Calling all freshmen

The mixture of excitement and anxiety that most students feel on their first day of school is amplified for college freshmen.

A large campus, increased responsibility and endless social opportunities can be overwhelming factors initially. Once adjusted, students flourish with these aspects of college life with the assistance of faculty and peers.

Being as enthusiastic about going to class as you are about going to parties and clubs is imperative. Although getting sidetracked by the allure of extracurricular activities is not uncommon.

Set goals at the beginning of the semester and use them to motivate yourself to ensure a successful and productive year. Most importantly do not neglect to study. The study habits you have obtained throughout your academic career should be intensified when progressing to the next level of education. 

“I did well in high school and on the SAT,” said Elizabeth Marshall, a third-year psychology student from West Palm Beach, Fla. “I got a huge reality check when I saw my grades my first semester of my freshmen year. I was just really off track and didn’t study a lot at all.” 

Networking is an essential process for students. The people you meet on and off campus can possibly assist you in future endeavors. Being social, professional and polite will be helpful in the long run.

You can make connections with students who hold positions within the student government and other campus organizations.

When applying for scholarships, internships and jobs, letters of recommendation are often necessary. Former professors who have formed favorable opinions of you may write recommendations if you have maintained a lasting relationship. Take advantage of all your resources.

 “Do not try to con the professor,” said Curtis Williams, a culture professor at Florida A&M University. “Telling them your sob story won’t work. Be present in class and participate and that will be enough. Professors do not only have control over your grade. They can help you to become reputable in your career path.” 

The most important lesson that you learn in college is to be accountable. For a majority of people going away to school, this is their first time making their own decisions. While you will have assistance academically from your advisers you are still solely responsible for your future.

Upon declaring a major become familiar with your course catalog and use it to guide you when planning your schedule each semester. After registering for classes be sure to memorize your schedule. Not knowing classes is a poor excuse for being late or absent.

“I was late to my first two classes on my first day last year,” said Brittany Young, a second- year English student from Jacksonville, Fla. “My professors understood, but obviously they were tired of hearing it from all of their students.” 

So as you prepare to venture out onto your new campus, don’t get sidetracked and forget why you came in the first place–to get the best education possible.