Updated on July 14th, 2023
Starting college can be a bit scary without advice for college freshman. Many students only have a general idea of what their lives will be like once they head to a college campus themselves. That’s why advice for incoming college freshmen is so important.
By digging into the right college tips for freshmen in their first year of college, your student can be prepared for both the expected and unexpected. It gives them a solid foundation, ensuring they aren’t caught off-guard once they move into their dorm room.
To make learning about incoming college freshman advice easier, we’ve compiled a list of the best tips around. If your student wants to figure out how to prepare for freshman year of college, here’s what they need to know.
- 1 Our Best Advice for Incoming College Freshmen
- 1.1 1. Keep Up with the Scholarship Search
- 1.2 2. Avoid Skipping Class (and Have a Plan If It’s Unavoidable)
- 1.3 3. Have Ways to Back Up Every Single Assignment
- 1.4 4. Designate Time for Reading
- 1.5 5. Find Time Management Tools That Work for You
- 1.6 6. Spend Time Networking
- 1.7 7. Prioritize Mental Health
- 1.8 8. Learn to Budget
- 1.9 9. Figure Out How to Get Academic Help
- 1.10 10. Make Time for Sleep
- 1.11 11. Eat a Balanced Diet
- 1.12 12. Strategically Pick a Laundry Day
- 1.13 13. Take Advantage of Free Resources
- 1.14 14. Prepare for Class Sign-Up Days in Advance
Our Best Advice for Incoming College Freshmen
1. Keep Up with the Scholarship Search
Our best advice for incoming college freshmen is to make sure that they keep up with their scholarship search. While some scholarships do renew, giving students additional funds for every academic year or period, others are just a one-time award that has to be used at a particular time.
In the end, most students won’t have scholarships lined up for their entire college career right at the beginning. Plus, there is always a chance they can secure extra funding through financial aid, making it easier to cover living costs or unexpected expenses along with tuition, room and board, and other common costs of higher education.
If your student wants to make their scholarship search as efficient as possible, learning about the scholarship process is a must. While that may seem challenging, it doesn’t have to be. If you and your student want to learn about how to find and land scholarships during their first time at college, sign up for our free college scholarship webinar! Take a quick trip over to http://thescholarshipsystem.com/freewebinar to reserve a spot today.
College can be incredibly demanding. As a result, many students have to face off against temptation, fighting against the urge to take a break and skip a class here and there.
The problem is, skipping classes can easily lead to trouble. First, if the professor takes attendance, there could be serious repercussions for not being present often enough. Second, students never know when a critical piece of information may be provided, like tips on what to study for an exam or a change to the assignment due dates in the syllabus.
Ideally, students should always make an effort to attend class. However, since life can happen, it’s also wise to have a plan for unavoidable absences. This includes not only learning how to inform a professor of an absence but also coordinating with other classmates to get notes or other critical pieces of information.
3. Have Ways to Back Up Every Single Assignment
Technology isn’t perfect. Hard drives fail, damaging saved files or making them inaccessible. Internet connectivity can be spotty, or networking cards can go down, making it hard to access cloud file storage. That’s why backing up every assignment is so critical.
Ideally, students should have several places to store files. Combining a local hard drive with portable storage and a cloud solution can be ideal. It lets students hedge their bets, increasing the odds that at least one copy of any assignment is always reachable.
4. Designate Time for Reading
Many college students are surprised when they discover exactly how much reading they’ll need to do in college. While professors will cover the most crucial topics in class, they also expect students to review the chapters they list in the syllabus. Often, a professor is going to assume students covered those pages, and they aren’t going to fill in the gaps just because someone didn’t.
If your student is struggling to figure out how to prepare for freshman year of college in a way that will genuinely benefit their academic experience, blocking out time specifically for reading is an excellent move. That way, they have places in their schedule for keeping up with the material.
5. Find Time Management Tools That Work for You
There is a slew of time management tools out there. Calendaring applications, time trackers, focus apps, note managers, and bookmark organizers are just some of the options available. The thing is, while they all have merits, they won’t work for everyone.
Ideally, your student should do a little exploration to figure out which tools will help them the most. One way to do that is to reflect on areas where they usually struggle. For example, if notifications and popups distract them constantly, a focus app could be a nice choice. If they have trouble tracking assignments, a calendaring app with easy reminder features could be an excellent option.
6. Spend Time Networking
Whether your student is heading to college with a built-in group of friends or not, it’s wise to take some time for networking on college campuses. Connecting with other students can have a significant impact on their college experience.
Broadening their social circle with new friends can lead to a range of benefits. They may have an easier time finding someone to help them in a particular class or may be able to leverage one of those connections when it is time to launch their career path.
