Things All College Freshmen Should Know Before Starting College


College Students Headed to Orientation at the University of Arkansas

A new chapter can come with many uncertainties and personal navigation. It is important that one does their research and puts themselves in the best possible position to succeed in their forthcoming chapter. Looking at and emulating individuals who have gone through a similar transition is a great place to start. In this article, I will talk about a few tips that I will give to my younger self, but most importantly, other incoming freshmen attending college. Let’s begin!

College Student With Open Mind

1. Have A Mind Of Your Own

I cannot stress this enough. In college, it is a new environment with new people from all walks of life. It is important that you stay true to your morals and values. As a college freshman, you may be trying new things, including exploring your newfound freedom and independence.

With having more freedom and independence at your disposal, it is also important to not abuse that privilege and responsibility. Many times, I have seen the influences of friends impact how a college freshman approaches various situations.

As you are maturing as a young adult, it is important to develop a conscious and “gut feeling” that you know does not sit well with you. From personal experience, following the crowd and succumbing to peer pressure doesn’t lead to the best end results.I hope these gems will help you too!

College Student's Textbooks for University Classes

2. Finding/Getting Books that are Cheap or Free!

College textbooks can be very expensive, and it would be in your best interest to find books that are cheap or free! As a college freshmen, you are already purchasing a ton of items to make the dorms feel home-y but also supplies and items that may be needed throughout the course of the semester. Books are an essential, and college campuses usually make their students purchase from their bookstore.

However, in order to save the stress and money, finding books that are cheap and even potentially free is a college hack. This can vary from asking past students who took the course via a social group that is formed (i.e. Facebook) or finding websites that offer free pdfs/books. U.S. News provides two tips on finding books that are cheap and free.

One website I will recommend that I personally use is Library Genesis. They have the majority of the pdfs for books and I could not be more grateful for a college friend of mine for recommending it for me. Another gem given, I hope you guys are taking notes!

College Students Working in Cafe on Campus

3. Get an On-Campus Job

Getting an on-campus job will serve a college student so many wonders. It helps cover the cost of various needs when on campus. Having an on-campus job will also help with the transition into a young adult.

An on-campus job will allow you to not heavily rely on your parents to give you money when you need it. In addition, it helps teach you about time and money management. In terms of time management, you will have to schedule and prioritize when you go to work, attend classes, and interact in any other activities on campus.

When it comes to money management, it will teach you to save and take care of only the necessities in college. Along with money management, budgeting is a key component when getting an on-campus job. Budgeting helps with prioritizing how much money goes into food, luxury spending, emergency funds, savings, etc. Managing and having a sound grasp of financial literacy is a life skill beyond college. It is one of the important skills in being successful in life.

At first, I did not have an on-campus job during my first semester. I wanted to first focus on making sure my grades were solid before adding the stress of a job. I ended up successfully completing my first semester of college and added the on-campus job as a way to gradually have an additional load to balance. Second semester, it was an easier transition because I took my time in indulging in activities.

Overall, my ability to manage my time was beginning to show and flourish as I was able to juggle having an on-campus job, attend classes, and partake in various leadership roles in student organizations. These are all my experiences and tips when it comes to college as an underclassmen, and I hope this can be something you can utilize as well!