Posts Tagged ‘college freshmen’
Freshman year of college, it is important to stay updated on every important date on the university calendar. In your first semester (or first quarter) everything is still so new, and you may forget important dates if you do not stay organized and mark your calendar accordingly ahead of time.
Depending on your university, freshman orientation will either be over the summer or in the fall right before classes start. If orientation is right before school starts, it could be either before or during Welcome Week, when many students head up to campus to hang out and get settled in for the year. To keep from getting the two mixed up, check when your orientation date is. This will ensure that you are on campus at the correct time and do not get penalized for missing important information.
The First Day of Class
As most students will arrive on campus at least a week before classes begin, your move-in date in the dorms is not a clear indicator of when classes actually begin. The first day of class is crucial to attend, as many professors relay important information for the year and will remove students from the class if they are not present, so make sure you know the date and don’t miss it!
Fall Study Break
Depending on your university, you may or may not have a fall study break sometime in October or November. Many students go home for fall break, and the farther ahead you plan, you will be able to find the cheapest available travel options. Also, if you have exams or papers due around your fall break, it is helpful to know that you have the extra time to study.
Depending on your university, you will have a different number of days off for Thanksgiving break. Some schools give students and faculty the entire week for vacation whereas others have a vacation that starts Wednesday at 5 pm the night before the holiday. Find out when your Thanksgiving break is early, and just like fall break, you will be able to book your travel arrangements early to get the best deals.
Every class will have final exams at different times in a week or two week period. It is important to find out when your exams are early in the semester so you can plan your study schedule accordingly.
When Grades Are Due
It is helpful to know when grades are due because some professors like to take their time while they’re grading. You may get frustrated if your grades are not posted right away, so knowing when the deadline is will help you stay in-the-know on when to expect them to be posted.
College can be one of the greatest four (or five) year span of young adulthood. When you start out as a freshman, there are so many new things going on, it is sometimes hard to navigate the murky waters of college life. There is certainly no right answer or perfect college experience, but here are three things that I wish I had known as a freshman that may make your time at school a little better!
1. You are in charge. By this I mean, you have the power to create your own destiny. Be proactive with this power and seek out opportunities. I expected my professors to invite me to their office hours if I was having trouble in class. I expected exciting extra-curricular opportunities to land on my doorstep. No such luck. I realized later than I would have liked that it was up to me to take the initiative to contact my professors in order to get to know them and how they thought I was doing. It was up to me to pick an interest and either find a club that I could join or start one if it didn’t exist. I was in charge, and I try to remember that to this day as I live life post-graduation.
2. It’s about the journey, not the destination. College, to me, meant a rigorous new grading system that had to be conquered. I tended to focus on grades instead of engagement in classes. I spent too much time desperately seeking the right answer and not enough time participating in the discussion, discovering the nuances of a topic. As a theatre major, I analyzed my scenes and exercises too rigidly and was afraid to fail. I wish I had known that the point is to fail. Because even if I did everything “right” and got an A++, I wasn’t focused on how I got there. I was just focused on finishing. I wish I had focused on the process.
3. Be honest and open with your roommate. My roommate and I started out as great friends, but it became clear as freshman year rolled on that we were very different people, with very different ideas of what it meant to be friends. In retrospect, we should definitely have had a conversation about expectations and boundaries. Had we been more honest and less passive-aggressive, we might be better friends today. Don’t be afraid to defend yourself and your values, and remember to be open about your roommate’s background and goals.
Check out all the college search and scholarships resources available to you at Cappex and remember that there is no perfect college experience. Do what makes you happy and make your time in school unique!
Welcome to college! Here is the key to your teeny tiny dorm room. Good luck fitting all of your stuff in there!
Dorm rooms are notoriously small. Plus, you’re sharing the space with someone else. It’s time to get creative with storage and organization. The key? Think vertically!
