Freshmen Days

By Shay Sweet

Whether you are an incoming freshman or a transfer student, going away to school for the first time can be an eye widening experience for anyone.  As this semester comes to an end, several Lasell students will finish their first year of college and even more students will receive their college acceptances. Meeting new people, getting your academic schedule just right and balancing your relationships from home can seem like daunting tasks of higher education. But, with these tips and the right attitude, your transition into the “adult” world should become more manageable and even fun.

One of the biggest fears for an individual going away to school is that they won’t make friends as easily as they did in their secondary school years.  That fear can cause students to become introverted in an atmosphere where they are not completely comfortable.  College is a time of self-discovery and the best piece of advice that can be given to those unsure of themselves is to sign up, sign up, sign up.

There are sports, drama, music, art and basically any club you can imagine available. With some schools, such as Lasell, even letting you create your own organizations if they do not already exist.  Joining in on extracurricular activities is a great way to meet students who share the same passions as yourself.  Students who stay active in their schools community are proven to lead more productive lives academically as well.

As far as creating a challenging and engaging schedule, meeting with your advisor is always the first step and are individuals that are there to guide you throughout college career.  They can present you with each option available as well as give you their insight to the curriculum since they are the most familiar with the school itself.  Along with your advisors being openly available to you would be your actual professors.  Those teaching you the material can be thought of as one of your biggest assets and for the most part are more than willing to answer any questions you may have.

Another tip would be to attend all orientations provided in the beginning of the semester by the school.  This will help you become more familiar with the campus, giving you one less added stress on your first day of classes.  Once you become more comfortable with your surroundings, the next thing you should do is find an ideal place to study where you know you can completely focus.  Nothing is more difficult than trying to prepare for an exam when your roommate is continuously chatting on their phone or blasting their tunes.

When you are living away from your family and friends, one of the largest struggles can be balancing your personal life with your college life.  Missing your parents, making new friends without neglecting your familiar ones and many times managing long distance relationships are examples of the common problems that arise.  The one thing you always need to remember is communication.  Never forget the people who were there for you from the beginning but keep in mind that life is constantly changing, as well as yourself and you may find yourself going in different directions.  Make sure those closest to you are made a priority by telephone, writing letters or by using any of today’s technologies to keep in touch. Realize that long distance relationships in college can work out if both individuals are dedicated, but if it fails life will go on.  Assign a designated day every week to reach out to those important, no matter how busy your schedule may be and take trips to visit one another every month.

Many students find themselves unprepared upon arrival at school and not knowing what to expect, inevitably affecting the overall experience gained.  Every person’s time at college is unique but with the right advice it can be realized that its more than taking courses to earn a degree but it’s an opportunity to learn about who you are and where you are going in life, while making some memories along the way.

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