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Tips for college

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Freshman year of college can be more than just a little overwhelming. Here are some tips for first year survival.
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How to Survive, and Even Make the Most of Your Freshman Year of College

Youíve made it through all the hard work of high school, you survived those SATís and college applications.  As you move all your treasured belongings into a new college dorm room, itís impossible not to feel overwhelmed and anxious.  Most college freshmen will face home sickness, social anxieties, academic stress and financial challenges. 

However, college is certainly one of most exciting, enjoyable educational opportunities of a lifetime.  These tips for college freshmen are intended to help students to survive that first critical year of the college or university experience.

Tips for College Freshmen:  How to Survive That First, Crucial Year

1.  Take the initiative to socialize with your roommate and meet others in your residence hall.  The people you will live with for the next year will be experiencing many of the same emotions you will face.  These students will become resources and friends, not only for the next four years, but quite possibly for the rest of your life.

 Attend all orientations.  You may be sick and tired of campus tours, but these orientations will help you to find your way around the campus, meet new people, and generally feel prepared.

3.  Get organized and develop good study habits.  College professors will expect you to be prepared.  They may hand you a syllabus with a list of the reading requirements and assignments for the entire semester.  You will need to become an expert on the due dates for these assignments, and prioritize your work. Buying a calendar, a PDA, a white board, a bulletin board or even a notebook to keep track of assignments, projects, tests, exams, etc is one of the very best tips for college freshmen.

4.  Take time to meet one-on-one with your professors and academic advisers. Personal introductions are the key to establishing solid relationships with your professors.  Most college professors will have office hours, or certain days devoted to meeting with students.  Take advantage of these office hours and visit with your professors.

5.  Go to class.  This tip sounds fairly obvious; however, many college freshmen must learn to balance new college schedules with social activities that may run late into the night.  Sleeping in and skipping early morning classes may be tempting at times.  One of the most important tips for college success is to make it an absolute priority to attend all of your classes unless you are truly sick.

6.  Locate a preferred study spot.  Some students may find it impossible to study in a dorm room, where social activity and interruptions may be frequent.  Perhaps the library, a cozy corner of the student lounge, or even a private study room may serve you better.  Find a comfortable, well lit location where you will be able to avoid distractions and focus on school work.

7.  Get involved with campus life.  Many college freshmen face homesickness, and that general feeling of being overwhelmed and alone in a new environment.  Consider joining a few clubs, student organizations, sports teams, sororities or fraternities.  These activities can help students to make new friends, and feel more connected.

8.  Stay healthy, eat right and get enough sleep.  The majority of the problems college freshmen face can be attributed to illnesses that kept them out of classes for extended periods.  Avoid getting sick by eating a balanced diet, taking your vitamins, getting enough exercise, and getting enough sleep.  As hard as it may be at times, a consistent schedule will be your best bet to surviving freshmen year.

9.  Keep a financial budget and be aware of your spending.  College can be one of lifeís most expensive undertakings.  Besides college tuition, books and supplies can run into the thousands.  Many college freshmen have never had to create a budget.  Now is the time to learn how to budget and balance a check book.  Learning to budget early is the best step toward avoiding the credit card debt that burdens so many college graduates.

10.  Make personal time for yourself.  Freshmen year schedules are jam packed full of activities.  More often than not, college life can feel like a whirlwind.  Make it a point to set aside some time for your self.  Make time for a nap if you need it, a bicycle ride, your favorite television program, some yoga stretches, or even a trip to the movie theater.  Relaxing activities can help you to cope with the myriad of other demands you will face during your freshmen year of college.

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