Freshman Year 101
Whether you are about to start your freshman year in college or have to wait for one more until you finish your senior year at high school, you are most likely wondering how is your first taste of university life going to be like. Probably questions such as “Will I like my professors?”, “Will I fit in with my new colleagues?” and “Will I be satisfied with the degree I have chosen or will choose?” are swirling around in your mind. Of course, you want it to be as pleasant as stress-free as possible. So if you want to make your university freshman year a remarkable experience you will always remember with a smile, this article is definitely for you!
Make sure it’s not a degree, but the degree
Studying something you’re really keen on is crucial. If you are studying something only for pragmatic reasons, for example only because of the salary you will later earn if you go for a certain profession, or in order to please your parents will not only frustrate you over time, it will also make you less motivated to keep on with it because you’ll be constantly thinking you could use that time for doing something else, something that really satisfies you.
Keep in mind that even the large amounts of money you earn by working on a job you don’t really like won’t be able to buy you happiness. Therefore, make sure you choose a degree with subjects you really enjoy and which will offer you the chance of working in something you can visualize dedicating your life to.
If what you really like happens to be “practical” for the working world, the better; but if it is otherwise, don’t worry, you’ll find out a way of making it profitable.
Find a good accommodation
Whether you’ll still be living with your parents, in a shared flat, or staying in a college dormitory, it is extremely important to feel comfortable in your dwelling space. Otherwise, it won’t only most likely end up affecting your grades negatively, but also your overall well-being.
If you are staying in a very noisy neighborhood, or the people whom you’re sharing housing with are always being loud, you’ll probably end up exhausted and even physically sick. It is important to ponder about various possibilities before you make up your mind about an accommodation, and choose what you consider to be your best option.
But whatever you do, take your time and don’t rush; for you may end up regretting it later. In case you’ll really be moving out of your parents’ house, a good idea would be to start looking for a place to stay several months before. Ask around for some tips, you might be offered some valuable information about other people’s experiences!
Join local clubs and associations
By joining local clubs you don’t only get the chance to spend some time doing an activity you enjoy, but you also get the opportunity to meet new people. If you are by nature a shy person who doesn’t usually feel very confident in new environments, I strongly encourage you to try them out, for they are a great way of overcoming bashfulness and make you feel better about yourself.
Furthermore, there are even more advantages: you’re bound to make new friends and even get some extra credits for the course you’re studying!
Go out with your friends and allow yourself to chill out
University life is not all about studying, but also about socializing and having some fun; so do allow yourself to go out with your friends on the weekends and do something you enjoy together: eat out at your favorite restaurant, go to the cinema, hang out in the park…
If you also enjoy cultural stuff, you can also do some research to find out about different museum exhibitions which might interest you, concerts, theatre plays… Give them a try!
Don’t fall behind in your studies!
It is important to take some time to relax and unwind, but that doesn’t mean you should stop paying attention to your studies! Get organized, make your own studying schedule and stick to it. Start studying with enough anticipation in order to be prepared for your exams.
If you follow this piece of advice, you will also spare yourself from the stress that always comes with getting everything organized in the very last minute. Also, in case your accommodation isn’t the most propitious place to review and study, try going to a different place, such as your local library.
Look after yourself!
Even though it might be complicated, try to maintain a healthy diet: don’t skip meals and, even if you don’t have much time for cooking, try not to fall into the temptation of always going for what is faster, for processed foods contain a variety of chemical substances and are harmful to your body if eaten in excess during long periods of time.
Make an effort to always take some vitamins every day: if vegetables aren’t often available, resort to fruit. Stock up on tinned fish, fresh fruit, nuts, and jams, since these foods aren’t usually very expensive. This way, you will always have some delicious food in hand and not have to slave over a hot stove every day. On the other hand, sleep is as important as eating well.
Don’t stay up until very late and try to get at least 7 hours of sleep every night. If your flatmates or neighbors are constantly being noisy, talk to them about the matter. In case that doesn’t help and the issue becomes too out of hand, consider changing rooms or even moving to another flat.