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Freshman Survival Guide

By Haley McCord
On August 27, 2015

College seems daunting at first, but don't worry! You'll get the hang of it soon! 
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The sun is bright and a new semester has officially begun! New students are flooding our campus wide eyed and terrified. For those who may be frightened and desperately searching for a few kind tips to help nudge them from the nest – look no further. From one Concordian to another, these tips are guaranteed to make you laugh, keep you on schedule and keep you calm when you feel like you just “can’t even.” 

College is a time for exploration and finding out who you want to be. Just make sure to make time for the important things in life throughout your journey. Like doing your laundry. Definitely make time for laundry. 

1. Go to class! 

I cannot express how important it is to be in class every day. Yes, an eight o’clock class on Monday morning is no slice of cake, but it’s much easier to take your own notes than fight with a picture of someone else’s. If for some reason you must miss a class, let your professor know ahead of time. Otherwise, be there or be square!

2. Back up all of your files. 

    Electronics aren’t flawless. If you lose a document or a jump drive, most professors have no sympathy for you. Make sure all your projects and papers are tucked away in safe and reliable place. 

3. Don’t procrastinate!

    Do assignments as they are assigned rather than two hours before your class is scheduled to begin. Close that Facebook tab, put Instagram on the backburner and do your homework! You will feel much better once you can cross that Lit paper off your to-do list, guaranteed.  

4. Don’t be afraid to ask for help!

    There are so many people on campus that will help you! Take advantage of your professor’s office hours; swing by if you have a question and you will typically find an answer. Tutors are also great, and they’re available in almost any subject. The best part? It’s free!

5. Your RA is your new best friend.

    If you’re living on campus, the RA assigned to your floor is always there to help. Don’t be afraid to ask them questions! Maybe you need help setting up your router or you just can’t seem to find your Ethernet port; no matter the obstacle, your RA is there to help you tackle it. But if you’re a tiny bit shy and afraid to knock on their door, consider sliding a note underneath.

6. Avoid the freshman fifteen at all costs. 

    Just because you can drive to Sheetz at two in the morning does not mean you should! Choose healthier foods and take advantage of the gym! Grab a friend and support each other’s healthy decisions. Maybe your significant other would tag along as well; as they say, those who work out together, stay together. 

 7. If you’re having problems with your roommate, talk it out!

    Don’t let your anger build until you just can’t seem to keep your mouth shut anymore. Cut the tension with kindness. Be stern but sensitive and listen to what your roommate has to say. It’s healthier for both of you to live in peace for the next few months than in agony. 

8. Treat yourself. 

It’s definitely not a great idea to finish an entire bag of doritos and half a gallon of strawberry ice cream while watching a Netflix marathon, but we all deserve a little T.L.C. You have my permission to indulge a tiny bit. Go ahead and eat that cupcake, order those shoes you’ve been eyeballing for months, take a 3 hour nap and treat yourself like the queen or king you are. Treats every now and then make all the hard work in between seem much easier!

9. Don’t feel pressured to declare a major immediately.

    You have time to think it through! Just because it feels like the majority of your friends have chosen a major doesn’t mean you’re behind. Experiment, take a wide variety of classes, find what you love to do. Don’t stress too much about the rest of your life. Find out who you want to be and your major will soon follow. Remember, time takes time. 

10. Sleep is a beautiful thing. 

    Remember to get your beauty sleep. We all pull the occasional all-nighter to finish a paper or study for that huge exam, but a healthy and fairly regular sleep schedule is incredibly important to a successful college career. Without sleep, we get irritable, forgetful and become more prone to sickness. Make time to catch your Z’s. 

And last but certainly not least, 

11. Call home. 

    Don’t let the pressure of being an adult scare you away from calling home. It’s not a sign of weakness. Call your mom and dad, your grandparents, or your best friend from back home. Anyone that loves you and encourages you to be your best, give them a call. You’d be surprised how good you’ll feel after simply hearing their voices. 

Transitioning into college can be an intimidating experience, but it can also be the beginning of the most exciting period in one’s life. These tips can help ease some of the stress, but the most important thing is to remember that this is your time. It’s your life, and it’s your college experience. Make it exactly what you want. 

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