international student life

international student

18 Things you should do in your first year in college or university.

These are the things a student should do in their first year of college to help ensure success in college and in future.

First things first. You must attend classes. This will make things much easier for you. It is much easier to learn in class than reading books on your own because in class you have the professor and other resources that are there to help you learn. Also not going to class is the equivalent of paying for your merchandise and then walking out of the store without it.

One secret University professors will not tell you is that they will always drop hints about the exam in class all the time. It's their way of trying to reward those students who make the effort to show up. Also, academically, get to know your professors by going to office hours. They will often write reference letters for students and will only do so for students they know.

If you can, do not take classes before 10am. This is because the most frequently missed classes are 8 and 9 am. You will be nursing hangovers multiple times a week even as a freshman, so if you have classes later, it will be easier not to miss them.

One other thing. Go study in the library, and turn off your cell phone. You won't get much done studying in the dorms or at home. Just force yourself to go to the library to knock out all of your studying. Hide yourself on one of the floors so you are not distracted in one of the common areas.

Classes get harder the more you are in college, so try to score the highest grades in your early and more easier classes so that your GPA will be decent even when you don't do so well in later classes.

Even as a freshman, it is recommended that you look for an internship. These will be very helpful when you are looking for a job once you graduate.

Join a club in your major your freshman year. This will help you get some insights about your major and future career prospects from other club members. If you're ready to volunteer your time and help people out, you can rise up quicker in the club. Most clubs are looking for dedicated, enthusiastic people to lend a hand.

Another tip for clubs: you need to actually go to meetings/gatherings/events and introduce yourself and talk to people to enjoy the club. Some clubs are more openly friendly and inclusive but others will require you to make more effort to integrate yourself.

Make friends the first day/weekend. No one knows anyone else, so everyone is looking for new friends. Go to random parties, meet people.

Take the easiest class you can find that will cover some requirement. You won't believe but there is a class called "Leisure in Contemporary Society". It's about the national parks service and the test for it only requires one going to visit a national park somewhere.

Do your math classes ASAP. A lot of them build on one another and then are prerequisite for your sciences.

If you like to drink or are planning to drink, do it in a smart and safe way. Don't drink and drive.

Do the stupid traditions of your school. Whether it is swimming in some fountain or an underwear run through campus. These are fun and always stories for later.

On the flip side, there are a few things that you should not do. Don't take victory shots before exams. Save those for later because you never know how the exam will turn out. Also don't get peer pressured into anything that you don't want to do: No alcohol, drugs, getting in a car with a tipsy driver. None of it.

Play intramurals. If you're doing residence, join with some neighbors, roommates or flat mates. If you have friends already at this university then join with them. If neither, join alone. This is a great way to meeting people outside of class. Intramurals are casual so you don't need to be an expert in any sport whatsoever.

Use the School's Gym whenever you have time. This will keep you healthy mentally and physically. You will definitely need time to unwind sometimes when school is overwhelming. And it's free. no Gym fees.

Live in the dorms your first year. It is the best way to meet people, hear about what is happening on campus, and learn where certain places are, like the best place to study, or secret date places and other interesting places that are not openly advertised.

You should use your first year in college to really explore career options. Talk to professors about their fields and where studying that major can lead you. Go to the career office, learn the resources they have inside and out. Set up informational interviews with people in the outside community that work in the field you are thinking of joining. Talk to them about what the field is actually like. Who would your likely employers be, what would the pay be like, what would the work be like? What is the career trajectory like? How many hours of your life would you have to devote to the work, on average? What are the downsides in the field? Are there personality requirements that are needed, and would these be a good match for you? What are the things that you can do during school to set yourself up with a good resume for future employment?

Remember that for most people, your working life takes up a substantial part of your time and energy, and impacts you emotionally throughout your life. Make the best effort set yourself up well early in college because the more you wait, the harder it will be to change your path. Life starts to get a lot more complicated as you get older because of sunk costs, family obligations, the need for financial stability. So Pay attention, explore your options, and make an informed decision about your future.

Do not pigeon hole yourself into a certain major. You are 18 or 19 and you may not have a good idea what you will like or not. Try to take general classes that will satisfy any major requirement and test out the field you think you will like with an intro class. But do not force yourself onto a pathway that you think you will enjoy. Try it out, talk to professors and seniors on that pathway. Then make a good decision about it.

If at all possible, live at home instead of in overpriced, crowded student housing. Many students fail because of the continual noise and stink and hassle of other students. And living at home will save a lot of money.

Many universities use student parking as a money making scheme, so if you can, find some other way to get to and from campus. If you have a car, leave it off campus.

If at all possible, do not use a university credit card or phone card. They are a ripoff. Some schools now require students to have them, but if you required to use it, pay it off immediately.


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