Welcome to your freshman year of college! It is exciting, nerve wracking, and momentous. As you go through this week, you will probably feel overwhelmed a time or two. Remember, everyone around you is having that same sensation! All of college is hard, but freshman year is the hardest, the one with the biggest adjustment from high school to college, from normal life to student life! Check out our top 5 tips to successfully surviving freshman year!
1) Get Organized! Take advantage of the early part of the semester when your life is still calm. Get a planner. Write down all of your due dates, your class schedule, everything. It may seem dorky the first time you do it, but trust me, it will save your life.
2) Start Early! It is two in the morning, and you are staring at the computer screen, watching the cursor flash in the same spot it was in 3 hours ago. You have half a page written, and this essay is due in 5 hours. As the generation that has gone before you, I can honestly say—We have all been there! I can also honestly say—You don’t want to be there. The stress, no sleep, rushing to class with a paper full of typos, is miserable. Do the smart thing I never did, and get started early. Write a rough draft of your paper, and give yourself a week to edit it. It will help; I promise. You can even set a reminder in your phone, or in your Mills email to pop up a week or two before that essay is due to get you started. *Google Calendar is my reminder of choice.*
3) Know Your Resources! One of the great things about attending a small, private school is that you have plenty of resources available, and a lot of people who want to help you get the attention you need. The Center for Academic Excellence is one of the buildings you will want to know. This is where your peer tutors are located, and the fabulous Writing Center (we really are awesomely amazing and helpful—I promise!). Remember that the Mills Website has a lot of this information available, but if you are still confused, ask one of your professors. They can point you in the right direction.
4) Stock up on supplies! Okay, I know this sounds like the nerdiest suggestion in the world. However, as an incoming freshman, you have yet to be sitting in the middle of a written exam with a broken pencil, and no back-up pen. Now, you will either have to bug the person next to you, disturb the class as you rummage through your bag, or ask the professor to borrow one (who may not be that enthusiastic about this little dilemma). Just trust me on this one: bring an extra pen or pencil, an extra blue book, and more notebook paper than you ever think you will need (that way, at least one page will survive the inevitable coffee spillage).
5) Just Breath! You will be okay. Your are going to make it here! Take the time to take care of yourself. It is your first year, a time you will never get back. Remember to eat right, get a full night’s sleep, and take the time to hang out with your friends. I am not advocating abandoning all study skills, but having a well balanced life will keep you healthy, happy and sane though a challenging year.
I am sure at this point you are wondering why you bothered wasting your now precious minutes reading this blog post. As simple as they seem, these tips were all gained through the rather painful process of trial and error. I can only hope you will learn from them, and take advantage of your time and the people that are there to help you succeed. Best of luck your freshman year! We look forward to seeing all of you in the Writing Center soon!