Ten Ways for Freshmen to Survive College

Andrea Francisco

Andrea Francisco

(Edited by Angela Mangueira)

Starting college is the beginning of many things. You’ll certainly be challenged by new professors, the environment and most significantly a new routine very different than the one you were used to in high school. It’s very important that you organize your time appropriately so that you can deal with the pile of homework that the college life includes. Here are ten ways rules to surviving college:

Rule #1: Note everything that you need to learn. In a university such as Southwestern, professors don’t have much time to go back to old subjects, and there is a heavier study load. So that you won’t get lost, always note the work done in class, all the books or chapters that have to be read before class time.

Rule #2: Rest. Even if the number of pages you have to read or research papers that has to be completed is big, don’t forget to always take time to rest. A rested mind absorbs information easily and your study will be more productive.

Rule #3: Study in groups. Study groups are a good way to swap ideas. Help those who may have trouble in the subjects where you have good grades, and take time to ask questions or any worries on subjects that you don’t comprehend.

Rule #4: Ask questions. If you have any doubts during class, don’t be afraid to ask the professor. Southwestern professors are kind and always available to help if the student is struggling. Being unsure can undermine everything that you’ve learned previously. Even if there is a heavy load to teach during a class, professors will always answer questions at the end of class. And remember: there is no such thing as a stupid question.

Rule #5: Don’t try to be a perfectionist. It’s very normal for your college grades to be slightly lower than they were at high school. Don’t lose hope. Ask questions if in doubt and read the material the professor has provided. A positive attitude can help you be a good student and pass your classes.

Rule #6: Find a study spot. Don’t keep studying at different places, every day. Define a place whether it’s in the dorm or the library, or any other spot on campus that will serve as your study corner. That way, your brain will always be in the “studying” mode when you get into that particular place, and distraction won’t be an issue.

Rule #7: Think BIG. Don’t make small projects, nor study to get the minimal grade. Take the opportunity while you are in university and absorb everything that you can. Read books. Study hard for all your subjects. After all, these academic years in college will be very crucial for your future career.

Rule #8: Value your effort. When earning a good score on a test or receiving praise from professors, recognize your own effort. You have worked hard to achieve this.

Rule #9: Be active. It is very important that you practice a sport or go to the gym so that you relieve your stress. Most freshmen when they go to college forget this detail and later end up gaining 15 pounds on their first year. The gym is open from early in the morning till 10:30pm.

Rule #10: Make cherished memories. College may be the first time you have away from your parents to do as you wish. Have fun in college. With all the new friends that you make at Southwestern and believe me you will live one of the best moments of your life. Even though college is for studying, do not forget to have fun because if you don’t, you’ll regret it later on.


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