What’s So Special About the First Semester?

School has started, and you’re getting into the swing of things … or are you? Many freshman regret their first semester because they are trying to adjust and usually have a few stories to tell about how great (or not) it was. Here are a few reasons why:

  • The roommate

Let’s face it – not all roommates are nice, and personality conflicts can be a big contributor to making someone feel out of place. Some people just aren’t built to be around others, and they take their frustrations or insecurities out on them. Before you start being judgmental, make sure they are the real problem and it’s not you.

  •  The professors

Newsflash – professors don't consider themselves teachers, and they don’t operate in the same manner. Where you could have gone to your teacher and made up some story about why your assignment wasn’t done, the professor doesn’t really care. They don’t work well with excuses, and you can’t “win” them over by getting your parents to talk with them. It’s time to face some real, hard truths – play time is over.

Another thing about professors – if you’re truly in college to learn, don’t take the “easy” professors just for kicks. Why? You want the challenge to acquire knowledge and be the very best in your field. Avoid the difficult professors and ask around to find out which ones are considered the best. 

  • The classes

College classes usually go at a much faster pace than when you were in high school, and if you don’t keep up with the readings and assignments, you’re going to be in a world of trouble – fast. If you thought you were a great writer, you may be in for a world of hurt. Professors think differently, probe longer and are not afraid to let you know you aren’t the next best thing to sliced bread. Sit in the front row, pay attention, go see them during their office hours, and make use of your time.

If you did poorly on the first couple of exams, now is the time to get a tutor and study group. You may have been an “A” student in high school, but depending on the subject and professor, that reality may come to a crashing halt. Be prepared, and don’t take classes you don’t have to.

  • The procrastination

All the parties and activities may seem more important than going to class, or getting there unprepared. Forget it! Do NOT procrastinate. You may be used to doing things at the last minute, but it can catch up with you. Learn how to break free from distractions. If you can’t shake the mood, you may be going through a slight bout of depression. Don’t ignore it – go speak to a counselor immediately.

  • The money

You just got your financial aid check and feel like you need to splurge. Don’t do it. There are so many things that come up throughout the semester that you’ll wonder where it went (now you see it, now you don’t). Even if you have a scholarship, don’t waste money by not applying yourself in class just because you didn’t have to pay for it. That will hurt you in the long run, and your GPA may suffer. Take the maximum amount of credits you can that won’t give you excess charges. You’ll finish faster and cut your tuition costs.

  • Days of the week

Scheduling most of your classes on Tuesday-Thursday or Monday, Wednesday, Friday is in your best interest because you have the other days to study. It’s best to register as soon as you can because other students are thinking the exact same thing. Find which schedule works best for you and get it done.

These tips should help make things a little easier, along with getting a Freshman Fun Box designed to help you survive and thrive. Together, they can help make the adjustment fun!