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How to Succeed as a Freshman (Without Really Trying)

Whether you still prefer to be tucked away in the warm womb of high school, or are ready to emerge in a new cultural atmosphere, there’s no stopping the clock of adulthood. To begin, congrats on deciding to attend college! If you believe the rollercoaster ride has ended once you’ve been accepted to your school of choice, get ready to be strapped in for a four year journey of endless ups, downs, corkscrews, and loops. Don’t fret! It may seem like a thousand tennis balls are being tossed in your face at once. Soon you’ll be able to bounce those balls over the net and be queen/king of the court. Don’t believe me? Believe it or not, I was once a freshman, and now I’ve successfully made it to senior year (Yes,. I do feel super old). Here are my easy tricks to help you succeed your first year in college.

Get Organized

As a high school student, my binders were always filled to capacity with shredded notes. Homework assignments were always missing, or tucked away in my dungeon of a locker. Coming to the realization that my life was becoming a cluttered mess, I began to organize myself. I bought fresh, new binders for each class; I began writing down assignment/exam dates in my notebook, and even kept a schedule for the days that each extracurricular activity fell. Eventually, I became master of the organization game. Today, I still use these techniques for both my academic and extracurricular activities, and so should you!

Go to the Gym

Even if you are not a star athlete, or a hardcore weight lifter, going to the gym can help you relieve stress. You can even make new friends and go to the gym together. It’s also a great way to try something new and exciting, while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. I completely give you permission to kick the Freshman 15 in the butt!

Live Healthy

Now, when I mean live healthy, I don’t mean going to the gym for five hours to get built. Make sure to eat a healthy diet (it can be hard to resist eating cookies every day), and get a good amount of sleep. Take care of yourself. Remember, your body is like an engine, so don’t exhaust it.

Join Extracurricular Activities

Want to give back to the community? Like interacting with your peers? Want to try something new and exciting? Have a burning desire to go on an adventure? Join a club and have the opportunity to represent your university.



Make Time to Socialize with Your Friends

It’s the first week of school, and you’ve just been assigned three readings, six homework assignments, a quiz for next week, and possibly a paper. The first thing you are probably thinking is, how am I supposed to finish this all by the due date? Where should I set up shop to finish these assignments? While academics are a major factor in college, socializing is also important! You can’t make friends with a textbook or a sheet of paper. Make sure to balance academics and friends!

Be safe

Download campus safety apps, text friends if you are staying in the library until midnight, call your folks once in a while to let them know all is well, carry pepper spray on you, and always make sure to report any suspicious activity. If you see something, say something!

Go to Class

Unless you are really ill, dealing with an emergency situation, or are facing physical/emotional difficulties, go to class. Participation matters, and skipping classes due to a lack of motivation to learn about the 14th Amendment, or how to solve complicated fractions, is ridiculous. Plus, what’s so wonderful about missing a lecture if you are paying thousands of dollars to receive a college education?

Have fun

While college is about obtaining an education, and discovering your future, it’s also about enjoying yourself. Make the most out of your experience, and enjoy every moment in life. As a senior, I can say that I’ve enjoyed my college ride, and I don’t regret any most of the decisions I have made. So relax, smile, and remember to be yourself!


Alexandra Liebman is a senior at Muhlenberg College, and is currently finishing up her last semester. She is an English major, who loves all thing poetry and literature. In addition to her efforts on Her Campus, Alexandra is on the Publicity and Marketing Chair of her college's chapter of Challah for Hunger, and recently became a campus trendsetter for Her Campus.. When not writing articles or studying, you can find her at the gym, watching Netflix, hanging with her friends, and drinking too much caffeine. Fun fact: She participated in the Disney College program Spring '18 for six months!
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