Q:

I'll be leaving home in a couple of weeks for college. What do I need to do to have a successful freshman year? -- Overwhelmed

A:

Just think of this, you are starting with a clean slate. However, what you do in your freshman year will have a big impact on the rest of your years in college. Here are some tips that we have gathered from recent college graduates that will lead to academic success:

  • -Attend class. You'll miss so much if you just read the textbook and classmates' notes.
  • -Get organized. Put all your due dates for tests and papers on a calendar. Also, schedule how you are going to allot time to be prepared for tests and to complete papers.
  • -Stop procrastinating. Cramming for tests may work, but it will limit what you learn from a class.
  • -Take advantage of study groups. If necessary, form your own for classes that are difficult for you.
  • -Participate in class. Raise your hand in discussions. You'll get a lot more out of your classes.
  • -Meet with your professors.
  • -Find a place free of distractions for studying.
  • -Test the academic waters. Taking a variety of classes will help you find a major and/or career that is right for you.
  • -Balance academics and partying. There will always be more parties.

Just as important as academics, what you do outside the classroom can affect the quality of your college experience. Here are some more tips:

  • -Get involved in campus activities, but don't go overboard and take on too many.
  • -Get to know the other students in your dorm. They are going through the same experiences as you and will make college seem far less overwhelming.
  • -Keep track of your money. Too many students wind up with a mountain of credit-card debt.
  • -Eat healthy. It's cheaper than fast food and will help you avoid gaining the famous "Freshman 15" pounds.
  • -Party wisely. It is better to be safe than sorry.