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Top College Tips for Incoming Freshmen– for College Students, From College Students

It’s officially college admissions season­– an equally exciting and terrifying time for high school students nationwide. Of course,  with college also comes the subsequent prep work: dorm shopping, schedule planning… It can all be a little overwhelming as an incoming undergrad. To help out, we asked our members “What’s your best piece of advice for new college students?” Here are seven fabulous tips for new students, from your besties at Her Campus CNU. 

Be Flexible

According to Nicole, flexibility is super important in college because “a lot of the good memories from my college experience have been the random, impromptu moments I have had with my friends. It also takes some stress off, especially freshman year. You don't have to completely go with the flow all day everyday, but you should definitely try.”

Focus on your well-being & connection with others

Self-care is essential, and Shaunny couldn't have said it any better: "Remember to focus on your well-being! College can get stressful, but it is important to not overwhelm yourself. If you start to feel overwhelmed with work or life in general, take a mental break. Eat a snack or go for a walk. Give yourself some time to rejuvenate. Without proper nutrition and rest, you will not be able to function and perform your best work throughout the day."

Another good piece of advice: "Be open to new friendships! The thought of meeting new people may be intimidating at first, but that is perfectly normal. I suggest being yourself when meeting new people, and breaking the ice to make yourself more comfortable. With this being said, take the opportunity to make new friends, because many people say your college friends are your lifelong friends."

Establish a solid routine early on

Here's some important academic advice from Nora: "As a freshman, I’m still very much in an advice-accepting mode rather than an advice-giving one. Here is one of the best tips that I have been following: stay on top of every assignment and reading and push yourself to do well for the first 6 weeks of the semester because afterwards, it’s easier to maintain those habits for the rest of the semester. You’ll have a solid grasp of information you’ll need later on, and if you do start to fall behind, you’ll have a safety net. Also- don’t stop going to therapy."

Acknowledge the scary Feelings

As suggested by Allison, "Acknowledge your anxiety, but don't let it control you. There are going to be things that scare you and that make you want to pull back, and that's okay. Acknowledge those feelings, understand that anything you feel is valid, and work to continue moving forward, despite your fears or being uncomfortable. There is so much out there, and you'll find your place, it just takes some trial and error, but it's worth it in the end."

Take your time

From the wise words of Teagan, “College will always be there, so there's no need to start school right after you graduate high school, or rush to graduate in four years. It helped me avoid burnout and travel and experience more before starting college!”

Make Sure You Have A Safe Place

Whether that be a study room, a spot under your favorite tree, or even your car, it's so essential that there's a place you can go to fully decompress. Sierra's suggestion is to "decorate your dorm so you have a relaxing and comfortable space to come home to. Pin drawings to your walls, decorate with tapestries, and make sure to buy comfy blankets and pillows. Turn your room into a haven, so that even if you aren't "home-home", you still feel like you have your own personal piece of campus."

Anna Schultz-Girl Sitting On Bed Facing Wall
Anna Schultz / Her Campus
Be Kind to Yourself

College is a unique place that can take some getting-used-to, and you may find yourself feeling the pressure every now and again. Even during these points, Ceci points out that it's important to "Be kind to yourself! Listen to your body and fulfill your needs! Take breaks and rest."

Teagan is a senior majoring in communication studies.
Hi everyone my name is Nicole and I am a senior at CNU. I am majoring in psychology and am currently applying to graduate school to become a licensed counselor. I currently enjoy watching American Horror Story with my roommates and reading.
Hi! My name is Shaundrea. I am a sophomore majoring in psychology at Christopher Newport University.
My name is Allison and I'm a freshmen at Christopher Newport University. My plan is to major in Psychology and go on to be a Clinical Psychologist. I'm really into reading and writing, especially poetry for both.
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