Tips for College Freshmen to Not Feel Like a Fish Out of Water

Entering college for the first time can feel extremely daunting. Here are some tips to hit the ground running.
September 23, 2019
6 mins read

You already wrote an admission paper and became a college student. Leave all the worries in the past. But remember that it’s too early to relax. Now you need to prepare to face a new adult life. You don’t have to do it alone though — here are the most useful tips on solving the problems of college freshmen. In college, you’ll have to face many changes. Following the helpful tips below, you’ll be ready to deal with them. Let’s consider the main difficulties students face when entering college and the ways to successfully solve them.

1. Caring About Grades on Your Own

Let us examine the main problems that await any freshman. The key difference is the need to learn lots of material on your own. At school, teachers were interested in your grades. In higher education, everything is different. You need to get a diploma. No one will control you and remind you a hundred times to write an essay. Be prepared to study part of the educational material on your own.

Tips on how to adjust to this change:

— Before you start studying, check your schedule and think about how to organize time effectively.

— Find out when the next exam will take place.

— Do not postpone the exam preparation until the last minute. Try to learn a little, but every day, start with the most difficult subjects.

— Submit all essays, research papers, coursework on time. Ask for professional help like EditProofRead if you lack time to do homework on your own.

— Don’t miss the lectures and seminars without a reason. If this happens, ask someone to share the notes of the missed classes.

— Keep track all changes in the educational process (schedule, exam dates, meetings, etc.).

2. Increased Requirements for Perseverance

Most of your time you have to spend studying. Instead of short lessons, you might have double periods, which last twice as long. Usually, students have 4-5 double periods. So, you need to adjust to a new regime.


— Ask questions to the teacher and participate in discussions so time will fly by.

— Take a laptop or tablet with you to study. During boring lectures, you can do something really useful, such as homework.

— Get enough sleep. This is important to maintain good health and succeed in your studies. If you fall asleep right during the lecture, you can incur the wrath of the teacher.

3. Assimilating a Large Amount of Information

You will fall upon a large flow of new information, which is not always easy to handle. It all depends on your level of training. Sometimes, it is necessary not only to study new disciplines but also to fill in gaps in your knowledge.


— Get acquainted with a list of disciplines you’ll study in your chosen specialty.

— Start reading educational literature even before the beginning of the college year.

— Find professional tutors or courses online to learn the disciplines you aren’t good at.

— Learn to search and organize information on the internet.

4. Meeting New People

Some freshmen can’t wait to meet new friends while other students experience stress when thinking about the need to build a relationship with new people. In reality, most consider it another cause for stress. You’ll find many new acquaintances and it’s very important to establish contacts with other students and teachers. Remember, you’ll spend several years of your life with these people.


— Be friendly; do not be arrogant.

— In the first days of school, get the phone numbers of your classmates.

— Make acquaintance with senior students — they might help you to progress in studies.

— Find like-minded people, sign up for electives or sports.

— Take an active part in student activities.

— Find your high school community on social networks, join it and get acquainted with its members.

— Spend time with fellow students outside the college — an informal atmosphere brings people together.

5. Living Without Your Parents 

If you entered a university in another city or country, get ready to solve everyday problems. Read what awaits you. In a strange city, there will no longer be moms and dads who cook, go to the store and clean your clothes. You’ll have to do everything by yourself.


— Learn to cook simple dishes that do not take much time (cereals, soups, etc.).

— Go to the store several times with your parents, learn how to choose meat, vegetables and dairy products, and learn how to distinguish good quality from low-quality foods.

— Keep your room on campus clean every day.

6. Making a Budget

You’ll have to learn how to use money wisely. The main part of the cost is the accommodation fee (dormitory or rental housing), utilities, mobile communications, travel, and meals. Then, you may think about new clothes and entertainment. You have to buy a set of necessary utensils, stationery, household goods. Lack of money is one of the main problems of all students. Your task is to learn how to save money and find a way to reduce your costs. 


— Keep a written record of your expenses and describe in detail everything you need to get during the current month.

— Distribute all payments in order of priority.

— Try not to spend every last penny, but put off part of your income to deal with unforeseen expenses.

— Write an application to get financial assistance from the university. It is better to do it as soon as possible. 

— Do your best to get a scholarship: Study well and take an active part in the life of the university.

— Find a part-time job that won’t interfere with studies. Just remember that learning should always come first.

Student years are the fun and unforgettable period of time. But you should remember that it depends on you as to how the college years will pass. Good luck in adult life!

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