College is starting pretty soon for most of us. Only one of my professors have given us the syllabi, so I think everyone is still in summer mode. However, school is starting whether we want it to or not! I’m back with another college related blog post! You guys seem to love them and I love writing them! This post is all about surviving your freshman year of college classes. College is sooo different from high school and there are a lot of things to prepare for!
Surviving Your Freshman Year of College Classes
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I went to college in California for my first two years and I had only briefly visited the school for a tour a year or two prior. Not only is it nerve racking to move into a dorm away from your high school friends and all your family, now you are expected to do adult things! And go to all your classes! With the combination of all of this, the first year of college can be a bit stressful. I’m here to help you battle some of the stress in regards to your freshman classes. Hopefully this will help you relax a bit before they start!
Find Where Your Classes Are
This is 100% necessary. Find out where all your classes are before the first day of classes. See if you can even enter them too! Sometimes there are multiple doors and you can still get lost!
When I was a Freshman I was in ROTC and before one of my classes we were out in the mountains for a lab crawling around on the ground getting completely muddy in our uniform. I realized I was already 30 minutes late to my first day of class so I had to leave the ROTC lab quickly and head over. Keep in mind, at this point I am 30 minutes late to the first day of class and I didn’t really know where it was. The class was in the biggest lecture hall on campus. So here I am running into the doors, only to realize I am opening the door on the bottom on the lecture hall where the professor stands! So all 300 students look over at me covered in mud 30 minutes late. It was the most embarrassing thing ever! Now, it’s a hilarious story to tell, but still!
I hope this story makes you see how important it is to really know where all your classes are! This was essential to me when it came to surviving my classes!
Do Well on Your Assignments
Some high schools have a system in place to ensure that no student fails a class. In my old high school, the lowest we can get on any grade is a 50%. College is not like that! It is completely up to you to get the grade you want. Most times there is no extra credit. No turning papers late for full credit. No, you can’t ask your parents to email your professor for a higher grade. Just because you are surviving in college doesn’t mean you should barely pass each class! You are able to succeed and get exactly the grades you want if you work hard enough!
A lot of my college classes were composed of 3 exams and a homework grade. Those exams are 75% of your grade! Do poorly on one, and you won’t be able to get an A in the class. Every grade you get in your class counts. I just published a blog post all about note taking for college students!
Know One Person in Each Class
You never know when you are going to be sick or need a personal day. We’ve all been there. Surviving college sometimes means that we need to take a sick day. In each class I’ve ever taken, I like to get someone’s number just in case I’m not able to make it to class. Maybe your professor skipped over a chapter that you were going to cover, or mentioned something about the final exam. It’s always helpful to have some backup. You can also be this person in case they aren’t able to make it to class!
Talk to Your College Advisor
I’m not talking about your entire college advisor, I mean your department advisor. Maybe you’re in the college of business at your school. Get to know them! They can be very helpful in recommending classes and helping you graduate on time. You may also get to hear about internships, able to get a recommendation letter and help with scheduling classes!
Plan Out Your 4 years
I am a huge believer in planning the future-to an extent. However, in college I think it’s totally necessary! More time in college = more money spent, so we want to all spend the minimum amount of time there. I planned out all my requirements for the four years I would be spending in college. Surviving our classes means that we can move forward to the next set of classes! I loved seeing what classes were up next! This can be super helpful for the classes that require prerequisites. You’ll also be able to see if you can add any fun classes too! Or maybe you realize you need to take a summer class to finish up on time.
Wait until Classes Start to Buy/Rent Textbooks
I know that it is so exciting to start your first year of college and you’ll want to buy the textbooks as soon as you know what you need. I strongly urge you to wait! There were so many times where I didn’t even need the textbook and never touched it. Sometimes a professor will say during the first day that it is optional. This will save you a bit of money! Unless the syllabus states that it is a required text, wait until you can confirm that you’ll need it!
I also want to mention to rent your textbooks! I have never in my entire college life paid more than 40 bucks for a textbook! Don’t go to the school store, they completely overprice everything. If you are really adamant about buying and not renting, Amazon has so many textbooks you can buy used and save a ton of money. I also love Chegg for textbooks as well. I just bought one from there and save over $100!
Make Yourself Known in Classes
With big lecture halls and professors having so many classes, you can become hidden in with the hundreds of students that they teach. Ask questions during class, participate in activities, sit up front etc. Do everything that you can so that the professors know who you are. You’ll be able to develop a great relationship with them and get extra help when you need it. Maybe you have an 89.9 and you want them to round it up. Professors who see that you are engaged with their class will be more lenient to round it up than those who slack off and never come to class.
Get Help as Soon as You Need It
This is in regards to classwork. As soon as you find yourself falling behind/struggling, try and get some help. It can be hard to miss a class and catch up. See if your college offers tutoring. Go to your professors office hours. Find someone in the class to study with you. Falling behind will only make it harder to get the grades that you want. College is meant to be hard, but it shouldn’t be so difficult that you can’t pass your classes.
Find Time for Yourself
This one may seem a bit odd, but it’s how we all are surviving the fast pace of college. Stressing out over exams or homework assignments can be good at times, it can help us get it in on time and work harder. Too much stress can be a bad thing and we all need to find ways that helps us relax. Living in the dorms, you aren’t exactly given the most spa like bathroom so taking a relaxing bath is often times out of the question. I liked to do face masks, paint my nails and watch a movie. My favorite face masks are from the Yes To Carrots brand. Maybe you’ll order dinner to your dorm that isn’t college food and hang out with some friends. I tried to do this at least once a week to have time to myself.
Whether you are attending your first ever college classes or your last year of them, I hope this blog post helped you in some way! Do you have any other tips to surviving your freshman college classes? Let me know in the comments below!