- CLOSET SPACE- Chances are your closet is narrow and shallow. Try adding another rod for hanging clothes! You can find versions that hang on your current closet rod and double your hanging space. A hanging shoe rack is another great way to utilize closet space. Your rod doubler can allow you more space for a hanging rack, or you can find one that hangs on the back of your door! There are also hangers that can hang multiple shirts or pairs of pants at once.
- DESK SPACE – Dorm room desks are not enormous. If there’s room, place two file drawers underneath the desk, snug to one side. Make sure you still have plenty of space to sit. If there aren’t shelves on top of your desk already, try these white magazine files from Ikea. They are inexpensive and a great way to organize papers and documents by school subject. You can also create shelf space with stacking file trays for papers. If you’re storing books on top of your desk or on shelves, bookends are a good idea. They’ll keep your books from falling over – or falling on you!
- BED SPACE – That’s right, bed space! Each dorm is different, but many offer (or already have) lofted beds. If you can loft ‘em, do it. It creates a nice space for your desk underneath your bed. If you have bunk beds, use the space under your bed to store suitcases. Store your winter clothes in your suitcases during the warmer months, and vice versa during the winter.
- DOOR SPACE – As mentioned previously, doors can be used for storage too, depending on your needs. Hanging shoe racks, towel racks, or hooks are awesome storage tools that make use of your door.
- SPACE SPACE – You won’t have a lot of it, but where you do – think vertically! Stacking plastic drawers are ideal for dorms. You can store everything from bath stuff to school stuff to clothes stuff in these drawers. They come in a variety of sizes, so you should be able to find narrow versions or wide versions, depending on where you’d like to put them. If you have a bed on the ground (not lofted) these drawers can double as a night stand.
Finding storage space in your dorm will require a little creativity. The good news is that the tiny dorm room isn’t a new problem – students have been dealing with it forever! That’s why there are so many neat tricks and space savers out there for you. Go get ‘em! Start organizing!
As a college freshman, you might find the study and exam schedule to be a bit different than in high school. There will probably be a lot more reading expected of you and you will need to cover more material in depth for each course. Studying and reading can get monotonous. The good news? There are things you can do to shake it up and have more fun while you study! I promise!
1. Pick new locations. Studying in your favorite Starbucks day after day might seem like a good, comfortable idea – the baristas might even know your order by heart – but changing up study spots every now and then is an even better idea. Explore the different coffee shops on and around campus. Find a cozy spot outside on particularly nice days. Pick out different libraries or computer labs where you could study. Mixing things up gives you something new to look forward to each study session!
2. Work with a study group. Typically, a 3 to 4 person study group works best. There are enough people to share the work, but not so many that you get off task. Take turns teaching each other concepts or chapters discussed in class. You will definitely find out what you know and still need to work on when you try teaching it to someone else. Combine forces for a more engaging study experience.
3. Try a different method. Do you find yourself resorting to flashcards for every class? Give the cards a rest for a semester and see how your study habits change. Convinced you are not a visual learner? Second guess yourself and try creating graphs, charts, or pictures to educate yourself on a subject. Retreating to the same tools gets boring, so try incorporating new methods!
4. Switch between subjects. Drowning yourself in a Shakespeare course for an entire study session can be overwhelming – and exhausting! Separate your session into blocks of time. Switch between Shakespeare and something similar or related – like an art history class. It will keep your brain active and give it breaks at the same time.
5. Study actively. Instead of just reading the material, complete any study guides or questions your professor creates. Participate in class by asking questions and taking notes. Don’t forget – teaching someone else about a topic or idea is a very strong way to learn it. When you speak terms and concepts out loud, you learn and remember them better.
If you struggle with studying or feel lost, you can always ask your professor or TA (teacher’s assistant) for tips that might be tailored to the class.
Attention incoming freshmen: welcome to college! It’s finally time to live on your own without being constantly watched by your parents, which leaves many students fearing that they don’t know how to take care of themselves. It may be your first time doing laundry and cooking your own meals, among other things, but there’s a first time for everything, and it will become second nature in no time. Before you pack your bags and head back to the comfort of home, take a look at these tips for conquering freshmen fears.
