Tips For Incoming College Freshman


Lauren Kuhn

West Chester University

New beginnings and changes can be scary, especially transitioning from high school to college. College can be frightening to many because you are on your own and learn a lot of independence. You move away from your family and friends and must be accountable for time management, balancing a social life, and education. Although it can be scary, college can be so much fun, and there are many tips that you can use to ease your nerves and thrive as a first-year college student.

Time management is a huge aspect of college; you must be on top of your classes and find a balance between academic and social life. As this is a time of learning independence, you are responsible for completing your work and studying independently. The biggest tip is to find time management tools that work for you and your schedule. Lindsay Hapak, 21, a Junior at West Virginia University, shares with us her most important tip “I do not recommend procrastinating on school work. Time management is probably one of the most important skills to succeed in college.” Schoolwork is very important, and you can use many tips and tricks to stay on top of your schoolwork. Calendaring applications, time trackers, focus apps, note managers, and bookmark organizers are some options available. Turning off your phone is a great place to start. When you turn it off, you won’t be tempted to check your notifications or get sucked into your friends’ actions. You could fall a rabbit hole and then not get your work done, and now you may not have time. You have to find what works for you. Something may work for somebody else and may not work for you. Keep trying different options and find the one that works for you.

Another great tip as you start this new journey is to put yourself out there and make new friends. As scary as it can be going into college, it’s also a time when you get to start over. Most likely, nobody knows anyone, and everyone is most likely feeling the same way you are. You can end up meeting some of your best friends that you will have forever. Samia Najim, a senior at Pennridge High School, states that she is “nervous moving to a new state and not knowing anyone” Although Najim is nervous, she says, “I’m excited to meet new people.” Meeting new people is a fun and exciting aspect of college and something you should look forward to.

The last tip is to prioritize your mental health. As you can experience homesickness and other mental health problems, you have to do what’s best for you, and if you need a day to collect yourself, then take it. If you are going to miss a class for it, make sure you let your professor know in advance and tell them how you are feeling, but you have to make sure you still get your work done at some point when your professor asks. You will have people around you to help and support you, and if you have to call your family, they are only one phone call away. Don’t be scared to ask your family, friends, and professors for help because they all will help you through your transition from high school to college.

Overall, college is a time to find yourself and find what you want to do for the rest of your life, and it can open your eyes to so many different options. There are many other great tips for incoming first-year students; these are just three big tips.