5 Tips on How To Survive Your First Year of College.
Everyone’s first year of college starts out pretty scary. For some people, you don’t know anyone, maybe you’re living with someone when you’ve only ever had your own room. Meal points? What are those? There are so many questions you ask yourself. With a mixture of nerves and utter excitement, it’s probably nice to get your hands on some tips and tricks to make this new chapter a little easier.
Now, there are some tricks we all see on every blog, that don’t help anymore because we’ve seen them millions of times. Like going to office hours, sporting events, joining a club and the other predictable ones. So, I’m going to try and get creative!
1. Take your easy classes seriously.
There will be some classes that are easy peasy, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put as much effort into them! It’ll create a bad habit, and when you’re taking harder classes you don’t want to have a lazy attitude towards them. Some of my classes have been easy, but it was very important that I got A’s in those classes so that if I got a C in one of my harder classes things weren’t as catastrophic.
2. You aren’t guaranteed to get into the major you want.
Some majors require you to declare pre-major, like pre-business or pre-journalism. There will be a few requirements you have to pass before you declare full major. I’m currently a pre-journalism major at the University of Oregon and their requirements are that you can’t get anything below a C. That includes a C-. You also can’t have a GPA below a 2.90, and there are 5 classes you’re required to take before you declare (which is usually by the end of your freshman year). It seems easy, and it honestly isn’t too bad, but if you get a hard class it can be very nerve-racking. Especially since each professor has a different grading scale, meaning one professor’s C could be another one’s B or C-.
3. Colleges calculate GPA’s differently.
Most colleges have a GPA calculator on their website, where you’ll enter your GPA hours and quality points to get your cumulative GPA and then your projected letter grade and the number of credits to determine your projected term GPA. Classes with more credit hours count more towards your GPA. That means if you have a class that was a lot harder than the rest and you get a C, but the other classes were easier and you got all A’s, it’ll still drop your GPA a lot. It sucks a lot.
4. Start off strong.
It’s a lot easier to start the year off taking detailed notes and visiting office hours and then maybe take a mental break towards the end of the year, then it is to start off by not taking notes and procrastinating and then try and do better. I don’t recommend slacking off at all, because I’m not going to lie, sometimes I do and it definitely makes my life harder than it needs to be. It’s better to keep good grades than it is to get bad ones and try and raise your GPA from there.
5. Build a good relationship with your professor.
NOT in a creepy way though…no. But, sit at the front of the class, introduce yourself at the end of the lecture and visit office hours or email them when you have questions or thoughts on what they were lecturing on. This doesn’t just make it easier to break out of your nervous shell, but it helps you in the long run. When you need a recommendation from a professor, they’ll know who you are, more than likely think you’re a good student and therefore write the recommendation for you. However, if you don’t build that relationship you’re left with no recommendation and a professor who has no idea who you are and doesn’t care if you pass or fail.
Reading back through these, I can take some notes for myself too. I have slacked off sometimes, not introduced myself to every professor, been strong in some classes and weak in the others. College is about figuring things out with what works for you and what doesn’t. I know that how I got through in high school will not work well in college. It’s all about messing up and learning from your mistakes.
I hope these tips were useful and somewhat different than the ones you’re used to seeing! I know I was tired of seeing “make friends the first week”, and “join a club.” If you want 95 more tips, I stumbled across this other blog with 100% accurate tips and things to know, so check it out!: http://theswirlblog.com/2015/08/09/100-things-all-college-freshman-need-to-know/
Thanks for reading (and Go Ducks)!!!