The first year in college is an exciting time for students; however, some of the very things that make one’s freshman year in college so memorable are also the things that make it stressful. Not only is it a new world of experiences and people, but it is also most students’ first step toward being a true adult. The sudden independence and responsibility may even take a toll on some students and can affect their grades, emotions, and behavior. Ideally, before a student heads off to college, he or she should prepare for the changes to come. Even with preparation, the first year is often a trying one and freshmen will want to take the right steps and make the right choices to ensure their academic future.
Finances are an area that students will want to have a grasp on prior to attending college for the first time. On the whole, few students and their families are able to pay for college tuition without any assistance. Common sources of aid include scholarships, loans, and grants. Federal grants and scholarships provide students with money that does not need to be repaid. Scholarships, however, often have terms that the student must meet in order to continue receiving the funds. Loans are another option, but unlike grants a loan will need to be repaid. There are several types of loans that a student may apply for, like a federal loan which has a low-interest rate. Some schools also offer work-study programs that can help students pay for their time in college.
- Federal Student Aid: Receiving Aid
- Paying for College
- Searching for Scholarships
- Looking for More Ways to Pay for College or Career Training
College classes and the resulting classwork will be a whole new experience during the first year. Unlike high school, students must display a certain amount of independence if they are to receive the grades that they desire. This means it is upon the student to develop good study techniques in order to complete their coursework. The first step in doing this is to locate a place that is conducive to learning and to dedicate uninterrupted time to studying. Studying, however, may not be enough to help students understand or complete their work. In cases like this freshmen must realize that there is help at most colleges and universities in the form of tutors, study groups, and other forms of homework help. Many colleges, for example, offer tutoring classes in person or online. Other colleges may offer tutoring sessions in person at campus learning centers. Students will want to check with their university to get details about their school’s tutoring programs and any restrictions that may apply.
For many incoming freshmen their first year of college is also their first year living away from home. When moving into a dorm for the first time, first year students will want to meet their new roommates and create a checklist of their needs. The checklist should consist of must-have items to bring from home to help ensure that the student has all of the necessities that will make their new living environment a comfortable one. Typically the university will provide students with a list of items that are and are not allowed. Students will also need to adjust to having a roommate who is someone who they are not familiar with. This will require getting to know the person’s personality and finding a comfortable middle ground when it comes to cleaning, visitors, etc. In the event that problems arise and the student is unable to resolve it on their own, it is important to know the name of the resident assistant.
- Living With, Getting Along With, and Adjusting to Roommates
- What to Bring
- Helping Your Student Adjust to Living On – Campus
- Adjusting to Life on Campus
- What College Freshmen Should and Should Not Pack
Attending college is an exciting experience that holds the promise of not only knowledge but also fun times and positive memories that will last a lifetime. Unfortunately, a college campus can also be a dangerous place, particularly for unprepared freshmen. Through one’s college career it is important that they recognize the dangers associated with universities and colleges across the campus. These dangers range from sexual assault, random acts of violence, stalking, and other crimes. Alcohol and substance abuse also presents another layer of danger to students. Drinking and drug usage can result in acts of aggression and driving under the influence. People who are intoxicated or high make poor judgments, have lowered inhibitions and may do things that can hurt themselves and others.
During one’s first year in college, a student may discover that they no longer wish to pursue the intended major. This is due to a number of things, however during this time a student learns more about themselves, their views and values. While in college they will be exposed to different people, students, speakers, and professors that may encourage an interest in a field that had never been considered before.