10 Tips College Freshmen Should Know

Thousands of students are college bound this month, including many of our own Jack Kent Cooke Scholars. There is some interesting reading available about preparing for your college experience.  A recent article from U.S. News & World Report shared 10 tips that may help students as they transition from high school to college. We thought we’d share.

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  1. Maintain a college budget for all of your extracurricular spending.
  2. Less is more when packing for college. Be sure to note that you’ll be living in a small space with someone else, so pack accordingly. Also, students may want to pack storage boxes or bins since dorm storage space is often limited.
  3. Get along with roommates. Try to avoid future arguments by having a conversation about ground rules and expectations during the beginning of the semester. College dorms are notoriously small and many college students have never shared a room before. It’s important to respect your roommate’s choices, but also to speak up if you’re unhappy.
  4. Be proactive about fighting college stress. It’s important to get enough sleep, exercise, take breaks from homework and studying, and seek counseling services on campus as necessary.
  5. Fight the freshman 15. For those of you who don’t want to gain the notorious first-year weight, you may want to count your calories and eat some of the healthier options at the dining halls.
  6. Consider Greek life. Joining a sorority or a fraternity is a great way to meet people at your college, and it can really help you find your niche. They also give you a way to get involved, take part in community service, and become involved in intramural sports. There are also service fraternities, business fraternities, and many other types of organizations. However, Greek life is not for everyone, and you should consider the pros and cons before making a decision.
  7. Find cheap college textbooks. “Full-time students spent an average of $655 on required course materials during the 2010-2011 school year,” according to the article. Try renting your books, borrowing them from upperclassmen, buying used books, or looking online for cheaper versions.
  8. Or get textbooks for free. If you can’t seem to find your text books at reasonable prices, check out the campus library to see if they have extra copies or ask your professor if he or she has one you can use for the class.
  9. Use technology to manage college life. Organization is extremely important in college. Use the technology you’re already familiar with to keep all your new obligations and deadlines straight. There are countless organization, check sheet, and calendar apps to help your prioritize make sure you get everything done on time.
  10. Dealing with a bad grade in college. Academics in college are drastically different from high school. It is likely that sometime during your four years, you will receive a grade that you did not expect. This is when it is so important to go and meet with your professor to clear up any confusion about the material. This will also help you develop a relationship with your professors which could help you in the long run.

What other tips do you have to share?  Tell us below.