Just a couple of years ago my oldest son went off to college. My middle child will be on her way soon to her freshmen experience. Many moons ago, my husband and I both were first year students on the University of Dayton campus. For 10 years I worked with first year to graduate and international students on the University of Dayton and the University of Tennessee. This fall thousands of students are headed off to their first (freshmen) year of college. What do I know now about the first year experience that I didn’t know then?
There is more to college than classes. With your freshmen year you now have the chance to begin your exploration of a variety of topics and interest that you never had a chance to investigate while in high school. Begin with your freshmen year to become involved in at least one extracurricular activity or event on your college campus. Join an organization, study abroad, or play a sport. Attend workshops or festivals sponsored or hosted by your university. Sometimes the freshmen experience causes an overload for many first year students as you get adjusted to living on your own, a heavy course schedule and meeting so many new people, places and things. Avoid the overload by finding an outlet that can give you a chance to have some fun and enjoy your new life on campus.
There is more to college than parties. Let’s not pretend that that underage drinking doesn’t occur. That only makes the problem worse. Unfortunately far too many freshmen take advantage of the freedom that living on their own and that a college experience provides when it comes to “party-ing.” They are now thrown together socially with other students that are legally able to drink. The majority of drunken accidents and illnesses occur to freshman students including everything from accidents in dorms or apartments (think stairs, tripping and falling, sprained ankles and more), to alcohol poisoning to throwing up and passing out in the halls of the buildings while you attempt to attend class in hung-over stupor. If you do make the choice to drink make sure you do so responsibly and without excess.
Broaden your horizons on campus. Take a class outside of your major. Are you planning on being an engineer? Why not take an art appreciation class? After all you have four years (and for some majors even more) to complete your degree. Take advantage of these opportunities to explore other topics by adding a course to your schedule just for the fun of it. You never know what you hidden talents or interests you may find that will help you in the future.
The first year experience is an exciting one. It can also be frightening and thrilling. It is the beginning of a whole new world and lifestyle for you and with this advice you can learn much more than you ever expected, as well as accomplish so much more your first year than avoiding the “Freshmen 15″ and simply getting by your first year at college.
Read more about college aged kids . . .
Environmentally Friendly Care Package and Gift Ideas for College Students
Seven Steps to Shared Computer Security and Protection
Tips for Using Spring Break to Visit Prospective Colleges