College advice for freshmen
Getting into the portals of great college or university is an achievement in itself, you need to be congratulated. Being a freshman in college, as exciting as it is, comes with new challenges. I thought I would share some of my thoughts on some college advice for freshmen here. I wish someone had spent the time to tell me about all this when I went to university, but I am glad to share this with you. Being a college or university student brings with it a certain amount of freedom, but with freedom comes responsibility. The fact that you have chosen to graduate high school, and get yourself some solid education means that you are serious about your future, or should be. You have indeed graduated from being a child to an adult, and adult life comes with its own set of responsibilities.
College tips for better adjustment
Adjusting to the college environment. College will be a new and unfamiliar place, and functions much differently than the school systems that you were used to. Orientation programs in college are geared to address this difference in functioning, and to make you more familiar with its programs, the campus and the facilities. Attending orientation programs helps you to familiarize yourself with your new environment and its functioning. They also help you to mentally program yourself to change before you actually get into it. You also have the opportunity of interacting with peers in a very casual way, and get to know them while the orientation programs are conducted.
Keep pace. The pace of learning is much faster in a college or university than it is in the high schools. Here you are given the conceptual clarity and the broad outlines. You are expected to do your own reading and understanding of related concepts and the finer details. It is important to pay attention while new concepts are being taught. It is even more important to learn and understand the concepts that are taught in class while it is still fresh in your memory. Retention is much stronger if you follow this study method.
Ask questions. Many freshmen find it difficult to ask questions. You may be refraining from doing so, if you are worried about what others would think of you. It may hurt your ego a little, but your conceptual clarity and understanding of the subject will improve as you ask meaningful questions. Preparing in advance for the next days class actually helps you get a better understanding of what is taught in class. Taking notes and active listening is very important. As there is so much to study, active listening and taking notes will help you remember concepts, and have the required study material for learning at a later date. This way you can save yourself a lot of time.
Broaden your interests. College is not only about studies, you have opportunities to get involved in many other things. Some interesting activities are always on offer, some social skills like public speaking, or whatever interests you. Sports is another areas of focus for freshmen trying to prove themselves. While it is great to get involved, if your focus is to quickly become popular on campus, you may overestimate your potential, and get involved in too many things before you know it. You may actually end up forgetting the reason you entered a college or university.
Set goals and be focused. Though grades are not everything, in reality, flunking subjects may pull down your level of confidence as college freshmen and hinder you from achieving your goals. Set your goals and work on them. Try to achieve a balance. Being only focused on studies may make you seem like a geek with little or no social skills. You need to aim at having a well balanced approach to life before you leave the university in search of a career.
Mentors and academic counsellors assigned to you are there to help you. Make good use of their services. It is always good to discuss your problems with someone who is in a position to help you. Mentors can help you cope with your studies. They are often great facilitators, and you would be smart to put this service to good use. You would greatly benefit from the expertise and the experience of a mentor, beyond your current ability as a freshman.
Use effective learning techniques for better study results. You need to study smart, as you may not have the luxury of studying hard with so many things to balance. These techniques help you meet your goals easily. Do not resort to cramming before exams. It may have worked well at school, but at the university you are learning to equip yourself for life. So form good study habits and stick to them. Finding a place to study and the right time to study is important. Distractions are rife at the university, so you need to find a place away from distractions to be able to focus on the job of learning. The library can be a wonderful place sometimes.
Take responsibility for your actions. The drop-out percentages among freshmen in colleges are high because students are not prepared for life at college, or the grind that is part of life at the university. If you can keep your focus and determination on the right path, you could be a great success at college.
Social activities and hanging out with friends is great, but make sure that they don’t cost you your dream. Partying is fun, but too much is not. Hanging out with the right crowd helps you move ahead and realize your goals. Your choices are what make the difference. You need to make responsible choices in terms of friends, activities and studies. Since there is little or no parental control at this stage, you need to remember that it is your future and you are responsible for it.
Plan and organize your activities. Be ready for each day. Completing lessons and assignments should be high on your priority list. Having fun, but also being at the top the class should be your aim. Do not get sidetracked by the lesser things in life. Your goals should be your motivation. Good time management skills are essential for your all round success. Having the right attitude towards work will help you enjoy your studies and college life. If you remember to put some of these points into action, you can definitely be a winner. Here’s to the best days of your college life, not only as a freshman, but as a graduate and perhaps a post-graduate as well.