Plus, having friends makes college more fun. They’ll be able to keep their stress levels at bay and spend some time enjoying themselves, both of which are crucial for overall wellness and college success.
Encourage your student to make the most of any college orientation activities. Additionally, urge them to learn about clubs, study groups, and other options on campus for gathering with students who may share common interests.
Participation in college activities can give your student a competitive edge when it comes to applying for scholarships. Students can apply for and win scholarships through their senior year of college. To find out how sign up for our free college scholarship webinar! Head over to http://thescholarshipsystem.com/freewebinar to save your spot today.
7. Prioritize Mental Health
When it comes to advice for a college freshman, prioritizing mental health is a big one. While it’s normal for incoming students to feel the occasional bout of sadness or homesickness and a bit of anxiety before an exam, if negative emotions begin to overwhelm them, that’s something they need to address.
Make sure your student learns about mental health resources that are available at their school. Additionally, encourage them to research the warning signs of trouble. That way, they can keep an eye on themselves, as well as their friends, and take action if the need arises.
8. Learn to Budget
Another critical piece of advice for new college students is to learn how to budget. Usually, college students don’t have access to a ton of money. Additionally, they may need to make cash from loans, scholarships, and jobs last, ensuring they have enough to make it through the entire semester or school year.
Creating a budget for college students is pretty simple. It’s mostly an outline of their income and expenses, giving them a way to track where their money needs to go. By setting one up before they head to school, they can have a solid foundation, increasing their odds of financial success while they are in college.
9. Figure Out How to Get Academic Help
Many colleges have resources available to help students who are struggling academically. There could be tutoring or other student services, as well as access to talk to library staff or other knowledgeable individuals.
Your student should review any academic resources that are at their disposal. That way, if they need some support, they know right where to turn.
10. Make Time for Sleep
Another must in the land of advice for a college freshman is getting enough sleep. Between academics, part-time jobs, and social opportunities, it’s easy to put quality sleep on the back burner. The problem is, once a sleep deficit forms, it’s tough to get back on track.
Make sure your student carves out time for sleep. In many cases, college students need at least seven hours to be at their best, so it’s wise for your student to plan for that now.
Ultimately, all of the college freshman advice above can help your student get off on the right foot. They’ll have a strong foundation, increasing the odds that their college experience will be a major success moving forward.
11. Eat a Balanced Diet
When a student heads to college, it’s often their first time being fully on their own and making their own choices about all of their food. As a result, some students splurge regularly, eating less nutritious meals than at home. And while the occasional treat is undeniably okay, constantly consuming junk food can mean missing critical nutritional targets.
Ultimately, many incoming freshmen overlook the importance of eating a balanced diet. Proper nutrition makes it easier to keep energy levels up and maintain health. In turn, they may find paying attention in class, keeping up with assignments, and other critical steps for getting better grades easier.
For some students, getting a meal plan during the first year of college could make this simpler. School cafeterias usually offer dishes that support proper nutrition, and there’s some built-in variety. Plus, students don’t have to worry about buying groceries, and it’s usually cheaper than dining out at restaurants or using delivery services.
12. Strategically Pick a Laundry Day
Students usually assume that getting laundry done won’t be a challenge. The issue is that dorms only have so many machines, and they can fill up fast on some days. For example, many students will tackle laundry on weekends because they have more time, lowering the availability of machines.
Ideally, students should have a strategically planned laundry day. Going on a weekday is usually a better bet than a weekend. If your student has a gap in their schedule in the morning or midday on a weekday, that’s potentially ideal, as other students may be in classes.
13. Take Advantage of Free Resources
When students attend college, they pay for more than just their classes. Some fees give students access to a wide array of resources. For example, students may have access to fitness centers, career services, writing centers, and recreational services. Plus, most campuses have a variety of events that students can attend for free or at a low price.
Incoming freshmen should review everything available to them once they arrive on campus. That way, they can leverage their status as a student as much as possible. Essentially, they can ensure they aren’t purchasing anything they’ve technically paid for already simply because they didn’t know that an on-campus option was available for free.
14. Prepare for Class Sign-Up Days in Advance
Popular college classes fill up fast; that’s just a fact. As a result, students should review the available courses well before their signup day, letting them know which classes they want to target. Next, they should outline their schedule based on the courses and choose a few backups in case their preferred classes are full.
Then, when it’s time to sign up, students should do that the moment they’re allowed. The earlier they hop in, the more likely they’ll get the classes they want (or, at least, their top choice backup). In some cases, every minute matters, so being prepared and acting fast is genuinely the key to success.