Freshman Survival Tips

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I've made plenty of mistakes, and learned things in the most difficult ways possible. Luckily, I'm a blogger and I have the ability to recreate my experiences on a blog entry for readers to learn and enjoy.

Freshman year is arguably one of the most overwhelming years of your college career. You're coming from high school, community college, or even from a job. You don't really know what to expect, and at times, you'll feel like you may be doing something wrong.

With the following suggestions, you will realize that Freshman year isn't that bad. In fact, you will probably have a great amount of fun. (While also doing well in school)

So here you go... I have it set up in 3 sections: Class Related, Social life, and Dorm life.

Freshman Tips

Class related
  • Take an interest in your classes - Yeah. Some classes are boring. But in order to get a decent grade, you'll have to put in the work. Taking an interest in the class will make the class seem short, and it may make the work easier.
  • Get to know your professors - You'd be surprised as how determined your professors are to help their students. For example, I had one professor who would show up to class early to help students, and she would also stay late to help students. The same professor helped me get more involved in the College of Management, and I'm enjoying the experience.
  • Work on your homework during breaks - Are you someone who wants to go out to party every night? Or are you the type of person to play xbox 360 all night? Either way, if you want to free up some of your night-time schedule, try to get some work done in between classes.
  • Don't wait, just get it done. - Don't wait until the night before to finish some homework. I can't tell you how many hours of sleep I've lost, just by starting (and finishing) an essay that was due the next day. My grades weren't bad, but they could've been better if I spent more time on the assignment.
  • Use the tutoring center - I've only used the tutoring center a few times, but I wish I would have used it more. It's quick and easy. You literally scan your i.d, meet with a fellow student, and learn how to work through problems. Your grades will thank you.
Social Life

  • STAY AT SCHOOL ON THE WEEKENDS - This needed to be in capital letters. My main regret for freshman year was going home on weekends. It's a domino effect actually. When a few people go home, then EVERYONE goes home. This makes for a very boring campus.
  • Rec Center = Godly - UML's rec center is awesome. Try out the racquetball courts, the ping pong tables, run on the indoor track, or lift at the gym. Always something to do.
  • Downtown Lowell - I've only been twice, but it's really cool. Has a "Boston" feel to it. Cool shops. Cool restaurants. Cool people.
  • Check out campus events- Every once in a while, the campus will be doing something fun. For example, last year we had a few famous folk come to town. Snoop Dog, Wiz, Louis CK. It was all pretty epic. This year, I know we have Matisyahu coming for a show. I can't wait.
  • TRY EGGROLL CAFE- Seriously. I'm not gonna even explain this. You'll have to try it for yourself.
  • Don't party TOO much - I've noticed that the people who start partying early in the school year are the ones who party A LOT at the end of the school year. What does this mean? Bad Grades. Trust me on this one. Partying is okay when done in moderation.
Dorm life
  • Get to the room first!- If you want to set the room up YOUR way, get to your room early on move-in day.
  • Respect your roommate - Being FRIENDS with your roommate is great, but the next best thing is to at least respect each other. Set some rules, and follow them. You will both live together with ease.
  • Hide your food - There are always friends who will take food that is visible. In my case, I was friends with a guy who would always take a bottle of Sunny Delight when he'd enter my room. (Luckily, I hated Sunny D.) If he took my Mountain Dew, I wouldn't have been too happy. 
  • BUY a lock box - Having a lock box is great. One night, someone broke in to my room and stole a bunch of stuff. LUCKILY, the valuables in my lock box were still there.
  • LOCK YOUR WINDOWS- It should be a given to keep your door locked when you're not in the room. That's what I always did. BUT. I was STILL robbed. Someone broke in through my window. So be sure to lock those too.
  • Save Money. Use the dining hall - Dining hall food might be gross after a few months, but it's a lot cheaper than spending money every night on a few slices of pizza or Taco Bell.

I'm sure there are plenty of other things I've probably missed. I'll be back to edit this a few more times, but until then, take a while to think of things that can make your life easier in college.

If you have any ideas of things I should add, feel free to e-mail me at matthew_lawson1@student.uml.edu or leave a comment!


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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Matt Lawson published on August 17, 2011 11:23 AM.

Strategies for Success was the previous entry in this blog.

Move in tomorrow! is the next entry in this blog.

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