I’m not even going to go try and explain why I’ve been so inconsistent at blogging because I have a lot going on right now and how I’m gonna sorta kinda work on being more consistent. Aaaaaand I just said it. Ugh! Anyways! Welcome to my blog or welcome back to my blog if you’re an OG reader 😉. My name is Jess (as you probably know from the title of the blog 😑)
Enough rambling. So guysss, I just realised that it’s that same bittersweet time of the year again. That’s right, say it with me……
BACK TO SCHOOL!!!
Yah fam. Back to school season is finally in full gear. Fortunately or unfortunately, I’m done with school. Yuppp, that’s right, ya girl’s been set free from the shackles of the educational system.
*Cue excited applause 👏 👏 👏
To read my college grad post, click here
But yh, I’m not going to be in school this year but I figured that a lot of you guys are. So you know what, I’m gonna help you guys this school year. I decided to do a kind of ‘back to school series’ where I share general advice, tips, tricks and lessons on how to survive school and maybe even thrive! So get out your notepads and let’s get to learning 😁😁
I’m starting with advice for freshman year because I feel like freshman year of college or even high school is one of the most exciting yet super uncomfortable parts. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my freshman year and I absolutely do not regret anything that happened and all but I just realised that was because I got things right. Freshman year is super decisive not only because it affects your college GPA so much but it affects a whole lot of other things which you’ll get to see later in this post. So yh, here are some super helpful tips and tricks for surviving your freshman year 😊.
1. Resume early: I know this is pretty much obvious but resuming school early is pretty important. I started college about 2 weeks later than the normal resumption date, and the way they had it in my school was that freshmen were supposed to resume even earlier than the returning students so apparently I was 3 weeks late. And that affected me a little at the beginning of the semester because it was difficult finding my classes; I didn’t get into the dorm that I wanted which was for freshers so I was put in another dorm with like seniors; I’d missed a couple of assignments and I remember the second class I attended, we had a pop quiz on a topic that the teacher apparently asked the class to read on and I had no idea what to do. It was harder for me to adjust and get the hang of things because I resumed late so please, if you have the chance, resume on the proper resumption date.
2. Go for ALL your classes: I cannot stress this enough. Most people feel like okay, since they’re in college now, they don’t need to attend classes all the time cause they already have the course outline and test dates given online, but it is still super important not to skip class. In my freshman year, we had this class, I think microeconomics, scheduled for like 2 o’clock. And that same day, we had our department week games day where we had to go to the stadium and play sports and basically have fun. So what happened was, most of us figured that since we were having games day, the class would be cancelled. After our morning seminar, I went back to my dorm to sleep cause I was super exhausted. Before I knew it, a friend of mine came into my room shouting that we have a test in 5 minutes for that same class. I was beyond dazed. Believe it or not, that test ended up being 25% of our final grade. Crazy right! You really can not tell which classes are more important and which aren’t so to be on the safe side, ATTEND ALL. Thank you 😁😁
3. Go over your notes at least every week: even though I did this only when we had tests and exams cause I was super lazy, it’s stil very important to read ya books. College was a bit different than high school because in my high school, we never had surprise quizzes or tests. But in uni, they were every where mehn. It was frustrating for the most part because my CAs were terrible. Even though I still had a good result that year cause I read my life out for exams, I feel like if I had read more and had better CA scores, I’d probably have had a much better result.
4. Get As: this is THE best thing you can do for yourself in freshman year. Getting straight As will boost your GPA so much and make it less harder for you in the future. Your freshman GPA carries a lot of weight when it’s cumulated with your other 3 years. If you do well your freshman and sophomore years, and perform averagely in your senior year, you might not see the effect of your average performance because your past GPAs will buffer it and you’ll still end up graduating with a pretty good result.
So guys, please get good grades because you will pretty much hate yourself later on for not being on a 5.0 or 4.0 when you had the chance. You can get academic scholarships even through your grades. Also remember that the higher you go, the tougher it becomes, so it’s more difficult (but not impossible) to get straight As in senior year than it is your freshman year. Just a food for thought.
5. Make friends: one of the things that helped me a lot in college was the fact that I made friends with people. Not just people, the right people. But still also try to be familiar with as many people as you can in your class. Try to know their names and have them know yours because you never know when you’re going to need them. You can’t be a loner and survive college. Making friends can be hard but you have to put yourself out there and in no time, you’ll have a friend, and she’ll introduce you to her friends and friend’s friends and so on 😊.
Friends are super helpful because they help you with assignments, help you read and stay motivated. There were many times that I was super lazy and just wanted to sleep the whole day, but my friends would wake me up to study. Also, if I wasn’t friends with the girl in my dorm who came to wake me up for the microecons quiz, I’d have missed a whole TWENTY FIVE MARKS! yikes. Super grateful for her 😁
6. Get a laptop if you don’t have one already: this will make your life a whole lot easier because you’re going to have to do a lot of typing and research for homework. If you have a smartphone, that works too.
