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Do University Right: 19 Tips For New University Students/Freshers

If you are about to start University/College, or even if you are well into studying, here are 19 tips for getting the most out of University/College.

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#1 Don’t study too much

As you pack up your supplies to embark on your college adventure DO plan to put your studies first, but also be intentional about making time for people. College is full of optional opportunities outside of the classroom that you must seek out. 

Keep your grades up, but don't study so much that you neglect the wealth of resources available to you through friendships and face-to-face interactions. Ask any graduate what they considered to be the best part of college and the answer will 9 times out of 10 involve people they met there. Your time in college will fly by faster than you can imagine. Don't miss out on the best that it has to offer.

Contributor: Lindy Schneider from

#2 Connect socially right away!

There are opportunities to make friends and attend social events from the moment you step foot on campus. New students who are feeling self-conscious will be all around you hoping to find a friend. Be the one to take the initiative and introduce yourself to as many people as you can. Learn each person's name and where he or she is from. Make sure to recognize these new acquaintances with a wave or a nod the next time you see them. 

During Orientation and the first week of school there will be lots of invitations to join clubs and attend parties. This barrage of invitations will slow to a trickle as the semester wears on. Go to as many as you can early on. Check out the clubs and invite others to join you. You may find some new interests. You don't need to join everything and you shouldn't but check them out and join the ones you like. 

By the second and third weeks into the semester, students are feeling more settled and are less open to making new friends. When you connect with people right away, you will not find yourself left out and lonely come mid-semester.

Contributor: Lindy Schneider from

#3 Ask questions of your RA or older students

Spend some time with the Resident Hall Advisor (RA) or with a student that has already spent a year at the school. They will know all the great hang-out places. Ask them:

  • Where is the best place to get coffee?
  • Is there a local hang-out that I just shouldn't miss?
  • Where is a great place to study if I need some quiet time to focus? It may be the second floor of the library behind the shelves where no one else goes.
  • Ask if there are any difficult professors that you should avoid in future classes. This little bit of information can prove invaluable to you!

Contributor: Lindy Schneider from

#10 Professors are human

Believe it or not, your professors are human. They have interests, passions, and lives outside of lectures. Having a connection with a professor is one of the most valuable networking opportunities available for you at college. If you think a professors research is interesting, tell them. 

Learn about it, read their publications, and ask if you could come to their office hours to ask a few questions about it. Professors usually study and publish research on things they love and are passionate about, and they will be happy to talk to someone who is also interested in the topic. 

You never know, there might be a position available for an undergrad in their research group that they could hook you up with, which would connect you with even more influential people in the space and provide untold opportunities.

Contributor: Veronica Schofield from

#11 It's not enough to just show up

One of the biggest pieces of advice out there for new college students is to attend every class. Unfortunately, just showing up won't cut it. To do well in a course, you need to show up, sit near the front, take notes, and actively participate (yes, that means ask questions!). Stay off your phone and if you can't stay off facebook, opt to take notes on paper instead of on a laptop, where you can't be distracted.

Contributor: Veronica Schofield from

#16 Here are some good study habits

  • Reading before class to be prepared, taking notes during class, and re-reading notes as soon as possible after that class to start retaining and understanding the information. At that point, a student would have come across the same information 3 times!
  • Break studying up into sessions before testing. Don't try to cram all at once, and especially not just the night before.
  • Study while in the tutoring center so if you hit a hard question or don't understand something you can raise your hand and talk to someone immediately. The tutoring center is not just for those who are behind, but it is for those who want to stay ahead!
  • Use games such as Jeopardy and Kahoot! to make studying fun in a group!
  • After studying, make sure you take advantage of your professor's FREE office hours to ask specific questions about your reading or assignments. Sometimes the professors have multiple unique ways of breaking down new information.

Contributor: Mona Dixon from

#17 Set a budget and stick to it

College is expensive, and when you add in student loans the total opportunity cost of college can approach a quarter-million dollars. By setting a budget, students can plan for expenses and even avoid some loans (especially if they work while in school), giving them an advantage at graduation.

Contributor: Brian Morris from

Direct Text Book has a free student budget tool that helps students create budgets.

#18 Know your textbook options

Textbooks can cost up to $5,000 over the course of a four-year degree, but students don't need to buy brand-new textbooks from the campus bookstore. They can rent textbooks or buy used and alternative editions (instructor's editions, international editions, e-textbooks, etc.) and save 50% or more.

Contributor: Brian Morris from

#19 Get as much as you can out of college

Get as much as you can out of college because the opportunities are harder to come by when you're done. College is a time to try new things and have adventures. Take every opportunity to try anything you might like. 

You might not find another Quidditch league, or comic-book book club or basket-weaving team or any host of super specific, quirky and fun activities that you can find in College. Study abroad if you can. You will learn so much about other people and cultures, and realize how big the world is (and small at the same time... it's an interesting thought). These things are a lot harder to find when you graduate, so take advantage of them now.

Contributor: Veronica Schofield from

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Written by Nathaniel Fried

Co-founder of Fupping. Busy churning out content and building an empire.

One Comment

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  1. Starting college can be intimidating. You want to look like you know what you’re doing, but inside you’re thinking, “I wonder what I don’t know that I should be doing!” These tips are big help to boost one’s on-campus confidence!

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