Easy Tips for Incoming Freshmen

May 11, 2017

by Samantha Surrency '18

Coming to college for the first time can be overwhelming. You might not have any idea where to start, or maybe you’ve got it all figured out. Either way, this will be an entirely new experience for incoming freshmen, so here’s some free advice about surviving in college that we hope you’ll listen to (or will at least consider listening to).

1. Buy an alarm clock. It’s important to show up to class and events on time. And it’s seriously lame if you have to get your mom to call you every day to wake you up.

2. It’s okay to not know what you’re doing. If you’re undeclared for a few semesters, that’s fine; keep looking for what you like so you don’t regret it later on.

3. Along with that, it’s okay to change or add majors once you discover what you like. Let’s be honest, most high schools don’t offer philosophy or criminology or business classes, so how are you supposed to know you’re interested in it before you get to college?

4. Learn how to do your own laundry before you leave home. Just because Florida Southern offers free laundry services while you live on campus doesn’t mean there’s someone to do it for you. You don’t want to be that person who accidentally floods the laundry room with bubbles.

Go to class, have a good time, graduate college.

5. Go to class. You may have seen movies where college kids only show up for the first day and final exam; FSC is not that place. We have a mandatory attendance policy, so if you want to pass, go to class.

6. Try to schedule your classes back to back. If you go back to your room in between, it’s harder to convince yourself to walk all the way back across campus.

7. If you’re bored, go outside. There’s always almost something going on around campus like Greek events, clubs, free food, or even just new potential friends hanging out on the green.

8. Upperclassmen are your friends. They understand that you’re lost and probably a little scared. Don’t be afraid to reach out to them.

9. Read the syllabus. In high school they may have just been random papers teachers expected you to keep, but in college they’re the things that remind you about due dates. Your professors may choose not do that.

10. Don’t be afraid to try new things. If you want to go to play intramurals seven days a week, do it! Maybe you want to try out Spanish Speed Dating or Improv comedy or volunteering with the disabled. FSC has lots of cool clubs and activities to help you have a good time and discover new interests.

11. Study in the library, not your residence hall. If you’re lounging in bed, the pull of Netflix or an afternoon nap will be much stronger than if you’re sitting at a desk in Roux.

12. Don’t spend all of your food money on coffee. While it seems like a good idea when you’re up late studying for exams or writing papers, if you don’t have something in you to chill out that vibe, it won’t be pretty.

Intramural flag football, one of many things on campus you can try.

13. Professors know all of your tricks. Don’t try the printing a new label with a cheat sheet for your water bottle thing, or the “my car broke down” excuse, or intentionally corrupting a word file for an essay extension. Professors are smart and they will call you out on this.

14. That being said, don’t be afraid of your professors either. Most professors are reasonable and even friendly people who are more than happy to work with you when you need help.

15. College resources are here for a reason. They’re almost always free. Use them. It’s better to use counseling, financial aid, or tutoring when you need them than to not use them and suffer because of it. You don’t have to go it alone.

16. While it’s tempting to go out with your friends on a Thursday night, if you have an 8 a.m. class Friday morning, you probably should not do this.

17. Scheduling seven classes that are one or two hours each will make for a difficult semester. And hey, if you’re great at planning, you might rock it, but typically you’ll forget something important at least once a week. Try doing four or five classes a semester until you get the feel for college and timing.

18. Don’t forget to call your family. You might be caught up in all the excitement of meeting new people and being out on your own, but that won’t stop Mom from missing you.