Fear #7: I don’t know if I’ll be able to balance everything.
In college, there’s a lot going on. Between academic obligations and social endeavors, you may find yourself having trouble juggling everything you need and want to do. Eventually you will get the hang of it and know what you do and don’t have time for, but in the beginning, finding balance is something you’ll have to work at. Many students keep a calendar and update it every week to make sure that they properly allocate their time between work and play. If you are worried about balancing your time, this could be a great option for you and help you have a successful freshman year.
Fear #8: I’m concerned about managing my own finances.
When you’re out on your own, you may be in charge of your bank account for the first time, and not have your parents constantly giving you advice on good and unnecessary purchases. If you are living under a tighter budget, staying on top of your finances is incredibly important, but it is relatively easy in modern society to know where you stand. Take advantage of online banking and printable statements at ATMs, which can both give you an up-to-date information on your bank account. Many banks also offer automatic transfers from checking into savings, which can help you keep your savings at a certain level so you don’t have to worry as much about getting off track.
Fear #9: I don’t know how to do many basic skills.
Depending on what your living situation was like at home, freshman year may be your first time having to cook and clean for yourself. Though you may be nervous about taking care of yourself for the first time, you will soon realize that these skills will become part of your daily life. You will figure out how to do everything you need to do with a little help from those around you, and in no time, you’ll wonder how you ever used to rely on someone else.
Attention incoming freshmen: Now that you’ve got your social fears under control (if you missed it, see part one of this series, Conquering Freshman Fears: Making Friends), it’s time to tackle academics. One of the hardest parts of transitioning from high school to college is the difference between the two levels academically, which may have you dreading the first day of classes. Again, this fear is something shared by most freshmen, and you’re not alone. Before you begin to doubt your abilities, take a look at these tips for conquering freshman fears.
Fear #4: I won’t be able to keep up academically.
It’s true that college will be a lot more difficult and a lot more work than high school, but that doesn’t mean you won’t be able to make good grades. In college, after you choose a major, most of your classes will be tailored more specifically to your personal academic interests. These classes are designed to challenge you academically. If you find yourself needing extra help, there are tons of resources on college campuses that can help you succeed.
Fear #5: My professors will be too intimidating.
Many of your professors during your first year will gear the class ambiance and material to freshmen students, and understand the stress the transition to college can cause. Professors who teach freshmen are very open to helping students and answering questions both in and out of the classroom. They, along with teaching assistants, often will set up “office hours,” or scheduled times when students can come in with their questions to receive more one-on-one help. Getting to know your professors on a first name basis will ensure that they see you as not just another student in class, but one that goes above and beyond to excel in the classroom. It will also help you feel less intimidated by your professors when you see them in a different environment.
Fear #6: I was admitted by accident.
Many nervous students question whether or not their acceptance to college was an accident, and whether or not they are the caliber of student that the university looks for. The good news here is that the system the admissions office uses to review and admit students is very precise, and accidents, if they’ve ever happened, are extremely rare. You worked hard to get where you are, and you deserve it. Don’t question yourself, and start enjoying college for all of the great things it has to offer.
College checklists are good preparation tools. They help you remember to bring things like hangers. They are the buffers between you and your mother on trips to Bed, Bath & Beyond; when coffee maker is on the checklist, she has to buy you one right!?
What these checklists don’t account for are the personal tasks you have to take care of before leaving for school. Like breaking up.
The break up conversation is not ever an easy one to have. It gets even harder when you’re only contemplating breaking up because you’re going away to school. But when you are both headed in new directions, parting ways is a smart choice. Believe me, I’ve been there. I struggled with the pros and cons of what maintaining a long-distance relationship would entail. I considered making it work, but came to a few key realizations that led to my decision to break up.
