Aug 9, 2016

10 Tips for Incoming College Freshman

If you've been following the blog for a while then you know that I'm going to be an incoming Sophomore at the University of Richmond. I'm a Business Major with a Marketing concentration and a Journalism minor. I cannot express how much I love my school and how great my freshman year was! I know the thought of starting freshman year can be a daunting one, I know it was for me! I didn't know a soul at Richmond and never lived away from home so I was terrified when move in day came around. It was definitely an adjustment but didn't take long for me to settle into my 'new life'.

With the start of a new semester right around the corner, I thought I would share some things I've learned from my first year of college. These are 10 tips for make life a little easier for college freshman. If you have any specific questions just leave them in the comments below!

1. Go to Class - While this might seem like a no brainer to some, you would be surprised by how many people skip class on a regular basis in college. The amount of freedom you have in college is both a blessing and a curse because now absolutely no one is going to make you accountable for getting to class. Yes, your professors care about you, but if you aren't putting any effort into your education then neither will they. Since most college classes are only 2-3 times a week, each class is very important to the course and skipping a class only makes it harder for you to make up what you missed.

2. Keep an Open Mind - This was something that I was told so many times before my freshman year and I didn't really understand why until I got to campus. I went to private Catholic school since kindergarten and had classes with the same kids every year. You're going to meet so many people during the first weeks of school and while it can be easy to jump to conclusions about a person just try not to be so quick to judge. Keep an open mind because you never know who is going to end up becoming your next friend, roommate, project partner, etc.

3. FOMO is Real, but Don't Let it Bum You Out Too Much -  FOMO, or the fear of missing out, is so real in college. There is always going to be that internal struggle of going out or staying in for the night. Some days you won't be feeling too hot and decide to stay in for a chill night. It'll be hard seeing all the Snapchats and Instagrams of your friends having fun but you're going to be thankful you stayed in when your friends sleep the day away or wake up hungover the next morning. No matter what, there will always be something you could miss out on so follow your gut and do what you think is best for yourself!

4. Do What Interests You - College is all about finding what you love to do and doing it!! I was never that interested in joining a sorority and when I decided on Richmond I didn't even realize how prevalent Greek life was on campus. I definitely had a few second thoughts about rushing when the time came around but since I never felt 100% about it, I decided not to rush.  Instead, I decided to rush Alpha Kappa Psi, a co-ed professional business fraternity, and it ended up being one of the best things that could have happened that semester. I learned so much about networking, professional development, and myself, and made some of my best friends through AKPsi. It has offered me countless opportunities including a job shadow at the Lilly Pulitzer HQ and connections with Richmond bloggers and businesses. I knew I wouldn't be happy in a sorority so I trusted my gut and couldn't be happier with where I ended up.

5. Call Home - Leaving home made me appreciate my family so much more. I definitely miss my parents and siblings when I'm away at school and I always feel better after talking to my parents or facetiming with my sister for a little bit! I probably talked to my mom every other day when I was away, even for just 5 minutes, to keep her updated on what's going on with my classes and life. Take a few minutes out of your day to call home, trust me it will make your parents happy and you will feel better after too.

6. Get Involved but Find a Balance - There is definitely a a fine line between getting involved and doing too much. School can get overwhelming at times and if you have clubs and a job to worry about then it can be hard to keep track of everything. School obviously comes first but I realized what I was and was not able to handle. I was able to rush, write for the school newspaper, maintain my blog, and do well in my classes - without feeling too stressed out. This coming semester I'm hoping to get a job since I'm more comfortable with college classes and don't have to go through the rush/interview process of AKPsi again! Finding a balance can be hard but it's so important to when the craziness of college semesters start!

7. Don't Be Afraid to Ask for Help - College classes are hard. It's a simple fact and it can take some getting used to when you're transitioning from high school courses. I struggled big time with my Calc class last semester but asking for help from friends and tutors made it easier - easy enough to pass! Don't be embarrassed to ask for help - there is absolutely nothing wrong with asking for help if it means passing your class and boosting your GPA!

8. Connect with Your School's Career Center - I can't stress this enough! My school has an amazing network of alumni and they are so happy and willing to help the students from their alma matter. It's really never too early to visit the career center - I've gone for help with a resume, set up a job shadow, and am constantly getting informed about new opportunities in my fields of interest. The faculty and alumni really just want to help you - so take advantage of what your school had to offer and visit the center as soon as you can!

9. New Friends are Important, but So Are Old Ones - Going into school without knowing a soul definitely made me nervous about making friends. But, as the year went on, I met so many incredible people that I am now so glad to call my friends!! I love that I'm able to share my college experience with so many new people but I am forever thankful for my friends from home. Whenever I'm home, we just pick up where we left off without it even feeling like we've spent months being miles apart. I love that we can have our own personal experiences and know that when I come home they will be there!

10. Have Fun - Whatever your definition of fun is, go out and do it! I think some of my best memories of freshman years were the days I spent off campus exploring the amazing city I live in. First Fridays in downtown Richmond, a ski trip in the mountains of Virginia, doing a fun collaboration with local business owners and bloggers, attending my first formal Downtown, exploring Richmond's food scene and trying out so many new restaurants.  I still have so much I want to do and I'm hoping this year will be as fun as the last one!

I hope this post can serve as some form of guidance for incoming college freshman! If you're going to be a freshman comment below what school you are going to!


  1. Thanks for all of these tips! I'm going to Virginia Tech in the fall!!! I live super close to U of R so it's cool to see what living on campus is like through your blog.

    The Preppy Equestrian 

    1. Of course! Congrats on Virginia Tech - such a beautiful campus! If you have any questions feel free to send me a message! Good luck with your semester!

  2. These are all great tips! It's crazy what simply going to class can do for your grades!

    Rachel /

    1. Thank you!! I totally agree - sometimes they even mark attendance as a grade!


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