Freshman, fish, newbies, youngsters, and rookies, there are plenty of names for the new kids on the college block. Not too many college students know what to ex- pect during their first year. It doesn’t mat- ter if it’s a university or a junior college.
Attend Class: In college the “IT” thing to do may be to go out every Thurs- day night and sleep in every Friday morn- ing, but students may want to rethink some of those popular yet tiring decisions. The best thing to do is customize your schedule to fit your needs. If you are the type of person that’s always hated Fri- day classes then be sure to take Monday through Thursday classes. Missing out on class could send the wrong message to teachers.
“There needs to be a balance be- tween the two,” English professor Dr. Jim Richey said. “Don’t let your extra curricu– lar activities affect your coursework. Try to put your coursework first and student life second.”
Get Involved: Organizations are like gas stations; there is one around every corner. Clubs can be used to meet new people and experience new things. Many times the organization a student joins may become his or her family away from home. This also provides a chance to become socially involved. “Get involved with some type of or-
ganization or some type of extracurricular activity and then try to meet someone new during that first week,” Director of First Year Experience Ashleigh Lewis said.
Get to know your professor: Pro- fessors are usually fonder of the students who are involved in class and out. When- ever it’s possible, stop by a teacher’s office to visit with him or her about what you didn’t understand in class.
They also like to know that students are interested in their method of teaching. Seeing as how it will be on the test you may want to learn their way they do things.
“Get to know your instructors personally,” director of library services Marian Jackson said.”Talk to them if you’re having any kind of problem at all. They’re required to have office hours. Go in and talk to them. That’s the biggest thing in the world.”
Take care of your financial responsibilities: The line and the wait is long for the students who fall behind. Financial aid is just that, an aid to help out with financial trials.
Felisa Young, who describes herself as a super sophomore said, “Financial Aid is not a joke.”
“I find freshman really taking advantage of their Financial Aid,” Sophomore Breon Willis said. “It’s a lot of my friends that were not able to come back.”
Take advantage of free services: Go to everything that guarantees free food, but remember the freshman 15 is no joke.
Commit: Do not commit to a relationship your fresh- man year. Like the saying goes, “There are plenty of fish in the sea.”You’ll never know how true this is until you realize that while you’re in the dorm room cuddling, everyone else is out experiencing life as it comes. Freshman Chris Horace said, ” Stop chasing these females and start chasing these books.” Also do not commit to one certain career. There are plenty of careers out there. If your uncertain take a few classes in other subjects you may be interested in. One thing you certainly do not want to do is be stuck with a “job” you hate, but a “career” you love.
“Don’t be so hard on yourself,” Lewis said. “It’s ok to make mistakes. It’s ok to change your major.”
Fall for the Internet Craze: It may be tempting to take online classes, but you should know it requires time management and discipline.
“Discipline yourself to do right,” Allana Cox, sophomore said. “If you’re not going to be active in your online classes, then don’t do it or you’re going to fail.”
Forget to study: Studying may be the most important part of college considering it’s what most likely will deter- mine whether you pass or fail.
“College is more about perseverance rather than just intelligence,” Dr. Richey said. “I think a lot of people have the assumption that a college degree represents some sort of I guess, extraordinary intelligence, when really it’s more of an example of perseverance. Going to class every time
the doors are open, doing all of your assignments, asking for help or getting help when you need help, we have a lot of opportunities on campus.”
Mr. McClendon social sciences assistant department chair and government professor gave three great tips for studying. 1.) Study the textbook, spend time actually work- ing with your textbook. 2.) When in doubt, go find a tutor. 3.) Study with friends… actually study.
Over do it: While it may seem fun when you first start out to take on every single organization, class, sport and club be sure not to overextend yourself. It can get frustrat– ing taking on so much at once. Between work, school and extracurricular activities where is your free time? It’s im– portant to make some me time for yourself. While it may be fun to hang out with friends, it’s also great to catch up on some much needed rest.
“Remember why you’re here at college,” said Lewis. “You’re here to ultimately get a degree and get a job.”
Most of all remember that college is the road taken by many, so there will be traffic and plenty of red lights. There will be people who’ll try to cut you off and people who step on the breaks every 10 seconds. There will most definitely be back seat drivers but just remember who is in the driver seat.