Surviving College: What Every Freshman Should Know Stepping Onto Campus

College can be an exciting time for many people taking their first step onto campus where the possibilities are endless. It provides kids; I mean young adults, a chance to show mom and dad they can wash their laundry all on their own. This is serious business. But a lot of us go through the experience unprepared. We are now more responsible for ourselves than any other time before. Being in my senior year of now at the University of West Florida, I have learned a lot over the past years about what one needs to know in order to make it through the tough times. Here are three things that’ll make your college experience a lot easier:

  1. Know your way around campus. Okay, so high school is finally over. Prom has past and most of your buddies you won’t see until the reunion comes up. Some will become athletes, teachers, and decision makers. While others will still be that guy you remember from back in the day. Mom and dad drop you off on the first day of school with a car full of your television, food, and letters from your family wishing you luck on your new adventure. This again is a very exciting time for you and to show them that you’re a big kid now. Then classes start. The first thing that you need to know in order to survive college is where everything is and this includes: where your classes are, the financial aid office, the gym and even places that give away free food on certain days. Knowing your way around campus will save you a lot of time and stress. This can be easily done by checking your campus website and becoming familiar with the school map. This way you don’t have to sneak into class while the professor is halfway through the lecture.
  2. Join clubs that fit your interest sooner than later. This will immensely make the transition from home much easier because joining organizations allows you to meet others from all walks of life. There will be people of all ages, classifications and backgrounds with similar interests as you so that making friends won’t be a problem. This by far will be the most important survival tip because none of us were made or should go at life alone. For me, I tried my hand at countless organizations: boxing, rugby, student government, and even salsa. All this was done in efforts to try out new experiences and meet interesting people. And guess what? It worked!
  3. Learn the essential skill of time management. This is vital because unlike high school, students in college get to choose what time of day that they’d like to take courses. For me, I couldn’t stand waking up at six am in the morning every day for four years in high school so I thought it was really awesome when I got to choose to start my classes at eleven am. But even though they started a little later in the day, I still had troubles making it to class because I didn’t have mom opening up the curtains to let a little sunshine in. So I had to start being more responsible for myself.

Well that’s all I have for now to help you walk across the stage when that SASS Degree Audit is filled up (you’ll learn what that is later). I hope you take the information learned and make these years the best time of your life because it truly has been for me. It really is an experience that if you’re up to will change your outlook on life and open up opportunities that may have not been recognized by you before.