Surviving your first year in college is no easy feat. From meeting so many new faces to navigating college-level classes, there are many adjustments that freshers face. Not to mention learning to live on your own for those moving away to college. Here are a few tips to help you get through the first year of a – hopefully – incredible college experience:
- Don’t skip out on Fresher’s Week events! This is the best time to meet new people in your year and from other courses before your classes begin. Try and attend some non-drinking events too so you can actually remember all the people you meet.
- Take down the contact information for your professors. Whether this be email or office hours, be sure you know how and when to get in touch with your lecturers when you’ll inevitably have questions. It’s never a bad idea too to go up to them after a lecture and introduce yourself so they have an opportunity to put a face to a name! It will also help with building relationships with them if things happen down the line.
- Pay attention during orientation. This is when you’ll probably be shown where the important places on campus are – the health centre, Student union, etc. Trust me, there will be a time when you’re dying with the Fresher’s Flu and need to book an appointment to get seen by a GP.
- Try and eat as balanced of a diet as you can. Not to sound like a nagging mother, but it really is important in trying to stave off the colds and illnesses that travel quickly around college. Don’t forget to drink water every once and awhile too – especially if you’re planning to enjoy Fresher’s Week to the fullest.
- Make an effort to not let yourself fall behind in your classes! After all, the real reason you’re in college is to study. Staying organised and making a schedule really does go a long way in keeping track of deadlines to ensure you’re not missing any opportunities for easy marks!
- Along that note, attend your lectures. As much as it may kill you to wake up to that alarm, actually attending your scheduled lectures really does help when it comes time for exams. We both know you won’t be looking at those slides like you say you will. Unfortunately, exams are inescapable, so may as well try and put yourself in the best position to do well on them as early as you can.
- Don’t fall into the trap of purchasing overpriced textbooks. Look in your college library first and if you cannot find it then have a look online. A lot of times there are free pdfs of textbooks, you just may have to do a bit of digging.
- Be on the hunt for student deals. Many, if not most, restaurants and shops are willing to offer a discount so definitely take advantage of it while you can. Lidl and Aldi are great places for the frugal student to do their grocery shopping, but Tesco also has some good deals. I know budgeting is tough, but if you want to make sure you have enough for those pints after a long day then it’s necessary!
- Especially if you’re commuting and using public transport, get your hands on a Student Leap Card. It really is worth it if you’d be using it often and comes with its own deals to avail of in restaurants and shops.
- Lastly, take this as an opportunity to meet new people and make some great friends! It can be nerve-wracking to put yourself out there, but you will never regret it – especially if you end up making some life-long buddies to get through college with! It also never hurts to be friendly with the people in your course when the assignments start to get tough.
College is tough. Don’t be intimidated by all those third and fourth years you see around campus because they were all in your shoes at one point. Have an open mind and enjoy your first year before the academics really start to matter. You’ll get through it, just have to take it a day at a time and it’ll be over before you know it.
Written by Shannon McGreevy