Ah, to be a college freshman. If you’re like most college newbies, you’re excited but also a bit anxious. It’s a huge transition and the high expectations of the school, your parents, and yourself are weighing heavily on your psyche. You’ll have to figure out how to balance your academic responsibilities with the inner desire to also fit in socially. Strict schedules, rigorous curriculums, and the alluring temptations of campus events, parties, relationships, and friendships are a lot to manage – especially when you don’t have mom and dad hovering over you.
It goes without saying, these next few semesters are going to challenge every part of your being. Your success in college can only come to fruition if you’re able to commit to the work and balance your personal/social life. How does an impressionable young adult learn how to keep their social lives from hindering their studies? Dedication, patience, and a few of these tips suggested below:
- Be Reasonable with Workloads – As a new college student taking on too much too soon can cause you to become stressed, depressed, or burnout rather quickly. Pace yourself. Don’t take on 6 classes in one semester, a full-time job, and volunteer as a tutor your first semester without knowing how this will all impact you. Instead, choose a workload that you believe is within your means to complete.
- Get Into a Routine – It’s nice to have some control over your routine and daily schedule, but some freshman get too lax. This spontaneous way of living can result in you forgetting important things and falling behind academically. Develop a routine early on. Wake up the same time every day, eat a well-balanced breakfast, get to your classes on time, schedule regular study times, and then once you’ve gotten that out of the way, you can schedule in some social or downtime.
- Surround Yourself with Like-minded People – They say that you are who you hang around. If you don’t want to end up flunking out your first year of college, you should hang with students who are just as focused and goal-oriented as you. Go to the library, study groups, and other freshman campus events to find others you can connect with and rely on.
- Steer Clear of Vices – Unfortunately, there are a lot of negative influences and vices surrounding college campuses. Alcohol, caffeine, sleeping pills, pills for anxiety/depression, party drugs, and everything in between is offered and shopped around to students fairly easily. Stay away from these vices as they will certainly ruin your academics. Sure, a drink at a party might not hurt, but if you’re getting wasted all the time, it hinders your ability to be a high-functioning student. If you do fall into the temptations of such vices there are alcohol detox programs and other help for young adults to get back on track.
- Make Time for a Social Life – Though prioritizing your academics over your social life is the ideal way to succeed as a college freshman, working too hard can cause you to fall into temptations easier. Make time for social activities whether it’s joining a Greek organization, meeting up with friends for coffee, or attending campus events like sports, parties, and other entertaining activities.
Being a college freshman is exciting and stressful all at once. You’re thrust into a world with a plethora of responsibilities and a ton of temptations pulling you in every direction. The best way to master your first year and the entirety of your college career is to set priorities, maintain a positive routine, steer clear of vices, and of course, to pencil in time to experience campus life and the tons of fun there is out there for you to explore. If you stick to these tips, you are sure to succeed.