A guide to that freshman year - The Explorer: Back To School

A guide to that freshman year

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Posted: Wednesday, July 17, 2013 4:00 am

Having a college education is a privileged opportunity that opens the minds of young adults. There are many benefits of going to college, but for incoming freshman the thought of embarking on a four-year degree can be a daunting task.

I clearly remember feeling excited and scared all at the same time on my first day of classes. My nerves were also heightened by the fact that I didn’t take the time to research where my classes were.

Overwhelmed by my surroundings I recall helplessly looking and searching for the school map because I had no idea where I was. Luckily I happened to be engulfed in a campus full of college students who were able to give me instructions and helpful directions on where to go.

First lesson I learned in college was that it’s vital to arrive early on your first day. If you haven’t located in advance where your classes are you should understand that there’s a big chance you might get lost on campus.

Another reason behind my anxiety on my first day was that I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do with my life. Looking back now I realized that it’s okay to be unsure of your future career goals, when you’re still a freshman.

College is an experience that allows you to see what you excel at; this is something that is learned through trial and error. So don’t be astounded if you haven’t figured out what you’re going to major in after your first day of classes.

For your freshman year staying organized is another essential element needed for you to succeed in school. By having a routine and a set schedule you can stay focused and shine in all your classes.

Also please remember to read the syllabus, before you ask questions about the class rules. It’s so easy for upperclassman to pinpoint the freshman in the class when moments after the syllabus has been handed out they spit out rhetorical questions that are clearly written down in the syllabus. The teachers put time and effort into the syllabus, so you should put time and effort into reading it.

Once you’ve read the syllabus make sure you scribble down your instructor’s email, their office hours and your final exam date so that you can be prepared in advance.

Another secret to triumphing in your classes is to regularly visit the teacher’s office. By establishing a relationship with your teacher you get the most out of your class and have a better understanding of the specific teaching style of your instructor.

For incoming freshman it’s always a good idea to take advantage of opportunities while staying focused in school. College is a wonderful experience and it’s essential to try new things such as joining new clubs, accepting activity invites and embarking on new friendships. When you don’t know how to properly utilize your free time in college that is when issues can arise.   

It was unfortunate to see many of my classmates struggle in college because they didn’t put school as their number one priority. With that said don’t hesitate to have fun, just keep in mind that you’re in school to get educated. While it’s okay to work part time, join clubs, go to parties and interact with new friends, remember that getting a degree is your ultimate goal.

All in all, you should remember to embrace the whole experience of college. Being a student is an opportunity that allows you to create work habits that will help you succeed in your future endeavors. By keeping an open mind and constantly being eager to learn, the possibilities for your future are endless.

© 2014 The Explorer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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