I am currently a sophomore at Drake University, and I can say that college is full of the best and worst years of my life. Before coming to college, I was not sure what to expect, so here I am just going along for the ride. Although I am learning on my own the hard way, there are some things I wish I knew before as an upcoming Freshmen. Here are 5 tips for high schoolers about to head into their first year of college:

  1. Time Management: College will present you many opportunities to hone your skills and get involved on campus. Although that seems appealing, do not get caught up in the business of it. Stick to about 3 or less organizations to be involved in on campus, and maybe seek out work outside of campus. Remember that school comes first; therefore, you need to prioritize school the most. Make a priority list and the go from there.
  2. Make Connections: It is important to make connections with people on campus, especially professors and advisors. Your professors and advisors are more understanding than you think they are. Do not be afraid to go up to them and have a conversation with them. Essentially they are there to help you, so building connections with them will also assist you in your academic journey and career. (Also if a Professor likes you, they may boost your grade!!)
  3. Organization: Class work stacks up in college real fast, and on top of that, activities, works, and anything else you’re doing. A calendar or agenda is your best friend in college. I recommend going through all your syllabuses in the beginning of the year and jotting down in your calendar due dates, exams, assignments, and anything else that deems important. This will help you stay ahead of your work and have less anxiety when going into classes.
  4. Self Care: No matter how hard you try, you will get burnt out. Sometimes we can get so caught up in the grind that we forget that we need to rest. Breaks are needed when you are expected to perform at high levels. You need time to rest your body and mind, so that you are able to perform to the best of your abilities. Self care can range from having a night in or even hanging out with your friends. Anything is good as long as you are giving your body a break.
  5. Be Open-Minded: I know people who came to college and changed up their whole plans. they changed their majors and took their life in a different direction. You can always change your plans in college. Do not feel stuck in what you choose in the beginning, and do not stress where you will end up after college. There is no pin pointing where you will end up in the next few years. Give it some time, work hard, and everything will work out for you. Do what makes you happy!

College can be a stressful time, but it is also a time of self discovery and you learn so much about yourself. Do not be scared coming into college because I promise that if I can do it, you can do. Good luck to you in college, I know you’ll do great!

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