First Month as a Freshman Tips

We did it ladies! Our first month as college freshman. September 22nd made it one month for those here on my campus but it’s okay still. And to summarize it all in one word: Wow. Definitely not what I was expecting. In all honesty my month was a bunch of ups and downs with more downs then ups.

But that’s okay because I’ve got some advice and tips for y’all.

Mental Health

Your mental health is more important than anything. It’s normal to be stressed, to have anxiety, to have panic attacks, to be nervous, to have trouble sleeping or eating. If you are or were experiencing any of that you’re not alone. It’s a hard transition from the comfort of your home/high school to a new environment full of people, food, and other things you don’t know. But don’t fret! Here’s some things you can do:

  1. Talk to a counselor. They are people on campus that are here to help YOU. Make an appointment to visit one because it’ll be a lot better then going through it alone and they can give good advice for your problems and anxieties.
  2. Have a self-care day. Treat yourself ladies! Sometimes we get so busy with classes, homework, clubs, sports and whatnot that we forget to take care of ourselves. We get stressed and cranky. Take a day out of your busy schedule and devote it to yourself. Pamper yourself. Use a face mask, do your nails, binge watch, eat junk food. You deserve it after all that hard work!
  3. Meditate. It doesn’t have to be an elaborate meditation session. Sometimes just taking 15 to 20 minutes and being still within yourself and your mind is all you need. Take the time to breath. Deep breaths in and out. Relax your body, clear your mind. Breath. I highly recommend checking out Headspace for help with meditation if you want to do more.
  4. Write. You don’t have to be a certain major or a certain type of person in order to write down your thoughts and feelings. It could be a nightly thing, or when you wake up, or even throughout the day. I’m not suggesting anything specific but if you feel bothered or like you need to get something out put it down on paper, or in a journal. It’s a healthy outlet for all emotions.
  5. Exercise. If you’re the time of person that needs to run to run or workout in order to feel better, then by all means do it! Not only will you be working on your body, but you will also tire out your brain as well, which will certainly give you a good night’s sleep. Which leads to the last point.
  6. GET SOME SLEEP. No seriously you need to sleep. It may be college and people are pulling all-nighters left and right for exams and whatnot, but I can promise you that you will not be your best self unless you get sleep. Try to shoot for 7 hours a night if not more. The more you sleep at night, the less you’ll take long naps during the day and you’ll end up having a balanced sleep schedule.

Food

Ah yes, the dreaded freshman 15. In all honesty, I can say that I know that many people who gained a whole 15 pounds their freshman year. Then again it is only our first semester so who knows what can happen. But here you are living on campus and you have a dining hall you eat in or maybe multiple dining halls. So here you go…

  1. Drink water. Please, please, please be sure to drink plenty of water every day. It’s super important for your health and we all know it. Plus, if you are acne prone water is a key to clear skin.
  2. Eat your fruits and veggies. Yes, it’s college. Yes, we want to eat whatever we want because we finally can! No one can stop us! But no. Make sure to incorporate a good amount of both fruits and vegetables into your everyday diet however you can. That doesn’t mean eat a salad once a week and you’re fine. It means whatever you’re eating (which hopefully isn’t all junk food) try to have it include some leafy greens or some tangy fruit.
  3. Switch it up! Don’t eat the same thing for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. That gets boring really quickly. Switch up what you eat and if possible where you eat too! Explore the campus for your options because you’ll enjoy eating more if you weren’t in the same place eating the same thing every time.
  4. It’s okay to indulge. A little sugar here and there never hurt anyone. If you’re craving chocolate or something sugary that’s okay! No one is going to beat you over the head if you indulge once in junk food occasionally. However just have control and don’t go overboard.
  5. Keep your fridge stocked. If you have a mini-fridge in your room that’s great! Keep it stocked with water, and other foods that you can munch on when you don’t feel like going out to eat. If you don’t have a fridge then keep a box full of drinks and (healthy) snacks for yourself because let’s face it sometimes we just want to stay in and what’s better then Netflix, snacks, and your bed?

