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How to Make it Through your First Freshman Year of College

Updated on March 14, 2013

Seven Helpful Tips From Personal Experience

Everyone who goes to college always needs a little advice beforehand. Whether they know it or not. I went through a lot of stress and problems my first year, and didn't have all the advice I wish I had. With this advice you should fare much better than most. So here are my helpful tips for college freshmen.

#1 - Don't Stress

Don’t stress! This is a big one and this is number one for a lot of reasons. If you are stressing out to the point where you are constantly sick or run down, that is bad. It may sound strange that stress can do that to you, but it really does. My first semester, I ran out of money to pay for books. I had to spend a lot of money on credit and buy them. I was so stressed out about paying this debt off that was sick and run down and depressed, a lot. In the end I failed a few classes due to me missing them quite a few times. Part of this was due to being sick and depressed from stress. In the end I found a way to pay off the debt and I was worse off in the long run for worrying. Even though I know stress is inevitable most of the time, try to talk it out with a buddy. This will help lots.

#2 - Have Fun

Have fun…but not too much. There is a reason you have so much free time to do stuff in college. In high school you go to school eight hours a day five days a week. That is forty hours a week. Your first year of classes you will probably be attending classes fifteen to eighteen hours a week, Sometimes more sometimes less. This leaves a lot of time for fun. In actuality you have to spend about the same amount of time you did in high school doing school work. Except now, it is outside of class. This doesn’t mean you can’t go live it up on the weekends or even Thursday and Friday and other days of the week (I was never one to participate in Thirsty Thursdays; I had lots of classes on Fridays). You need to go out and have fun. If you don’t, you will burn out…and fast. If all you do is have fun and party, you will burn out, equally as fast. You have to find that balance.

#3 - Be Thrifty

Don’t buy books from the bookstore. Seriously. A few weeks to months before classes start, look for what books you will need.. Most of the time you will find broke college students selling their books for cheap because the bookstore won’t buy them back, and that happens, a lot. If you want new over-priced books, its fine to look at the bookstore. It's good to start being thrifty in college because you won't have a lot of money for much else if you spend thousands on your books. It's also hard to have a full time job so money flow will be slow, its best to hoard your money while you can and spend when you really really want to. If you want to see my guide for buying and selling books in college and make money at it read it here!

#4 - Work Hard, But Not Too Hard

Work, but don’t let it get in the way of school. You will always need money in college, and if you can budget and save you are already off on a good start. Find easy ways to make money. Donate plasma, work part time doing easy jobs that let you work on homework while you do them. Work study front desk jobs are great for this. If you have work study, try to find a job on campus. These jobs are easy money. If you have to use your work study to pay off school, at least you are working at a simple job. Sell things you don’t need or your body! Not prostitution or stripping (unless you really want to), but sell your plasma, eggs, sperm, hair, or participate in clinical trials. If you are hurting for cash, these are all great ways to make fast money.

#5 - Go to Class

Go to class. Go to class. Go to class. Missing because you are sick is fine. You can make it up, no big deal. Skipping every Friday to go hang out with your friends or because you are hung over is bad. I will admit that I have done this. I did really poorly in these classes too. The classes I hated, but went to, I did well in. Just because I was there. If you go to class, even if you are bad at the subject, you tend to learn more about it just by listening. Being there makes the difference. This takes me to my next point.

#6 - Don't Procrastinate

Finally its time avoid the one thing a most college students do at one point or another. You will get huge five, ten, fifty page papers. When you know about them, start working on them. Don’t start working on them the day before they are due. Don’t start working on them at eleven PM when you know it will take a good five hours of work to get at least a C.

#7 - Caffeine

Final point. Learn to love coffee. Coffee will wake you up in the morning if you had to study all night for a test, coffee will keep you up all night when you have to study for that test. Coffee as amazing. You will learn to love coffee throughout college. Just drink it.


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    • TimArends profile image

      Timothy Arends 

      4 years ago from Chicago Region

      I would say that the freshman year might also be the easiest of the four years you are at college, so keep that in mind and gear up your expectations for things to get more challenging by the time you hit sophomore. Also, build good study habits while you are a freshman.

    • profile image

      Mady Weems 

      6 years ago

      Good points and I totally agree on what you are saying! but I would add something which is DO NOT MAIN FOCUS ON SEXY ADULTS COLLEGE!!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      the caffeine point is not something to be encouraged. For some people I'm sure its fine helpful even. But I found out the hard way that I'm not one of those people. I used to wake up to coffee every morning, kept me awake in class after a hangover. I felt physically sick every day, my chest would hurt, and I was constantly sweating and shivering. I felt like my body was being unravelled. It was all purely from anxiety but I didn't know that. Then I had a panic attack, only I thought it was a heart attack and worked myself up to the point where I stopped being able to breathe and ended up in an ambulance. I'm not nieve enough to think that all of this can be attributed to caffeine but it didn't help. Once I stopped drinking coffee my anxiety decreased significantly. Students have stress and stress causes anxiety and stimulants make the problem worse. Just a warning to be wary. Panic attacks really really really suck. A lot. Scariest experience of my life.

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 

      7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Welcome to hubpages Jake4102, you are off to a great start, well done. If you do need any info visit the learning center or maybe join a hubmob if you like - Cheers Marie, member of 'hubgreeters' team.


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