Tips for Incoming Freshmen on Succeeding in College

Keep in mind that college is not like high school. There are some adjustments you may have to make to be successful.

Coming into college as a freshman can be one of the more exciting times of a young person’s life; meeting different people, the new environment, and of course, the college parties are something to look forward to. But there’s one thing you should realize as soon as you step onto campus:

The main reason why I’m here is to get my education. 

It’s what a lot of college freshmen seem to forget as soon as they leave home to go to college. Not that having fun in college is a bad thing. As a matter fact, you should. Just keep in mind that your main priority in college is to get your education because it’s so easy to get off track. Keep in mind that college is not like high school. There are some adjustments you may have to make to be successful. Below are some tips on how you can achieve that.

  1. Study, Study, Study – When I say the word “study”, I don’t mean to start looking through your notes for tomorrow’s test; it’s helpful to develop a daily study habit of constantly studying your material every day. The word “cramming” should not be in your vocabulary in college. It may get you by in high school, but it is not the same for college. Set a schedule to where you’re studying your text books and notes every day at a certain time.  By doing this, you’ll save yourself the stress of worrying about a test the day before. Trust me, I’ve “crammed” before; it never worked out for me.
  2. Get classmates’ phone numbers – It’s always good to get acquainted with the people in your class; you never know when you may need a classmate’s number for a question about something in class. It’s never bad to have someone to study with too.
  3. Use a planner – At times, especially for freshmen, college can get a little overwhelming with all the work. Being unorganized can be one of the biggest downfalls for a college student because you can easily lose track of everything that is going on. So it is always important to have a planner that will keep you organized.
  4. Develop a healthy diet – I’m pretty sure we have all heard of the infamous “Freshmen 15”.  Well, make sure this is not you. You can do that by making sure you’re consuming a healthy diet daily. Also, make some time to do some form of exercise. This will not only keep you looking fit, but your body will feel better and energized, and that will result in better performance in the classroom.
  5. Develop relationships with your instructors – You’d be surprised by how much of a difference it makes if you spend some time getting to know your professors. Here’s a secret I began to realize during my first couple years of college: Professors love to give students the benefit of the doubt if they see you giving an effort; that’s why you should develop that camaraderie with them. Do things such as sitting in the front of class, doing additional assignments for extra credit, and don’t be afraid to ask questions.  Trust me, the relationship you have with your professor may make him/her bump that B+ up to an A.
  6. Get involved – One of the greatest things about colleges are the many activities that are available to you on campus. Take advantage of them by getting involved. Not only are you making your time more worthwhile, but you are setting yourself apart from the rest of the students. This is always good because it will make your resume look impressive when you begin searching for internships or jobs in your field of study.
  7. Develop a good budget – I’m pretty sure you’ve heard this statement before: College is a time in your life when you are supposed to be broke. Well, doesn’t necessarily have to be you. Manage your money responsibly.  You cannot be an impulsive shopper in college if you don’t have a lot of income coming in. Spend money on your needs rather than your wants. You can spend on the “extra” things, but just be smart with your purchases.
  8. Have fun – As I stated earlier, you should definitely have fun in college. But just make sure you remember the reason why you’re there. After a long, hard week of studying, treat yourself to something fun; you deserve it!  Go out and be social with all the people you’ve met at your university.


Former TJF Summer Intern, Jeremy Eackles

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