Money Management

Money is the ultimate necessary evil isn’t it. It’s tempting to blow money on clothes, shoes, food, dorm accessories, and all that other good stuff. But don’t end up sad with $1.88 in your bank account, that won’t help you. Here’s some ways to manage your money while away from home.

  1. Rent! So many students spend their money buying the books they need for their classes and buying books is expensive as sugar, honey, iced tea. So instead of buying your books try to find places where you can rent them from like Amazon or Chegg. Renting is so much cheaper than buying a new or even used book. Speaking of Amazon…
  2. Free is your new best friend. Amazon Prime is FREE for college students for six months. Take advantage of that! Not only that but there’s so many sites and stores that always offer discounts to college students. When you sign up for Unidays you’ll see tons of stores and brands that offer discounts such as Adidas, Ugg, Claire’s, and Asos. You can also do some browsing around on the web to check out what companies offer free samples of their products (including shipping!!). No joke the word free is your new best friend here at college. As well as free’s best friend discount!
  3. Get a job. Get a job on campus asap!! Or off campus if you have a car or there’s places close by. It’s better to be making even a little money than none, right? Websites like Handshake are helpful for college students trying to find a job. Before applying for a job make sure you have a resume, the necessary paperwork, qualifications, and if you can see the hours make sure it can fit into your schedule. Don’t skip classes or study time to work. Your first priority is your education.
  4. Scholarships! Fafsa! It’s that time of the year. Fafsa is open. Make sure to fill it out because that’s money to help YOU. Always, always, always apply for scholarships when you have the time. They don’t need to be big $10,000 scholarships they can be as small as $500 and it’s still worth it. If you don’t have the time to sit and write essays for scholarships every month that’s understandable. Apply to ones that don’t require as much work. Like to make a 60-second video or to put up flyers on campus. Small, simple stuff like that. And if you didn’t get the one you wanted, it’s okay there’s plenty more out there!
  5. Make a list. Make a list of things you NEED and things you WANT. You may really want that new pair of shoes that’s $200 but do you really need them? Start recognizing the difference between your wants and your needs. You can live without your wants, but you can’t live without your needs. Prioritize strategically. And if you’ve got extra money left over buy those shoes!

Classes

We’ve all learned by now that college classes are nothing like they were in high school. The professors are different, the coursework is different, they have a syllabus they follow (not all follow it thoroughly though), and it feels like there’s a test every day. It’s important to not get overwhelmed and stressed by everything but if you do here’s some help for you…

  1. Keep a planner/agenda. If not a planner then a to-do list of sorts. When you get that syllabus from your classes write down all the exam dates and/or homework dates that you need to keep up with. It’s important for you to stay organized with your work and having it all written down where you can see will help.
  2. Talk to your professors. If you go to a big school and you think you’re just a number, stick out. Have conversations with your professors especially if you are struggling with any of the work because they could help or explain more in depth for you. Stop by their office, email them, or just talk to them right after class. Make sure your professor knows your name and face.
  3. Tutoring. If you know that there are tutoring services available at your school sign up for a tutor. Don’t struggle on your own with a class especially if you feel like you’re getting close to or you are failing. And you can also be a paid tutor to others as well!
  4. Study, study, study. It’s the stereotype that all college students do is study and eat ramen, but I mean are they wrong? You must study if you want to pass. Find places that you are comfortable to study in like the library or a café or a designated study room (preferably not in your room on your bed because you’re more likely to fall asleep). If you’re better studying with a buddy or a group, then arrange for group study sessions. If you don’t know how to study because you never learned or never had to then college is going to be a problem for you. But to start take notes in class, not word for word though, and look after your notes when class is over. Mark and ask questions where there’s something that you don’t understand.
  5. Always ask questions. Whether it’s to google, a professor, a friend, ask questions! It’s for your education! If you don’t know or understand something and it’s needed for a class, then you need to find out. Don’t be shy and scared.

That’s all for now folks! There’s so much more to discuss such as friends, parties, skincare, and etc. but we’ll save that for another time! I hope you’re having a great first semester ladies!