College Tips: Five Priorities for Freshmen

College is a whole different world than high school. Here’s are five essential tips for college parents and their students for their freshman year.

We say “their” – as the first year of college is often filled with shared experiences that both parents and students experience in tandem.  You share this journey so we describe it as a plural experience.

Our Top Five Priorities for College Families to Discuss include the Following:

Time management is everything. In high school, you were given a schedule to follow. College allows you to create your own schedule. That means that it’s up to you to figure out how to succeed with that schedule. Try purchasing a planner to help you balance your classes, time for studying, and any extracurricular activity you join.

You might not become best friends with your roommate – and that’s okay. You may have a vision of you and your college roommate becoming best friends and spending all your time together. That could very well happen. But it’s okay if it doesn’t. The most important thing in your relationship with your roommate is respect and communication. Just make sure you can peacefully live side-by-side and you will make great friends elsewhere.

Use every resource available to you. Your college campus will be full of resources for you to utilize. You’ll have access to a gym, a tutoring center, a counseling center and more. Your college campus is your new home away from home. Explore it and make sure you are comfortable. Plus, many of these resources will be free of additional cost – why not take advantage of them?

You will likely get homesick. This may be your first time away from home, which means you will likely get homesick. And that’s okay. It may hit you right away, or it may hit you months later. Everyone adjusts at their own pace. It takes time to feel fully adjusted at college. Just keep in contact with your family while still working at making friends at college.

Academics come first. While being away from home for the first time may cause homesickness, it may also bring its own temptations. It’s easier and more fun to hang out with friends instead of studying. But you are in college to further your education. Classes and studying should always come before spending time with friends. Poor grades could cost you your spot at your school. It may be hard at first, but you will quickly learn to balance fun and studying.