Ultimate Freshman Guide to College


College can be scary, but you are going to love it. College is a whole other world. Whether you are commuting or going away, you are going to spend the next 4+ years with people you have never met before.

High School does not prepare you for college (this post will surely help). I went into college unprepared not knowing what to expect, but I got use to it pretty quick and now I’m sharing what I learned so you are more prepared than I was. 

As a college sophomore, these tips are tried and true. 

The Ultimate Freshman Guide to College

Learn your way around. Take a tour or several. Walk around campus on your days off to learn where everything is at, maybe you’ll even find some hidden gems. Grab some friends and tour together. 

Talk to your professors. Talk to them outside of class. This way you will get more time for valuable information and brownie points! Discuss any problems you may be having in your class. It’s always good to check in with them just to make sure you are doing well in class. And nine times out of ten, they’ll give you some tips they didn’t give to the rest of the class, which gives you an advantage! The more you care, the better your chances are at getting an A.

Have your textbooks before you start class. I can’t tell you how many people do not get their textbooks on time and they fall way behind. You can rent the from Amazon, or buy them for super cheap from other websites, my favorite is ThriftBooks. Plus Amazon has free 6 month Prime membership for students (it is worth it to renew that membership), believe me, the free two-day shipping will save your life.

Eat healthy. This is so important to keeping your mind and body energized. When you eat junk, you feel like crap and you break out. It’s okay to splurge once in awhile, but with all that studying and walking to classes, your body needs nutrients. Avoid the freshman 15. Green Tea (the healthiest drink in the world) is my favorite way to detox, it’s delicious cold or hot, I like it best cold with sweet n low. You can also add water flavoring packets like lemon so it will taste like lemonade. Eat right please. When you eat better, you feel better.

Keep your notes. Keep them in a binder or folder. Keep ALL of them. You never know when information from the first week of class will show up again. Plus you can always sell your notes after the class is over. 

Do NOT procrastinate. College is a whole other ball game. You can’t wait until the last minute like you did in high school and you certainly can’t get away with not studying. Put your best effort in your work because you will get the A’s and a better reputation. 

Join a club. Every college student will tell you to get involved. It’s a great way to pursue a hobby or interest and meet new people. You never know what opportunities could become of it. 

Plan your life. You more than likely know what you want to do with your life. That is amazing! I am going into my sophomore year of college and I’m not sure if the major I chose is really what I want to do. That’s okay if you don’t know what you want to do, or if you’re in the same boat as I am. But you need a plan and a planner. Plan all your classes, homework, tests, activities, and time for yourself. If you are stuck like I am, do some soul searching. Find what truly makes you happy. 

Manage your time. Like above, make time for friends, family, studying and yourself. Invest in a planner that fits you and use that planner. I go to college full-time and work part-time so managing time for family and friends is a little more difficult. You NEED time to study and do your work. Sleep is also really important. Don’t overdo yourself.

Do not skip class. Never ever ever. You will fall behind. Your professor teaches much more than what is in the text book. Those classes are expensive, don’t waste your money.

Call your family. They miss you and whether you like to admit it, you will miss them. Family is important. They want to hear all about you and your life and they can offer some great advice. 

Don’t pull all-nighters. I did this a few times and I was absolutely slumped the next day. I had no energy, I couldn’t focus, and it threw my sleep schedule way off. You can’t study that well when your body is yearning for sleep.

Carry an umbrella. Most of the time the weather channel is wrong and here in Ohio in rains a lot, so I always have an umbrella in my car and one in my purse. You don’t want to get caught in the rain after you just got ready. Check the weather channel for a heads up!

Stay organized. At the beginning of the year you are super organized with your cute supplies and then you hit mid-semester and you’re not even sure what class the marble binder is for. Do not lose your stuff or yourself because you got lazy. Staying organized in college is essential. You will feel better knowing where everything is at and you can work more efficiently. 

Buy school supplies. In my first year of college, I had a binder for each class with a crap load of loose-leaf paper, notebooks, tons of pencils, different colored pens, folders, note cards, post-its, highlighters, and everything else. As I am starting my sophomore year, I still have everything I bought. I did not use nearly as much paper as I thought, my binders are still in good shape, my pencils however were borrowed and never returned. You can survive on a few pens and pencils, binders, and a stack of loose-leaf paper. Nobody cares if your stuff is fancy or if you have every school supply ever. Buy what you need for the lowest price.

Don’t be afraid to drop a class. If you fail the first exam, drop the class. If you hate the class with all your heart and it can be replaced with another class, drop it. I failed my first exam in my history class, I ended up with a D+ which isn’t good enough if you’re an Education major. So I had to take a class in the summer to stay on track. Low grades bring your GPA down, think ahead, do what’s best for you.

Rent your textbooks. Do not buy from the bookstore. They are over priced and when you go to sell them back, they give you enough for a coffee. I rent mine from Amazon. Thirftbooks has textbooks, and they often have sales so you can get your books for super cheap. There are plenty of other sites you can get your books from, but those two are my favorite.

It’s okay to change your major. It’s around 40-50% of students change majors. You’re not alone, in fact I just changed my major from Education to Marketing. This is YOUR life, do what is best for you.

Enjoy it. College is an experience like no other. Make the best of it, take risks, be you. 


That is my advice for having a successful freshman year of college. I hope this helps! Good luck! Have an amazing freshman year.

-xoxo CC


Check out my post on saving money in college

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