Advice for First-Year students: starting fresh for spring semester

Mia Rollins, Staff Writer


While college for most is an amazing experience filled with newly found freedom and independence, it’s also a wild experience of learning how to balance studying for finals, maintaining consistent sleep schedules, community living, and attending all the classes we pay so much money for. Not only are first-year students having to do all those things, they are having to learn them for the first time.

One common scenario for first year college students is to over pack their schedule. Students are eager to learn so they might take an extra class, sign up for three clubs, or take more than one on-campus job. While it is good to get involved and to join activities to make friends, it’s important to remember that it’s only the first year and students still have four years to join clubs and participate in events.

A suggestion for this semester for first year students is to try to focus most of your energy toward classes first for a month. After a month, if you feel as though you could add either an on-campus job or an off-campus job on the weekend, you should pursue it. After all, this is a good way of meeting new people and making money.

Another suggestion is to remember the importance of self-care. Self-care is not always about taking baths and expensive massages. Instead, self-care could be an extra hour of sleep, going on a 15-minute walk, or watching an episode of a favorite TV show from time to time. Taking that extra step towards bettering yourself could positively impact all your other commitments and education.

There are some students who have made it a habit to not get involved whatsoever. There are a couple reasons why this could be harmful to a first year’s experience and education.

Not going to any school events such as games, fairs, and dances can negatively affect a students semester; college students who do this are not allowing themselves to meet new people. It’s common to hear people say, “in college you are going to meet some of your best friends.” This is to go saying that it is not guaranteed to meet close friends in just a matter of couple months.

There is an emphasis on friends because it is also good to take that extra step in class. That way, if you miss a class or need a study buddy, you have one available. Having this extra resource can become very handy and maybe just save people from failing tests or missing assignments.

With all of that being said, it is obvious to say that college is not a cakewalk and these suggestions are no more than suggestions. There is no perfect guide book as to how to succeed the first year at college. Students come from an array of backgrounds and therefore not all routes to completing school is going to be the same. As also stated, there is not a pressure to go only one route.

As mentioned before, there is plenty of time to figure out what works best and what doesn’t work best. One thing that could help speed that process is honesty to oneself. Ask, “is this too much?” or, “could I be working harder?” These are both great questions to ask when starting fresh. If there is an honest answer, follow that and make changes based on those answers.

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