It was important to me that I grow and change as a single person, not as one half of a relationship. In my opinion, college is a time when students are allowed to be selfish – they are allowed to indulge curiosities, explore what the world has to offer, and not worry about being tied down by a significant other. Not that having a boyfriend or girlfriend drags you down, but I find it can influence your decisions, and college is a time to find your own voice.
I was honest with myself and knew that if I had a boyfriend at another school, I would think about him too much and find it hard to be in the moment with new friends and activities. I would spend time thinking about what he was doing instead of focusing on my own awesome future. In a word, I would become clingy. I did not want my happiness or activities to be dictated by someone I never saw.
I cannot stress how much better it is to break up before school starts than to wait until you are miles apart. Talking it over in person and giving yourself time to heal will make the entire process easier. It may not seem that way at the time, but you’ll thank yourself later.
In the end, I am so very glad I made this decision. I think anyone who will be a freshman this fall should enter as a single unit – an individual ready to take on new challenges alone.
What do you think? Are you considering breaking up before college? Have you been through a similar situation?
What words of wisdom do you have to offer?
Breaking up can be tough, but planning for your future doesn’t have to be. Cappex has tons of college resources to help students.
Welcome to college! Guess what? Now you have to live with a stranger.
The roommate situation can either be wonderful or terrible. You might get lucky and be made for each other! Or you might not have anything in common with your new roommate. No matter what your particular scenario turns out to be, make the most of it and you will have a painless freshman year. The key? Communication.
Get in touch with your new roommate. As soon as you get their information, break the ice! It’s the hardest part, but thankfully email and Facebook make meeting someone for the first time a lot easier. Tell them a little bit about yourself and try to get to know them as best as possible.
Discuss the dorm room. Figure out which items you can each bring. Who has the microwave, mini-fridge, carpet, or chairs?! Planning a common space together is a great way to not only get pumped for a year together but bond over the awkward situation that is living with someone new.
Be open-minded. Even if you don’t think there is anything you have in common with this new roommate, you are both going to the same school. When in doubt, you can discuss what drew you to your university and ask why they are attending. They probably have their own interesting story that led them to this college.
Go out to dinner together. Or lunch! Or coffee! Spend some time getting to know this person at the beginning of the school year. You don’t have to do this on the first day or every day of your first week, but within the first month of school set aside a time where the two of you can chat in person. You’ll be spending a lot of time in the dorm room, so getting out to a new place will be fun.
Talk about expectations. Honestly, this is probably the hardest but the most important conversation to have with a roommate. Let them know where you stand on partying, studying, and living habits. If you need the dorm room to be spotlessly clean, be honest and tell them. If having a lot of friends over every night is something you plan on doing, say so. Then get ready to compromise if your ideas of good living habits vary from theirs.
Communicate with and respect each other. You do not have to be best friends. You might be! But, you don’t have to be. As long as you keep communication open and respect your joint living space, you will be just fine and freshman year will be a breeze.
For more tips and tools on surviving college, visit Cappex!
After months of applications and hard work, you’ve finally been accepted and chosen the college you will attend in the fall! Congratulations!
Choose Dorms and Meal Plans
One of the first things you will do as a brand new freshman is decide on a meal plan. Depending on your university, you may also get to pick your dormitory. Take a look at a campus map and consider where each dorm is located in comparison to classes you know you’ll need to take freshman year. If you don’t have any idea about classes, then just choose the dorm with the amenities that best suit your needs.
Tip: Even if you have friends going to the same school as you, I strongly recommend “going in blind”. This means rooming with someone you don’t know. It will be a great way to meet new people.
Find Current Students
If you’re studying in a conservatory program or concentrated department, try finding students on Facebook who have listed this area of study as well. Maybe a friend has an older sibling who has attended your school. Connect with these people to see if they have any tips for freshman!
Find Other New Students
Do you know anyone else who will be a freshman at your university with you? Talk to them to see if they know any inside information on dorms or campus life. It never hurts to have a friend going into a brand new phase of life, so keep in touch with this person when you get to school!
