College is a time of significant change for the majority of freshmen students, a stepping stone to the next stage of life. It is an experience when most students are becoming more independent, embracing further responsibility, maturing, exploring their own dreams and developing as individuals.
Yet, college is also a time of challenges, new experiences and changed expectations. Several college students offer tips and key skills that are helpful for incoming college freshmen.
Time management and organization are by far the most important skills. College classes are time consuming and demanding. It is important to be organized and keep track of assignment due dates to stay on the right path.
“There is an app that I downloaded called MyHomework where I put all the due dates of my assignments for each class,” Trinity International University freshman Marc Lowery said. “ I recommend taking a day to sit down, have a copy of a syllabus for each class and put each assignment and due date into the app. Maintaining an agenda for assignments really helped my organization. The first year of college is huge for students because it is easy to get distracted, so don’t procrastinate.”
As a college athlete, practices, games and weightlifting involve a significant time commitment. Thus, it is necessary to have established study times every day in order to ensure that assignments and studying are completed.
“Being a student athlete is difficult, so creating a schedule for time to study that fits within your classes and your practices is very important,” St. Norbert College sophomore Daija Brown said. “If I didn’t have a schedule for studying, I probably would’ve dropped out of school.”
According to an article from Georgia State University, the average college student only gets around six hours of sleep per night. University of Georgia Health Center Student Affairs recent research on college students and sleep indicates that insufficient sleep impacts health, moods, GPA and safety. Sleep is necessary for a number of reasons.
“Rest is important because you will be falling asleep during your 8 A.M. classes if you don’t get sleep,and there will be some nights where you will be up late, but it happens,” Illinois State University senior Alicia Perez said. “Get to bed on time. Partying and spending time with friends is not more important than your education, and you will learn that throughout your life in college, so please go to sleep.”
Connecting with other students can give students a unique perspective on certain topics and can increase the opportunity pool. Advice, referrals and future career opportunities are the core reasons why networking in college is so important.
“Please get out because networking is a big thing people fail to realize in college, and eventually, you’re going to have to do an internship, so being able to get out and explore and talk to different professions and teachers is huge,” Western Kentucky University senior Lakierra Deberry said. “Networking and conventions prepare you for future jobs, knowing how to deal with certain situations and get you in connection with higher up people to put yourself in better positions. Networking is definitely a learning experience towards your major and just as a person.”
When it comes to college, talking to teachers, counselors, academic advisors and peers is a great tool.
“Going to college can be really scary and overwhelming,” Indiana State University freshman Lois Usikalu said. Students should never be afraid to ask for help, but there are so many resources on campus that can help you. I was too afraid to ask for help my first year of college. Asking for help doesn’t have to be academic related. It can be asking for help because you’re struggling mentally, or even asking for help with athletics. You’re not alone; plenty of people are on the same boat as you.”
Lastly, getting involved is very beneficial when going to college. Many colleges have organization fairs or school year kickoff functions that aid in helping first-year students get settled into their new surroundings.
“Getting involved on campus is easy,” Grambling State University sophomore Jada Greene said. “The first step is actually taking the initiative in finding something that you like. There are so many different organizations, clubs, and groups! Once you find the one you love, join.”