How to Survive Your First Semester of College

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You’re a freshman, a baby, fresh meat and totally confused as your first semester of college starts. Your parents left you and for the most part you are on your own and have no idea what to do. In this strange place with new people, new classes and a whole lot of freedom, you’re unsure of how to organize yourself for success in your classes, not get totally lost and take advantage of the location of your school. Have no fear, because College Magazine is here to ensure that you don’t get “FRESHMAN” yelled at you as you wander aimlessly with a campus map in your hand.

1.) Organize, organize, organize.

This is literally the most helpful tip when entering college. Whether it’s color coding your notebooks or getting a planner, being organized and neat is key to succeeding.

“Get an app for your computer to help organize your assignments. I use iHomework. It's really great because you can input assignments, tests, readings, etc. by course and due date, as well as professor/TA contact info. It kept me alive last year,” said Kate Scruggs, a sophomore at University of Maryland.

2.) Study your campus map (in your dorm room).

Doing this in the privacy of your own room will ensure that you don’t get called freshman in public but will also allow you time to familiarize yourself on your own time. After some vigorous studying go out on campus and find all your buildings you know what to look for on your first day.

“Don’t just map out your buildings but go find the exact classroom in the building,” said Danielle Novick, a sophomore at University of Maryland.

3.) Explore the surrounding area.

Whether you are in a little town in the middle of nowhere or near a large city, getting to know the local restaurants, bars and shops is a good way to keep things fresh and ensure that you never get bored.

4.) And last but not least avoid these mistakes:

“I went to my first discussion still drunk from the night before and threw up in front of the whole class, including the TA; I dropped the class later that day”

-Andrew O., senior at Dominican College

“I was at a crowded party and someone stepped on my pinky toe and broke it. My friends had to push me to the health center on a bike the next morning.”

– Kate Sullivan, sophomore at the University of Maryland

“My friend was hooking up with two girls on his floor and one night they found out and both barged into his room to yell at him. Moral of the story: don’t hook up with people on your floor.”

-Kyle Lennon, senior at Towson University


Freshman > Journalism > University of Maryland

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