Apply for Scholarships
As I’m sure you know, college is not cheap. Luckily, there are tons of available scholarships out there waiting for you to apply. Cappex is an awesome source for discovering scholarships and finding fun ways to pay for school.
Often, colleges will recommend summer reading for students based on areas of study or major. If you know your major, look for this list to be sent to you in the mail. Check the university website for suggestions. If you don’t know your major yet or your school doesn’t offer summer reading suggestions, read something for fun to get your brain working before school starts in September!
For information on scholarships, college life and more, visit Cappex today!
College is different from high school.
We know we’re not telling you anything new. In fact, you’ve probably heard it a million times before, and you might have even rolled your eyes the last time someone mentioned it to you. Maybe a teacher told you that doing your homework last minute “won’t cut it in college”. Or maybe a friend helped you get over getting snubbed from a party list by reassuring you that “in college, there is no popular.”
Everything you’ve already heard about college has its truths and its limits. So, we decided to give you a twist on the normal college tips you’ve already heard.
1. Find the best way you stay organized
There’s no doubt you’ve heard at some point or another that time management is king at the university. Whelp, it’s actually true. But, this is more than just “time management” and “stay organized”. While people might have told you to do those things, it’s easier said than done. Here are some ways to actually become organized and learn to manage your time.
Like most things, practice makes perfect. The more you practice being organized, the better you will get at it, and in college, being organized will put you miles ahead of the person who can’t even find a pen to write with in class. So how do you start practicing organization? Start today with your high school classes and activities. Do you work better with digital calendars and reminders, or are you a pen to paper kinda guy? Maybe color coordinating the various activities in your life will help you keep them organized in your mind. Perhaps packing your bag before you go to bed will keep you from forgetting essential homework assignments. The key is trial and error. Try out a bunch of tactics to keep organized, and see what works.
2. Learn how to make food and stay healthy
No, Raman Noodles is not a substitute for the category “food”. Yes, it can be an occasional late night snack to keep you going while trucking through that 10-pager on British Imperialism and the rise of sprinkles on ice cream–but in general, you need nutrients! Nutrients are cool because they help your body work and your mind think. This is not just about avoiding the notorious Freshman 15. This about being healthy and happy.
Healthy means you’re eating food that’s good for you. Happy means that you’re enjoying the food. So before you pack your bags and don’t come home until Thanksgiving, talk with somebody who’s food you enjoy and ask for some easy recipes. There’s also always the Internet. Oh, and there’s also this (it’s awesome).
3. Budget your life
College life can get expensive. There’s books, there’s rent, there’s that amazing sweater you need right now. The best way to go about it is to create a budget for yourself. It will keep you on track and set strict guidelines for how much money you have to spend every month.
A great way to make some wiggle room for cash is to find some scholarships to help you pay for college.
4. Actually waking up to your alarm clock
We don’t know if you’ve heard, but your mom will not be driving 100 miles to your dorm room to gently nudge you awake in the morning. It’s time to start waking up on your own. Oversleeping might mean you miss the most important 5 minute mini lecture of your entire life. So make an investment if your phone’s alarm clock doesn’t ring loudly enough. Being late in college will keep you perpetually behind.
5. Get chatty
A major surprise for college freshman is how accessible their professors are. Too many students will sit through class taught by a world-renowned professor, take a couple notes and leave as soon as class is over. You can curb this tendency by asking more questions in your high school class and scheduling time with teachers you admire to talk about a subject in school or guidance on your higher ed plans.
When you’re in college, you’ll be ready to take advantage of the resources you worked hard to have access to! One of the best ways to do this is to simply strike up a conversation with your professor before or after class. Visit them in office hours. You never know what kind of inspiration can come out of a conversation with a great professor–it might lead you in a completely new direction. It also might buy you an extension on that 10-pager on British Imperialism and the rise of…what was that again?
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