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For anyone who's just starting college, it might seem a little scary. It's a new campus, new classes, and you're on your own. Of course there are some positives, but a lot of the time we learn the hard way how college is going to be. There will always be things we don't expect, so that's why I'm sharing with you a few things I wish I would have known about college when I was a freshman.
1. Go and see a counselor for your classes
Please save yourself, and just trust me on this one. Go and see a career counselor on campus and work with them to create your schedule. Most college campuses will have a counselor for each major that you can go to. They will help you set up the classes you need to graduate or transfer. See this counselor EVERY SEMESTER. Every. Single. Semester. Because if you don't, then there will be some issues that you'll run into. Such as taking classes you don't need or failing and having to extend your stay.
2. Actually try in your placement testing
Some campuses will test you for placement if it is your first year or time ever attending college. Please actually try your best. Do NOT (I repeat. Do NOT.) Just blow them off. You will end up in classes you should have already passed. This will extend your lovely college stay and delay your graduation.
3. Ask or email your teachers for help
If you are in a few smaller classes, then be sure to email or ask your professors for help. They will most likely be happy to help. After all, that's why they are there. I use to be so afraid of asking for help, but I've learned it is essential. If you don't understand something you have to ask.
4. If you're too shy to ask for help, you gotta figure it out yourself
Teachers won't always be the best at explaining things, even if you decide to ask for help. Maybe you still don't get it, or their way of explaining didn't make sense. It's not like high school where you can just BS your way through and still pass. Some websites I've used are khan academy, YouTube for crash courses, and online text books. Whatever works for you, do it. Also find out if your campus offers any tutoring resources. Mine offers free tutoring in math and english. USE THEM.
5. Don't expect to pass without taking notes
Seriously a lot. Bring lots of paper. Like.... more than you think you need, and a few extra pens. I highly recommend these erasable pens. In college I have learned that if you don't take notes, you'll most likely fail. Plus teachers don't always still believe in study guides or reviewing. So that's all on you
6. Get yourself a good planner
You'll need it. With assignments, midterms, tests, exams, lab days, and more, you'll need some way to keep track of everything.
7. The friends you make often won't last unless you dorm
I personally wouldn't worry about making college friends, unless you're dorming or in a sorority or something. 7 out of 10 times you will only see them for one or two classes. Unless it's somebody you really click with and see yourself hanging out with, then I wouldn't worry about it too much. I've made maybe one or two college friends that have actually stayed in touch with me. Don't stress about it.
8. Don't worry about what others think.
Why you ask ?? Because realistically nobody cares. In addition to that, if they do care, you will probably never see most of these people ever again in your life. So just do you.
9. College will only make you broke if you let it
Student loans aren't fun, and I'm not talking about that anyways. Even though there is financial aid you can apply for, and I highly recommend applying just to see if you qualify. I am talking about expenses that are in your control. For example: racking up your credit cards, going to the bar every weekend, partying after class every single day, buying pointless things you don't need, etc. Most college students will complain they're broke, and wonder why until you take a look at their habits. Don't be THAT student. Make a budget and actually stick to it. College was never suppose to be a party anyways. Most of us don't even want to be here.
10. You will think about dropping out more than once
I am currently doing this now lol. It's okay to feel this way. College is a new environment and it's more challenging than most other work you have done. College isn't for everyone, but in this day and age it's almost necessary. Keep going, try your best, and don't be afraid to fail. I've failed my math class 2 times. It's alright. It's gonna happen. But I believe in you !
Good luck with your freshman year, or whichever year you're on! You got this.