After hours of studying, a handful of entrance exams and a whole summer dedicated to review classes instead of the beach, you’ve made it. College. Here’s where the real work and fun begins. Freshman year for me was filled with new challenges – both scary and exciting – but these tried and tested tips helped me get through, hopefully they’ll serve as a helpful guide for you, as well.
10 Practical Things I Wish I Knew As A Freshman
10. Bringing your own baon to school saves you so much time (and money).
Deciding on where to eat with your friends (or your block mates… or your bae) has become an age-old debate. College further expands food options with different cafeterias and food stalls on campus or the variety of restaurants around the area, making deciding where to eat a very time-consuming task.
Make the most out of your breaks by coming prepared. Pack your own meal. It takes a little more effort to prepare in the morning or on the night before school, but it does become the ultimate timesaver in the end. Another perk to packing your own lunch is that you’re in charge of what goes into your lunch, which means you can pack all the chips and chocolate you want -no judgements here. Kidding aside, this is helpful if you’re trying to eat healthier. You’ll be able to control both the portions of your meal and the ingredients that go into your baon.
(RELATED: 4 Reasons Why You Should Eat Healthy Bento)
Plus: Bring your own water bottle. Think about this as your part in saving the environment. Your school will most likely have a couple of water fountains around campus where you can refill your water bottles throughout the day. Stay hydrated while doing your part in saving Mother Earth.
9. Always have a copy of your class schedule with you.
Before the school year starts, try and familiarize yourself with your new schedule. Save a screenshot of it on your phone! You can even design your schedule and use it as your phone’s wallpaper (there are tons of apps now that can help you design your schedule with the perfect aesthetics).
Your first day may come with some stress, so keep your nerves at bay by at least knowing what classes you have for that day. It’s also good to keep it as a reference to check whether you have the right time and classroom.
8. If available, have a printed copy of your syllabus for each class
Some professors are strict about having printed copies of the class syllabus. If they gave it beforehand, they will expect you to have already read through it and at the very least be familiar with the basic content of the syllabus they prepared. The first day of class is usually allotted for the usual introductions and for your professor to explain and walk the class through the syllabus.
Pay attention! Some professors have their own specific rules for class decorum, do your best to keep note of all of these rules throughout the semester. Although other professors are more lenient about having a physical copy of the syllabus, it’s better to start the school year on the right track, go the extra mile and print out your copy.
7. Plan your day ahead.
You’ll have a lot more time on your hands in college. Some breaks can last 3 hours or more if you get an unlucky schedule. Remember that not all your breaks can be spent exploring your new stomping grounds. A schedule, or even a simple to-do list can really help you become more productive. Plot out your day and make time for everything you need to do, from a lunch with your barkada to studying for your next Math quiz.
6. Know that orgs aren’t for everyone.
There is a lot of hype around school orgs and clubs. After signing up and going through the recruitment process, it’s important to remember that you might not always be a perfect fit for an org and that’s alright. Don’t beat yourself up over not getting into the org that you wanted. As cliche as it sounds, things happen for a reason and believe me: college will hand you a lot of opportunities. This just may not be for you.
If you’re already in an org, yet can’t seem to find your place in it, try to make friends with the upperclassmen. They’ve most likely been through the same thing and are more than willing to help you out. After all that, if you’ve already done everything you possibly can to find yourself in your org and are still unsuccessful, then it might not be the right org for you. It may be time to branch out and try something new.
Read on for more helpful tips!