is so much to do, and you have no idea where to start because you are a freshman.

You have to attend classes, your room is messy and disarranged, there are football try-outs later in the day, and you can’t afford to miss them, and you have a new crush who just accepted your offer to go out on a date.

All these events happening at the same time is the basic definition of chaos.

However, to help you cruise through freshman year, here are college hacks for freshmen. They will help you organize yourself better and enjoy life in college.

You will need them.


Top college hacks for freshmen 

college hacks for freshmen, college advice for freshmen

Lets face it, juggling between social, extra-curricular and academic activities can be overwhelming.

During your freshman year, your are required to learn new things i.e. learn the traditions of college, class venues, learn to make independent decisions, learn to write college level essays which can be all overwhelming.

Instructors will be on your neck with assignments every other week.

This can be taxing- mind you- you have to go for that date, hang out with friends.

Give yourself some peace of mind and hire an expert to write your college essay.

A reliable company will ensure they protect your identity so that your instructor/professor will never know you used their services.

Having an expert write your essay will ensure you maintain your social life while still scoring high grades

Also see: What to write in your admission essay 

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Studying in college

The thrill of getting admitted to your dream college can hurt your studies. Maybe the sole reason you were eager to join the college was that they had the best football team in the whole country, and well…, you are good at football too.

However, studies are the basis of college life, regardless of your talent and abilities. Achieve good grades and avoid the embarrassment of being kicked out.

The following college hacks for freshmen will help you study better.

Write notes. Put down important notes and points when studying. They are useful when revising for the exam because you avoid going through the whole course.

As long as you have the main points, explaining becomes easier. The chances of scoring a good grade are higher.

Group work and discussions. Form a group of around five students from your class and use it to revise for exams, research your assignments and homework, and discuss challenging topics.

Some college freshmen think that the only way of studying is cramming. It is a fallacy. Avoid cramming at all costs.

You exhaust your brain and end up reading irrelevant topics in your coursework. Cramming is not a sure way of remembering- you have an equal chance of remembering, as well as forgetting.

Instead, read small sections at regular intervals, over a specific period. For example, study one topic each day and complete the unit over one month.

It is more comfortable than reading the whole subject in just a few days.

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Exercise is an efficient way of keeping your body active and fresh. Exercise a few minutes before studying. 

Why is this helpful? Blood is distributed to your brain, and you remain fresh and active. You alleviate your concentration and content grasping.

Also see: Hacks for International Students Studying in NEW ZEALAND


Class attendance

college advice for freshmen

You have to attend classes. There is no shortcut to it. College requires a class attendance of 75%.

It is necessary if you wish to have a chance of graduating to the next class. Plan your schedule well, and have the timetable on your phone.

It ensures you are aware of all class venues. The advantage of attending your classes is that you rarely miss out on anything.

You are always up to date with all the assignments, random tests and coursework.

Get to know your lecturers better and ask questions if you are having challenges understanding a particular concept.

Interacting with your lecturer gives you a better idea of what to expect when they set a test for you. You are, therefore, likely to get a better grade.

Additionally, make friends with students in various classes. Unlike high school where you have the same classmates for every subject, college tends to be different.

You will attend classes with new faces. Make friends with them. In case you miss a lecture, these friends provide the relevant information to get you up to speed.


Social interactions

As earlier stated, an above-average academic record is the most crucial thing in college. However, college offers much more than just studies.

A good example is socializing. “In 1987, 37.9% of freshmen socialize around sixteen hours per week on average.

It has greatly reduced by more than half to 18% as of 2014.” – The American Freshman Study, 2014. It is a concern because the value keeps on decreasing.

Failing to socialize leads to loneliness and depression, which affect your overall performance in school.

As a new student, spend your time making new friends and getting to know them better. It is both an easy and a hard process depending on your social skills.

More often, an extrovert has more friends than an introvert. Try out the following socializing college hacks for freshmen, and make long-lasting friendships.

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Join an online freshmen group. They are an excellent platform to start conversations. Students from the same class form these groups.

Ask to meet them in person and discuss the school and the course. You get to be familiar with them and hang out more.

Test the waters and say hello, and you will end up swimming in a sea of new friends. Everlasting friendships start with a simple hello.

If you are uncomfortable talking to new faces, start with the person sitting next to you in class. At least you will have something to talk about in the process.

After class, they will introduce you to new friends, and the cycle continues. In no time, you will have an entire network of new acquaintances.

Join a society and meet new people with whom you share a common interest. For instance, if you are an environmental activist, join the college’s environment club and share your ideas on new ways to conserve the environment.

You will be interacting with new faces in the process. It is a way of establishing good relationships.


Organization

Unlike other lower levels of schooling, where most of your activities are organized for you, college demands personal responsibility.

There are various ways of staying organized in college. They could be colour coding each class to identify homework and assignments or getting a digital planner to mark important dates.

However, there is much more to the organization aspect than just academic organization. Let’s look at a few scenarios.

Get a job to help you meet your budgetary requirements. You are an adult now, and your parents may not afford to provide everything you need, especially personal necessities.

Getting a part-time job gives you a sense of responsibility, and you organize your time well according to class and work schedules.

Make yourself busy at all times to make the most out of your freshman year.

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Create a list of things to do, starting with the most important. It is an efficient way of budgeting your time. Often, crucial tasks consume a lot of time and require a lot of attention.

Starting with these tasks and finishing off with the easy ones is a good organization technique.

For example, completing your assignment first gives you ample time to finish your chores and go for practice later.

Back up all your documents and information. Sorry to say this, but you are unorganized if you don’t have an alternative plan, in case something goes wrong.

For example, you can lose your notes, assignments and schedules if your computer crashes. To avoid any future inconveniences, make an extra copy of your documents.

