View from above of a university library with many students at study tables.

Your first year of college is an exciting time. During this year, you'll have to start making your own schedule based on your classes. Maybe your first class starts at 9 am on Monday, but your first class on Tuesday is at noon. You will have a lot of responsibility. After all, you don't have your parent(s) coming into your room banging pots together to wake you up anymore. 

Many college students use freshman year to get acquainted with their school and learn how to take care of themselves on their own. Once you can accomplish that, then you've had a successful first year. This time can be difficult. You might get homesick, or you might have problems studying for tests while you're in a loud dorm. 

In this article, we'll discuss the tips and tricks to make your first year of college easier. Let's get started.

Get to Know Your Roommate(s)

You're going to be living with your roommates for about eight months, so you must get to know each other and try to be as friendly as possible. Indeed, some personality types can't live together, but for the most part, you should be able to find good common ground. 

Your roommate can become your best friend in college or your worst enemy. To make sure you can live well together, try to establish boundaries within the first week of living together. Following these rules will make living with another person much easier. For example, you can set a rule that there should be no loud music or friends over past a certain time, divvy up the chores, determine what items you are willing to share, and discuss how to stay green!

Get and Stay Organized

In high school, your teachers lead you through your homework and due dates. This doesn't happen in college. The professors typically post assignments, sometimes for the entire semester, and you're expected to know when things are due with or without reminders. You can use your calendar app on your phone for important due dates and reminders so that you can stay organized and keep track of all of your assignments. 

Go to Class

Now that nobody is forcing you to go to class, it can be tempting to skip. While skipping class can be okay from time to time, you don't want to form a habit of it. Some professors take attendance that can affect your grade, so make sure that you know the attendance policy. Even if professors don't take attendance, you'll need to go to class so you know what to expect on upcoming tests. 

In college, think of class time as your test prep, so you know exactly what's going to be on a test and have detailed notes to study. 

Meet With Your Professors

Your professors typically have office hours that you can attend for extra help if you need it. Many college students avoid office hours like the plague. However, this can be a good time to ask for help when you need it or to make sure that you're on the right track for getting a good grade in the class. If you've recently done poorly on a test, you can schedule time with your professor to go over the test. 

Find Balance

Your first year of college is typically one of the most social times you'll have in your life, but don't let your social life distract you from why you're at college in the first place. Yes, you should socialize and meet new people, but you should also study and attend class. 

Finding balance in your first year can be difficult because you're having such a good time, but setting a schedule for homework can help you stay on the right track. If you plan it all correctly, you can spend your entire weekend having fun with all of your new friends and not have to worry about homework at all. 

Eat Healthily

Staying up all night studying for a test means that you'll likely skip dinner and choose to eat snacks all night. Not only that, but eating the tempting and delicious breakfast, lunches, dinners, and desserts can affect your health. Even though you have more options than you did at your high school cafeteria, you should aim to choose healthy options like fruit, vegetables, and salads so that you can stay energized throughout the day.

Luckily, college dining halls have so much variety; you can find a healthy option that you'll like. 

Get an Internship or Job

Not all freshmen have time to find a job while they're trying to get situated with college life. If you're someone who likes to strive for excellence and you want to start thinking about your future after college, you can get a job or an internship in the field that you're studying. For example, if you are studying communications, you can find an internship at a local marketing agency that can help you begin your career while you're still in college. 

According to ShareAble for Hires, Freshman internships are great for helping college students decide what major they want to study and what assess careers they're interested in

Many college internships are unpaid, which can be difficult for students who need to have a job to pay for their books, food, and tuition. If you can't find a paid internship in your desired field, consider working at or around the college campus for extra money. Colleges hire their students for several tasks, from working in the dining halls to cleaning dorms to working with athletics. You can also work at any local businesses nearby if you don't mind a short commute. 

Final Thoughts

Everyone experiences freshman year differently. Some are completely homesick, while others refuse to go home again. Whatever your freshman experience is, make sure that it's one you can look back on and be proud of. 


Matt Casadona has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration, with a concentration in Marketing and a minor in Psychology. Matt is passionate about marketing and business strategy and enjoys San Diego life, traveling, and music.

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