Janet Ayers Academic Center at Belmont University in Nashville, Tenn.
Opinion

Opinion: How to start freshman year off right

Whether this is your first time at college or you’re transferring in, starting school in a new environment can be overwhelming. 

From figuring out how to balance school’s demands, your social life and being involved on campus, there are lots of lessons to be learned.

Here’s some of the advice we learned the hard way so you don’t have to.

1. If you want to be friends with someone you have to be very intentional about it.

Even if you have just one class together, it’s sometimes for only a semester, so make the effort to be friends outside of class. 

2. Don’t spend all your declining points at Starbucks. 

Save them for when you’re tired of the cafeteria food and treat yourself to Chick-Fil-A or something from Corner Court. 

3. If you have the opportunity to nap, always take it. 

College is exhausting and using your free time to sleep is a way to make sure you’re refreshed for class or whatever else your day calls for. 

4. Study for your exams.

Don’t pull an all-nighter, but walking into an exam and feeling confident because you know you studied is a great feeling. It’s better to be overly prepared than not be ready at all. 

5. Staying in on a Friday night is not the end of the world.

Self-care time is important. Learning how to live with other people and constant contact with them can be really exhausting. You don’t have to be social every weekend. 

6. Don’t buy textbooks until you know you need them.

It will save you money and the weight of carrying them to every class. 

7. Talk to your professors when problems arise.

Use them as a resource. They’re here for you and understand that you have a life outside of their class.

8. Go explore Nashville! 

This city is filled with so many amazing places and opportunities. Getting off campus is a good break when things get hectic. 

9. Complete your assignments in advance. It’s better to avoid all-nighters when possible. 

No real or lasting good has ever come from an all-nighter. Do your best to complete as much work as possible, get a good night of sleep and get up earlier if needed to finish the work from the night before. 

10. Show up to as much stuff as you can the first weeks here, and even if you hate it, talk to as many people as possible and get involved on campus.

This campus is your community for the next semester(s) ahead. Becoming involved in an organization on campus can really give you a good sense of purpose of why you’re here.

We wish you the best of luck this semester and welcome to Belmont! 

This article written by Lydia Fletcher. Photo by Sam Simpkins, courtesy of Office of Communications.

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