7. Do your assignments: assignments are an easy way to boost your CA so get super serious with them
8. Know your classes and classrooms: most colleges are pretty big and the distance between classes are a huge. So I’d recommend knowing your classes and classroom locations, and the fastest ways to get to them before each class so you’re not late or even get lost.
9. Be friends with your roommates: getting along with your roommates will make your semester more bearable. I prefer if you’re roommates with a classmate in your freshman year so that you can go to class with them and all. Your roommates are generally your first friends in college and if your lucky, they’ll be your friends for life.
10. Back up your files: I cannot tell you how annoying it is to misplace an assignment or paper when you least expect, so to keep your sanity, have a backup for everything. I use 2 cloud options (Google drive and One drive) and also have all my photos synced to cloud because you also never know when you’re going to need to print something or get info from somewhere and you don’t have your laptop with you.
11. Don’t be afraid to meet your professors if you have any challenges: This is another super important tip. I’ve always been a shy introverted person and I’d rather avoid contact with people but I had to do this in my freshman year because I missed a few classes and assignments and I was finding it a bit hard. I got to know that the teachers were really nice and understanding. They actually allowed me to turn in those assignments even after their due dates.
If you got this far reading, comment ‘blankets‘. Let’s confuse the others 😁😁 hehe.
12. Check your scores with your teachers before they are submitted: this was one thing that I’m grateful I did during freshman year because for some reason, a lot of my scores were missing from the teachers’ register even though I did every test and assignment. It was actually normal for teachers to omit scores then because we had a huge class. Over 300 students. That’s a lot for just one teacher. So to be on the safe side, before exams, meet with your teachers to confirm your scores and see if there are any missing.
13. Join clubs and take up leadership positions if you can: this is one tip I kind of regret not doing so much in college. Being in clubs and societies while your in school and not only that, taking up positions there will look amazing on your resume and grad school applications.
14. Focus on the major thing: it can be very easy to relax and not care so much while you’re in college because of the ‘new found freedom’ you’ve been given, but never loose track of what’s important. You have a few years to do your best and leave so don’t let the little things like parties and boys become top priority. Stay focused and keep the end in mind. That’s one of the things that kept me motivated throughout my college years. I’d always envision graduation day and everyone being so happy and proud of me. So keep the major thing the major thing, and that is graduating with good grades.
15. Never feel like you know it all: when I started my freshman year in college, most of the courses I took were not so difficult in my opinion. I was already very good in most of them back when I was in high school so I felt like there was no problem. It’s going to be a breeze. But I found out the hard way that you can’t assume that you know something without going through it. Be open to learning even though you already know what’s being taught. There’s no harm in re-learning something. It makes you better. So drop the pride and learn.
16. Be friends with those ahead of you: being friends with seniors is really important because they give the best advice (after counsellors). They’ve been in your shoes a few years ago and they’ll tell you everything you need to know about the different teachers and courses and school life in general. I’m super grateful that I had 3 seniors as roommates one of them was even in the same department as I was! They told me all I needed to know and my life was generally a lot easier because I listened to them. Also, it kind of feels good having seniors as friends. Boosts your confidence in a way 😁.
17. Save your money: guysss. If you learn nothing from this at least remember to SAVE YA MONEY! When I was in college (I’m saying that like I’m a sage or something 😄) I had money. Like my dad sent me money for every single thing. Books, exams, food. I was swimming in da dough! But the moment you leave college, the sad reality is you don’t get that privilege no more. I know some of you pay for your tuition but some are in the same category as I was. Please save your money. You could use it for more important stuff during the holidays or even invest it. You don’t need to go shopping every week or day. Trust me you will not die if you don’t eat cookies or chocolate every day.
18. Take advantage of the campus resources: there are so many resources available to students on campus like the library, health centre and much more. Try to be familiar with all of them. You’ll thank me later.
19. Don’t cut corners: also very important is to be honest with yourself. My teachers used to say that it’s better to fail honourably than to pass through cheating and other dirty means. Don’t get into college with a mindset of playing dirty and cutting corners because it will not always work. Stay true to yourself and do the right thing. Hardwork does pay off in the end.
20. Stay organised: try as much as possible to say organised and on top of everything. Know your schedule and write down information on due dates for papers and assignments so you don’t get caught off guard. You can do it with a planner or agenda on your phone. Anyone that works for you.
21. Be prepared to feel overwhelmed: last but not least is to be prepared to not immediately have everything figured out. You will feel a bit homesick sometimes, you will feel overwhelmed even with stuff because it’s a new place. Adjusting does take time and you’ll get the hang of it. Might take a week or a month but you will 😉
That is all the advice that I can remember. If I left some out, please don’t forget to remind me in the comments section down below ⬇. Stay positive, and I will see you in my next post. Bye😉.