A Freshman Guide to NCSU: Top Ten Tips

Whether you're a senior or an incoming freshman, attending college can be confusing and overwhelming sometimes. We here at HC want to ease that stress and let all of you know the top 10 tips and advice for all of you NCSU students finding yourself stressing about attending in Fall. 

  • How many classes should I be taking?As you venture into your first semester, you have no idea what the perfect amount of credit hours should be or how hard classes are going to be. So here's our tip! 18 hours is a lot of hours for anyone, but definitely doable. If you're a student not planning on working a job or taking really intensive classes like Calc 1 or Chem 101, then go ahead and take 18 hours. Also, if you find yourself taking too many hours, you'll be able to drop a class. My recommendation for any student is to take about 16, for me this is the perfect amount. 12 is too little and if I don't like a class I can't drop one without becoming a half-time student. With 16 I can drop a class and still be a full-time student and have free time and not overwork myself. 
  • Look up your teachers:A huge tip I never knew about, was that I never checked grade distrubutions or checked to see how hard a teacher was! Did you know there are sites out there that will have the amount of A's a teacher has given? Sites like myedu.com or koofers.com will tell you how hard a teacher is, how often there are tests, the percentage of how many kids passed or got A's and how often there are assignments. Seriously, this is gold. It's the best tool to use when planning out your schedule and never encountering those dreadful teachers!
  • Get involved: Whether its going Greek, or joining a service club, I definitely recommend joining a club, organization, or sport. It's an easy way to meet new people that share your passion. Being a freshman can be tough sometimes, moving away from home and all your hometown friends might be hard, but joining an organization on campus can easily get you aquainted with more people. We have over 600 organizations on campus, so chances are there is something out there that meets your interests and hobbies. Definitely check out http://ncsu.orgsync.com/ to see all the organizations on campus, also attend some of the organization fairs such as Campus Crawl. 
  • Get to know your roommate and talk about living situations: Definitely try to get to know your roommate, I mean you're going to be living with this person for a whole year, you might as well get to know them and their habits. To avoid any awkward moments make sure to talk about food sharing, people coming over, boyfriends or girlfriends sleeping over, decorations, music, etc. The last thing you want is to never talk about it and find yourself in an awkward living situation. Whether you're living in a dorm or an apartment, its always best to talk with your roommate or suitemates about living conditions. 
  • Enjoy yourself, but don't be THAT girl/guy: Freshman year can be one of the best years of your life, classes are easier and you're excited about being independant and having more freedom. And HELLO, college parties? College parties can be so much fun, but don't go overboard your first week. I can't tell you how many girls and guys I've known from high school who went all out their first week at school drinking and hooking up and then having a horrible reputation for the rest of the semester. While you want to have fun and be free, keep in mind you're meeting a lot of new people and you can quickly gain a reputation. You definitely don't want to be known as that person that threw up all night or made out with a lot of people. Have fun, but don't go overboard your first semester!
  • Wait to buy your textbooks: Some of you might want to get everything over with and be super prepared for your first day of classes, but you should definitely wait to buy your textbooks. Don't buy all of them from the bookstore either. Some books can cost $30 at the bookstore but you can easily buy it online for $5 or rent it for $10. Check sites like Chegg.com. Amazon, Bookrenter.com, etc before you buy all your books at the bookstore. Chances are, you'll find them for a cheaper price. Some classes might not even require the book or use it rarely, so wait until you meet with your teacher to find out. Also if you decide to drop the class you don't want to be stuck with a textbook you spend $100 for. If you find out you're only going to be using the book once in a while, check out D.H Hill or Hunt Library for your textbooks, you can rent them for 2 hours at a time so you can quickly do your homework and not spend a dime on that textbook. You can also photocopy them onto a USB, just ask one of the librarians for help on how to use the bookscanners! 
  • Late Night Safety: If you find yourself walking back from a friends dorm, Greek Row, the library, parking lot, etc at night, make sure to walk with a buddy. If you're alone, definitely call the campus escort. They will come and pick you up in their car and take you back to your dorm. You can call any time at night as well. It might sound stupid to call someone, but you never know what can happen on campus after dark. It's always better to stay safe than sorry. Unfortunately, we have had some incidences in the past, so definitely call the campus escorts or walk with a friend:  919-515-3000 '
  • Don't Skip Too Much: While it might be awesome that your teacher doesn't count or take attendance, definitely don't skip too much. I know it's rather tempting, I've been there, but when it's finals and you realize you've only been to class 4 times, you'll have so much to cover and chances are, you'll fail the class. So while class might be a chore and boring, definitely try to attend as much as possible.
  • Let people know your schedule: Whether it's your friends or your family, let them know your class schedule. The last thing you want is for your mom to call you in the middle of class and repeatedly call you worrying why you won't answer. Let them know your schedule so you don't find yourself with your phone vibrating all through class, distracting yourself and your neighbors. 
  • ENJOY COLLEGE: College seriously will go by before you know it, it can be one of the best times of your life. While academics and a career are important, make sure to balance it with a social life as well. Have fun, enjoy your 4 years and make it the time of your life.