Tips to Make Freshman Year Run Smoothly

Freshman year is full of confusion and discovery. While everyone has a different experience, there are a few strategies that made my freshman year more enjoyable.

Take Advantage of Freshman Resources. My freshman dorm, Babcock Hall, has brought me some of my best friends and has also taught me a variety of life skills. I learned that having friends who live nearby can help ease the transition and make late-night study sessions in the dorm less stressful. Your freshman year RA is very involved with your hall and can be a great resource to go to if you are having any trouble, whether it be roommate-related or not. Your Student Advisor freshman year is another great resource who can help you with not only registration and academic concerns, but also social and extracurricular worries.

The Value of Alone Time. Living in close proximity with a complete stranger taught me how much I value my alone time and how important it can be for one’s mental health. At home, I could be alone whenever I wanted, but now I plan times to relax in my room when I know my roommate will be in class or at a meeting. Even if you get along well with your roommate, it can be nice to have time to be completely yourself and not worry about making conversation, or turning down the volume on Netflix.

How to Make/Choose Healthy Relationships. In high school, many of our relationships arise due to lifelong family connections or are formed by sports teams and clubs. College gives us the opportunity to create friendships based on mutual interests and respect for one another. Throughout my first year at Wake, I have learned to put effort into friendships with people who are genuine and I can rely on. In college, unlike in high school, there is a larger pool of people which makes it easier to find friends who speak to you and your values. However, don’t assume the people you hang out with during the first week will be your best friends for your entire four years. Instead, take your time to get to know a variety of people and find those who make the campus feel like home.

Time-Management. Above all, I believe freshman year really teaches students the value of time-management. Good time-management is the key to academic, mental and interpersonal success at college. If you are able to prioritize and balance your activities, academics, and social life, everything will become much more enjoyable. I have learned that being able to say no to certain activities is a large part of enjoying freshman year. I always prioritize and choose my extracurricular activities based on the fulfillment they give me and the impact they will have on my future.

It is common to have a confusing freshman year. Transitioning to college is a huge change that can cause a great deal of stress. The key to making the most of your freshman year lies in your priorities, and the relationships you form during your time in college.

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