If you use your computer for storage, back up everything in your email account or the cloud.

Stop multitasking and concentrate on one thing at a time. Some freshmen do their assignments while texting, watching and talking to their roommates.

Focus on the homework first to reduce the chances of making grave mistakes and then talk to your friends later.


Accommodation and housing

New students have the option of either residing in college hostels or renting an apartment close to the school. College hostels are cheaper but have limited space.

On the other hand, renting an apartment is expensive because you have to pay rent, but they offer more space and privacy.

However, it is best to live in college hostels because you are more involved in your school life. Try out the following techniques to improve your hostel life.

Build a good relationship with your roommate. The best way to do this is by respecting each other’s personal space.

Consult with each other on rules to be followed while in the room. For example, maintaining silence when one of you is studying or make a cleaning schedule.

Open communication is important. Reach out to your roommate and solve any indifferences before they elevate to an uncontrollable level.

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Raise your bed to make room for more storage space. It’s no secret that there is limited space in college hostels.

By raising your bed, you create additional space where you can place your study books inside boxes. Place your shoes, travelling bags or other things that make the room congested.

Pack light and only carry the things you can’t do without in school. For example, pack the clothes that you are sure to use and include adequate toiletries.

Packing a lot makes it difficult to arrange your room.

Campus accommodation is safer because you are under the protection of the college administration. However, this does not mean that renting an apartment close to the college is wrong.

If you have the capability, it is a great option too. Liaise with a close friend and share the rent. Choose an apartment that has sufficient space, and electricity connection and is in a safe area.

These tips ensure that you have a smooth transition from home to college. Enjoy every day as a freshman.


Safety

Often, most students gain complete freedom when they join college. They are reckless, trying out pretty much everything they ever thought about before college.

Parties, a night out with friends, road trips, etc. however, there is no use going to college, just to put yourself in danger.

The following college safety tips ensure you are safe in your freshman year.

First, carry your cell phone, especially if you are going out of campus.

In case of an emergency, could be an accident, call your school and they will come to your aid. Use your cell phone to make digital payments, instead of carrying cash everywhere.

Secondly, don’t drink excessively. The chances of losing control when you drink a large amount of alcohol are high.

For ladies, you may end up being a victim of sexual harassment. If you realize you are over drunk, ask your friends to accompany you home.

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Tour around with your friends, especially if you are at an unfamiliar place or it is during the night. There is safety in numbers.

Watch out for your friends, and they will do the same for you. If you wish to go somewhere and you are alone, hire a transport service.

If it is not an important issue, sleep on it and wait for the next day.

Lock your room or apartment even if you are going for a few minutes. Leaving your door open or unlocked attracts attention even from someone who had no intention of stealing.

You can imagine coming back to your room and finding your laptop, phone or any of your property missing.

What hurts more, is realizing that it would have been effortless locking the door on your way out. If you have a roommate, both of you should have their keys.

Remind your roommate to close the room when leaving.


Rules and regulations

Rules and regulations are mandatory in every learning institution. They are designed to create an environment that is conducive to teaching and learning.

Freshmen have a difficult time trying to understand some of these rules and regulations. This section covers rules broken by many freshmen.

Do not assault or inflict physical harm to your fellow student. The repercussion of this is expulsion. If you disagree with anyone, try diplomacy.

If that doesn’t work, report the issue to the school administration. They will deal with it accordingly. Fighting ruins any chance of success in the future.

Alcohol and substance abuse in the school compound is strictly prohibited. If you get caught, you could be suspended or expelled.

If you have to take alcohol, do it outside the school, and at the right time. Only drink once in a while to avoid addiction. Hard drugs are illegal.

You will be expelled and charged in a court of law.

Academic irregularities are also a common practice in college. Ways of cheating include copying assignments, trying to cheat in an examination room, etc. Academic cheating is a serious offence.

Prepare yourself adequately by completing your assignments before the due date, and revising in advance for the exam.

The above college hacks for freshmen prevent new students from breaking the rules and regulations. Following rules shouldn’t be a difficult task.

Be at the right place, and at the right time. Bad company ruins good morals. Therefore, associate with responsible friends who will help you abide by the school’s rules and regulations.

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Extracurricular activities

Another important aspect of college life is co-curricular activities. For freshmen to break into any particular team, they either have to be talented or passionate about the sport.

If you are good at sports and you are having trouble getting into the school team, use the following techniques to earn the favour of your coach.

Practice daily and consistently. Wake up early for a morning run and never miss practice. Dedication is crucial when it comes to sports and, effort rarely goes unnoticed.

The probability of getting your first call-up is a boost. Additionally, associate well with older teammates. They will share with you some of the secrets about the team.

Create a good bond with them, and they will trust you more.

One of the conditions set to participate in co-curricular activities is maintaining a good grade, mostly above average.

Therefore, a balance between sports and academics is essential. It all boils down to organization. Practice more, and read smart.

It may not be easy, especially because you are just getting accustomed to your new school, but it is worth the hustle.

Ask for help in case you need it. Most sports require a combined effort to progress to the next stage. You work collaboratively with your team to keep on winning.

If you are having trouble mastering a move, ask for help from one of your teammates. Ask them to train you and help you master more tricks.

You boost your chances of having a successful period with the school team.


Conclusion

Try out the above college hacks for freshmen and notice the immediate impact they will have on your freshman year.

Be well organized, focus on your academics, socialize and make new friends every day, stay safe, abide by the rules and participate in clubs and societies.

Explore more and be open to new ideas and opportunities. The memories we make in college are precious. College is where you will form the basis of your life.

If you fail here, you ruin your plans. Follow the above techniques, and you will enjoy every minute of college life.

Also, see the video on college freshmen advice