This is Part Two of our featured article about how to prepare and survive your first year of college. Written by our Teen Identity alumni Sarah Graham!
Now that you’re all prepared and stuff… how do you SURVIVE? Don’t worry, I’ll tell you that too..
One thing that I like, is to have pictures up. They make me feel more at home. I have them on a ribbon board (cute, and space-saving), on my closet doors, and in various picture frames.
Pro-tip: Walmart.com does super inexpensive printing and delivery if you want to order some photos of you with your family or new college friends. Other places that do this are Walgreens, CVS, and other pharmacies. Walmart is just my personal preference.
Another thing I like to do is call my mom every week. It’s great to hear from family, and believe me, they miss you. A LOT. Keeping your parents up-to-date with your grades and your life is a great way to make them feel more comfortable with you being away, especially if you’re out of state. You don’t have to call every week. You don’t even have to call, really, but be sure to send a text or an email every so often if you don’t want to call.
Also, make friends with the girls in your hall. If you want to, rushing a sorority is an option for making friends and getting involved on campus. So are other groups and organizations based on interest, beliefs, religion, etc. You don’t have to join a sorority though. I didn’t, and I’m doing perfectly fine.
As far as food goes, meal plans are expensive. You probably don’t need the “unlimited” plan. I have 14 meals per week at the dining halls on campus, and I’ve never run out. It just depends on how many times you want to eat there (believe me, you’ll get tired of the dining halls after a month or so).
When it comes to your classes, don’t take a crazy amount of hours just to rack up the credits. You’ll end up slacking off in the ones you don’t care about. Also, be absolutely sure you make time for doing your homework and studying. Cramming at the last minute may seem like a good idea at the time, especially if there’s something fun going on during the weekend, but you’re going to need that information later, so cramming is a BAD idea. As long as you’re studying for an hour or so per day for each class, depending on your learning style and your classes, you should be fine. I have faith in you, don’t worry.
If you ever have any questions, ask your RA (resident assistant). RA’s are there to help you, especially as freshmen. You’re not expected to know everything.
You’re a freshman. Relax. Have fun! You’re only young once.