7 Pro College Tips to Surviving Your First Year of College

college tips

Thirty percent of college students don’t make it through or come back after their first year of higher education. If you’re preparing for your freshman year, it’s important that you take proactive steps to make sure this doesn’t happen to you. Don’t let this statistic scare you, however. With these college tips, you’ll be able to survive and thrive in your freshman year.

Keep reading for 7 pro college tips for making it through year one of college.

1. Get (and Stay) Organized

First and foremost, let’s start with one of the foundational tips for college success: getting organized. Start by getting your papers organized.

It’s a good idea to get a binder or file box. Either way, set up a separate section for each of your classes. This way, you can keep important documents and know exactly where to find them.

For example, after your first week of classes, put all of your class syllabi in their respective locations. This will help keep things under control.

The same concept applies to your digital files. On your computer, make a folder for each semester. Then, inside this folder, make a unique folder for each of your courses.

From then on, always save documents, projects, and presentations, in their correct location. Even though this takes longer, it will save you so much time in the long run.

Also, stay organized when it comes to your textbooks. As soon as you find out which books you need for each class, get those rented and then keep them in the same place in your study area all semester long.

2. Get in the Planning Habit

Next, know this: your planner will be your best friend. Let’s say you’re taking four classes. Chances are you’ll have multiple assignments, various tests, and lots of projects in each of them.

Staying on top of all of this can be really hard. This is where your planner will come in handy.

Whether you prefer a physical or digital version, use your planner to record due dates for all of your assignments. Often, you’ll receive a syllabus with a class schedule during the first week of school.

When you receive this, take some time to go through your planner and add all of the important dates you’ll need to know.

3. Watch What You Eat

We’ve all heard about the freshman fifteen. And the truth is that it’s real. In fact, 70% of college students gain weight by graduation.

Combat unwanted weight gain by eating right. Late-night pizza, fast food runs, and microwave burritos can create an unhealthy diet.

Combat this by integrating healthier snacks and meals into your routine. Of course, it’s okay to have a burger and fries, but don’t make this your everyday meal.

4. Work, Work, Work

Another pro tip? Get a job.

In high school, you have a regular routine with a set schedule every day and parents who enforce a curfew. But for college freshmen, they’ve often moved out for the first time, and sometimes don’t have class until 10 am. 

When you don’t have a set routine, it can be easy to get lazy and procrastinate. This is where it can be beneficial to get a part-time job. This way, you’ll have set times to get your homework done before or after shifts.

Of course, school should be your priority. But a side job can help you organize your time and give you some extra spending money. It’s a win-win.

5. Get That Sleep

A good night’s sleep is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. But for many college freshmen, it’s tough to get those 8 full hours.

Parties with new friends, late-night homework sessions, and dates can all get in the way of a good night’s sleep.

Here are some reasons to make sure you’re getting the sleep you need:

  • Losing sleep causes extra stress
  • A tired mind has a harder time paying attention in class
  • Your brain process information from your short-term memory as you sleep
  • Sleep helps regulate your metabolism
  • Rest will help you regulate your emotions

Simply put, make sure you get that much-needed shut-eye.

6. Go to Class

This may seem obvious, but it’s essential when it comes to college tips. Far too many college students skip classes just for the fun of it.

But to succeed, you need to go to class. In fact, we recommend setting a goal to have perfect attendance.

This is because attendance is one of the best predictors of success in college. If you don’t go to class, you’ll miss out on essential learning opportunities, not to mention information you’ll need to succeed on exams.

7. Don’t Get a Credit Card

Now that you’re 18 and in college, it’s likely that you’ll start receiving lots of credit card offers.

This is because they know college freshmen are young, inexperienced, and often strapped for cash. This makes for the perfect storm resulting in quick money for you in the short-term and huge profits for the credit card companies in interest charges and late fees.

As a freshman, it’s better to avoid the credit temptation altogether. Instead, stick with a debit card until you need to start building your credit down the road.

The College Tips You Need to Succeed

Now that you’ve read through these college tips for freshmen, it’s time to put them into place. Think about the areas that you need help in the most and start to apply these ideas. Your future self will thank you.

Need textbooks? Avoid expensive purchases and rent them instead. Learn more here.