Editor provides four tips for freshman year

Everyone seems to have advice for high school graduates about to start their journey into College. I’ll bet anything you got at least one “advice for grads” book as a graduation present. And rightly so, College is a big adventure and a huge step in maturing into an adult. So here is my quick guide of four tips to start off your freshman year.

You are not a child anymore

College is really the first step many take as an adult. You will be out of the house, making your own choices, and getting a taste of adulthood. I would not go as far as to say full adulthood, because there is a decent chance that your parents are bankrolling some of the ridiculously-expensive SMU tuition, but it is step in the right direction.

That being said, being and adult comes with some responsibilities – the least of which being the responsibility to actually act like an adult. Yes you can drink in college now, but let us be adults about it and not come back and throw up all over the communal bathroom floor. Your suite mates and neighbors will appreciate it. The list of “typical freshmen” errors goes on: just do your best to act with consideration, common sense and maturity and College life will go a lot more smoothly for everyone.

Be prepared to be away from parents and friends

Being in college comes without the safety net that living at home does (unless you are from Dallas of course). You will have to figure out how do to your own laundry, get your car maintained, take care of yourself, and any other number of “adulting” things that may come up. Learn what you can while you are back at home, and be ready to be much more on your own in college.

The same goes for friends. Chances are your whole tight-knit high school posse will not be with you. And I will tell you now, having such a close group of friends in college is harder because people are busy and spread out across campus – it really can take some effort to get friends together here. So be ready for the adjustment in making friends, or just join a Frat and not have to worry about it (I jest)!

Decide what kind of student you want to be now

There is a saying that you hear every once in a while: “Cs get degrees.” While that is technically true, I would not advise going through college looking for a C average. What I would advise is deciding on what kind of student you would like to be in college, and being prepared to spend time accordingly when you get here.

Maybe you want to dedicate all of your time outside of the classroom to social life, clubs and other activities. And that is great! To be honest, in college you can take lots of B’s and the occasional C and still be totally fine – I know some people think that your GPA does not matter at all.

At the same time, job recruiters do indeed look at your GPA and many will be impressed by a high number. Additionally, you generally get out of classes what you put into them. But right off the bat you’re putting in $40,000+ a year in tuition, so it would behoove one to pay attention and learn every once in a while.

Studying occasionally will also help you avoid the unforeseen difficulty of midterms or the tough decision of whether to drop a class, fail it, or if you can work hard and eke out a C if you are lucky.

All that being said, take some time to think about what your academic expectations of college are up front (it is what you are here for) and be ready to get in the habit of dedicating study time accordingly, be that a little or a lot.

Enjoy your sleep now

Whether you are studying or partying, or studying because you partied too much, there always seems to be reasons to be up late into the night in college. While there are the select few who can get 8+ hours of sleep every night, your typical college experience does not come with sufficient sleep.

So enjoy your summer while you can and stock up on sleep now – you probably will be wishing you did once syllabus week subsides and mid-terms and finals roll around!

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