Freshman Guide: How to Survive Your First Year of College

Two students sitting on stairs looking at computerCongratulations! You are officially a college freshman. There’s nothing quite like it. For most, it represents the end of dependence and the beginning of liberation! That is until it’s time to register for classes. Then things suddenly become quite lucid. In fact, the freshman experience for some may at first seem absolutely terrifying! There’s no need to worry. Every freshman goes through some type of uncertainty of whether or not he or she can do this—go out on his or her own to earn a college degree.

That is why Florida National University (FNU) has drafted this Freshman Survival Guide. This article will offer helpful tips on how freshmen can survive their first year of college.

  • Familiarize Yourself with the Campus

First thing’s first, it’s best to get familiar with the school. Don’t wait until the day classes begin to shuffle around campus finding the correct room number and possibly being late for class! It is recommended to go to school a day or maybe even a week before classes start to familiarize oneself with the campus layout. Remember, there are going to be hundreds upon hundreds of students, FNU staff and faculty bustling about the campus. So one should prepare to expect a high amount of energy. This can rattle some new students, making it confusing enough to get lost. Students who take the initiative to become familiar with their college campus will be more comfortable navigating to and from classes.

  • Attend Orientations

Another way to quickly become comfortable as a first-year student is to attend the orientations!

Students who feel that orientations are boring or a waste of time are missing out on a terrific opportunity to meet new people and get a better understanding of the school’s overall mission, core values, and how they can contribute to these goals. Additionally, freshmen orientation meetings are designed to introduce new students to the faculty. This is an ideal time for freshman to introduce themselves to their professors and establish a healthy student/teacher relationship. By doing so, students will also feel more comfortable in their classroom being more apt to ask more questions.

  • Socialize!

This might be easier said than done, especially for introverts, but this is what the college experience is all about. Socializing is going to help freshmen overcome the fear of being in a new place, learning new things and for some, learning new customs and languages.

For freshmen, the academic workload can be somewhat overwhelming and demanding. There will be more expectations from a student than what there was in high school, so that can be quite the transition to adapt to.

Finding someone in college who can relate to this transition isn’t difficult, even for the introvert! In college, every student has one thing in common: homework! So finding a friend or classmate to discuss one’s academic workload can alleviate any anxiety of being over worked academically.

Here are a few ways socializing can help one’s academic career:

  • Find a Study Group – Study groups are not hard to find. One can look on the campus bulletin board to find a study group that’s suited for them. Oftentimes, independent study groups form within each class every semester. This is usually up to the students to take that initiative.
  • Get a Mentor – As it is helpful to surround one’s self with other students who are going through the same experience, it is also wise to find an upper classman who is willing to share his/her college experience. By finding a mentor, freshmen can better prepare themselves for their college career in its entirety.
  • Get to Know Your Roommate – It is not necessary to become best friends with a roommate. However, if one is going to live with another person, it is in his or her best interest to get to know that person. After all, this is where a student sleeps and keeps his or her personal possessions. If by some chance, one becomes life-long friends with his/her college roommate, then that will only enrich one’s college experience.
  • Get Involved in Campus ActivitiesThere are a myriad of campus activities students can involve themselves with.
  • Sports – Try out for one of our offered sports programs; but, even if they aren’t on the team, FNU students can still get actively involved by volunteering their time to assist the Conquistador basketball, volleyball, and soccer teams in other ways as well as show their school spirit by cheering them on at the games!
  • Clubs and Organizations – Another excellent way to involve oneself with his or her college campus is to join the campus student government association. FNU Student Government Association has a resourceful program that equips students to become familiar with politics, exercise his or her organizational skills, and networking—traits that are most beneficial to any area of study.
  • Develop a Good Relationship with the Guidance Counselor

Guidance counselors do exactly that—guide students toward completing their degree. As it may seem easy for some to pick and choose their classes, many students have wasted their time and money; selecting courses they thought were cool to take only to discover that the course was not part of their degree requirement. For freshmen, the guidance counselor is probably going to be the closest thing to some type of supervisory management. So it’s highly recommended to make sure that one also has a healthy relationship with his or her guidance counselor.

Adapting to College Life

FNU understands how challenging it can be for freshmen to adapt to their new life as a college student. That is why our guidance counselors are always available to help direct first-year students in right direction. We are confident that by following this helpful guide, your new role as a first-year college student will go a little smoother.

If you are excited about the possibility of becoming a new FNU college student, contact us today and start the enrollment process now.