Every graduating high school senior feels a level of anxiousness, excitement, and curiosity about their upcoming freshman year of college. There are a few things that every new college freshman should know before they walk through the doors of the next four (or more) years of their lives on their first day of college.
1. College is not like high school. This is indeed the “real world” and professors will not be as lenient as your teachers in high school might have been. You need to be responsible and turn your work in on time. Also, who you were in high school (football star, cheerleading captain, punk rocker) does not matter when you get to college. You have to re-create yourself in college, become who you want to be known as for the rest of your life. High school has passed; you have to start developing your adult façade.
2. Deadlines are created for a reason. Professors will generally accept assignments before the posted date but are not as forgiving with late assignments. If the assignment is late, your grade is usually deducted up to a letter grade per day late. Sometimes you may even have the professor who gives you a zero for assignments that are not turned in on time. Bosses are going to do the exact same thing in the workplace. College just subtly prepares you for that.
3. Do not be afraid to talk to other people. Get to know at least three people in each class during your first week. Add them as friends on Facebook or get their phone numbers. Having a lifeline in a class who you can call and ask about a homework assignment or get notes from class if you missed one day can really make a difference!
4. Get involved! Find ways you can get involved with activities on campus, like clubs or freshmen events that most colleges host during the first week of classes. Clubs and student involvement activities are great ways to get connected and become familiar with the campus, make new friends, and stand up for great causes.
5. You have a great deal of newfound freedom. Use it wisely. If you have an early class, don’t party all night prior to it. Do not do anything you would not want your grandmother to find out about. Be responsible, keep up with your assignments, and don’t plan your schedule just so your friends can be in your classes. Keep graduation at the forefront of your mind, and don’t be discouraged if it takes more than four years to complete your classes. Take your time and do your best. Your degree and your future are worth the time.