The Do’s and Don’t of being a First Semester Freshman

The Fear of Missing Out can be a struggle when you are starting college. Balancing school work and a social life in College is not as simple as it was in High School. You don’t want to miss out but you also don’t want to flunk out. Unlike High School, after a day of classes and extracurriculars, you most likely would go home to your home and your family. Now as college freshmen we go home to roommates and/or some of your closest friends. This can make going home with the desire to get a lot of work done far more difficult.

U of I is also one of the biggest party schools in the nation. Choosing school work over going out to party or out to the bar (if you are of 19) with your friends is not the easiest thing to do. First semester freshman are pushed out of their comfort zone and they are expected to strive both academically and socially in this new foreign place; this can be a lot to handle. For some, the skill of balancing school and a social life in college comes naturally, but for a lot of students it takes longer to adjust to.

I set out to Interview UIUC Freshmen as they finish their first semester of college. We asked them one thing they wish or were thankful they did and one thing they wish they did not do their first semester.

Below are few Do’s and Don’t of being a First Semester Freshman

DO…”Try to join three organizations on campus; One related to your major, one for yourself, and one that benefits others.” -Anthony Pasquale

DON’T…”Skip class, even if you consider the class to be easy. Take advantage of the great education you are getting!” -Anthony Pasquale

DO…”Talk to everyone you can; Try to make a friend everyday! It will greatly benefit you to to build relationships with your peers.” -Vivian Najjar

DON’T…”Procrastinate assignments just because you think you have time to do it another day. It may feel like you have a lot more free time compared to high school, but if you are not putting that time towards getting things done, assignments and tasks start to pile up quickly.” -Vivian Najjar

DO…”Buy a planner, and actually use it! You most likely will not have a professor who is constantly reminding you about assignment and test dates like how teachers would in high school. Due dates, tests, events, etc. will creep up on you if you are not updating and checking your planner daily!” -Erik Robertson

DON’T…”Unless you are a morning person, try your best not to schedule classes before 10 a.m. You will most likely regret it.” -Erik Robertson

DO…”Get all your work done before going out or hanging out with your friends. Make school your top priority and if you enjoy going out, then treat it as a reward for getting your work done. This is a great way to motivate yourself to not procrastinate your school work, while still being able to go out and socialize!” -Katie Taaffe

DON’T…”Stay up super late and nap during the day. Of course, this is will happen once in a while. However, when you start doing this frequently, it can really mess up your sleep and study schedule and it is just not healthy for your mental and physical being.” -Katie Taaffe

DO…”GO TO QUAD DAY! I could not go to Quad Day, and I really regret it. Quad Day is a perfect opportunity to get involved on campus, take advantage of it! -Billy Samano

DON’T…”Procrastinate and do work just for the sole purpose of finishing it. Often times grades do not reflect the amount of work you put in to get that grade. I got good grades first semester but I did not put in nearly enough work to have actually gained good comprehension skills of the information from the classes I took.” -Billy Samano

DO…”Make time for yourself. I wish I did this more first semester. It is extremely important for your mental health to set aside time to do things that you enjoy. Whether it is yoga or relaxing with a good book, make finding time for yourself a priority!” -Kelly French

DON’T…”Lose your healthy lifestyle habits. If you eat healthy and exercise frequently, do not stop that when you go to college. And if you did not do those things in high school, I highly suggest starting. With all the changes college brings, it can be tempting to push aside eating healthy and exercising; do everything you can to not let that happen! -Kelly French


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