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Tips for College Freshman

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Pace chapter.

Entering college and starting life on your own can be an amazing experience, but it can also cause anxiety. These are some of the tips I wish someone would have given me going into my freshman year, based on what I experienced: 

Go to Class

The beginning of college can feel like one big party. It is a fun new part of life where you get to meet new people and make your own choices. That being said, no one is going to force you to go to class. Some professors may make attendance optional and it will not affect your final grade. However, it is always easier to pass a class if you attend the lectures. Also, you are paying for this higher education, take advantage of that. 

Missing class every once and a while for health or personal reasons is okay. Prioritizing health is important. Just make sure to save yourself some days of missing classes for when you really need them.

Make Friends with Your Roommate(s)

Making friends with your roommate can make living in the dorms much easier. Being friends with my roommate freshman year was great and gave me someone to talk to at the end of the day. It also allowed me to go to events around campus with someone else instead of having to do everything alone. 

But, I had another roommate freshman year and we did not talk to each other. This was awkward and made sharing a living space uncomfortable. Being friends with your roommate(s) does not mean you have to do everything with them, but it gives you someone to talk to and makes living together easier. 

Make Friends Outside of Your Roommate(s)

While being friends with your roommate(s) is important, I also recommend making friends with other students. One of my roommates and I freshman year were so close and whenever we did something on campus, we did it together. There is nothing wrong with always hanging out with the same people, but I noticed that it became difficult to hang out with new people because we were always together. After freshman year when we were no longer living together, and she transferred schools, I realized that I did not have a group of friends. I wish I would have branched out more my freshman year and met more people instead of only hanging out with my roommate. 

Try Multiple Clubs on Campus

Even if you only go to one meeting for clubs you are interested in, it is important to branch out and try new things. This will also help in meeting new people and making more friends. I was involved in multiple clubs my freshman year and eventually narrowed it down to which ones I was more interested in and where I felt a strong community. For me, that mostly became Her Campus Pace. I ended up on the executive board for two years where I made some amazing friends and was able to help create a community on campus. If I had not tried multiple organizations freshman year, I never would have gotten that amazing opportunity. 


It seems so simple, but eating is something that can slip your mind, especially when the dining hall is not right next to your dorm. I found this out quickly as my dorm was a few blocks away from the dining hall and I would have to remind myself to make time to go and eat. Also, pay attention to your meal plan and the price of food. I noticed that many students ran out of money or had an abundance left over that would not roll over at the end of the year. 

There are also ways to get free food on campus. They give out food at events and club meetings. Attending these events allow you to get some food while also experiencing campus life. 

Read Over Each Classes’ Syllabus

From my experience, most professors will hand out the syllabus during the first class, but it is up to you to read over it. It is important to read over each syllabus carefully to understand when assignments are due, how you will be graded in each class, what you need for the class, and how to contact your professor. You do not want to wonder what you are going to be graded on and then realize you have a seven-page paper due the next class. At the beginning of each semester, I take time to sit down and make a calendar with all the due dates from each syllabus. This has made it easier to know what assignments I have and when I must do them.

Take Time for Yourself

There are so many things to experience while you are in school, but you do not have to do it all at once. Sometimes, it can become overwhelming. Taking time for yourself, watching Netflix alone or doing self-care can be beneficial in the long run. It is difficult to keep going nonstop, so taking a moment to stop and take care of yourself is something all college students should be doing. Do not feel guilty for not going out or taking time before getting an assignment done. Your mental and physical health is important, so taking care of yourself needs to be a priority.

Keep these tips in mind when going into your freshman year, but also remember to enjoy it. These past few years have been difficult, take this time to enter a new phase of your life and have fun. Even though going into college can be stressful, it is an amazing experience you will never forget.

I am a Junior at Pace University studying Fine Arts and Business Management. I am the Vice President of Her Campus Pace University NYC. My email is jordanfisicarohc@gmail.com