HERE ARE SOME TIPS FOR YOUR FRESHMAN YEARTweet
Gone are the days when you and your school sweetheart or BFF went to the same college or took the same courses. The freshman year at college these days is peppered with ragging, ribbing, and stiff competition to emerge the coolest guy or coolest gal in town. Indeed, the first year of college life is a mixed bag of joy and fear, thrill and chill, excitement and apprehension. If you want to beat those blues and emerge the coolest fresher, these tips are for you.
Natural kills it
There’s nothing like being who you are. Meeting with new people – be they your fellow students, professors or anyone else – does not mean you must ape them or position yourself to be what you are not. Hiding behind a fake persona can be tiring and suffocating. Besides, if you are not faking it, you will be comfortable and more confident – simply because you know for sure what you’re saying or doing. So whether you are attending a college event like the #freshersweek or #freshersnight just be your natural self – you will automatically attract other students like you and soon form your own gang.
KYCC – Know Your College & Campus
Knowledge is power – literally. As a fresher, advance knowledge about your college and campus will give you an edge over the competition. So, having secured admission, get on the net and research your college or institution. Find out all you can about it – not just about the course you are taking. Learn about the other courses and programs on offer – who knows you might discover something interesting for yourself too. Learn about the faculty, management, and so on. There’ll be tons of seniors and alumni on social media. Reach out to them and gather the wealth of knowledge that you’ll need in your fist year of college life. Connecting with them in advance will also give you some much needed friends who can help you when you take your first step into the campus.
(Don’t) Be Nerdy
Ugh! We get it; who wants to be called a bookworm or nerd! So bunking will be the first thing you think of when you think college. Remember though that with freedom comes just as much responsibility – perhaps more. Independence is great and freedom is a thrill but you must also remember that these are the most crucial years of your life. You must not only do well in your course but also determine your own future. Once you exit the campus you will have a whole lot more to handle – such as a job, bills, and perhaps a family – and a whole new life to enjoy with the money you earn from your job.
Toe the Line – Or Not
Rules are meant to be broken says the old wisdom. While you no longer have the restrictions you had in school, there are still rules to be followed in college. We’re not saying you should strictly abide by them but throwing caution to the wind can backfire. So break the rules by all means – but do it sensibly, responsibly, with caution, and sparingly. Also be alert and make sure you are not led astray by mischief mongers.
Read Between the Lines
Talking of mischief mongers, there are those whose sole purpose in life is to trouble others. Ragging, bullying and inciting are neither new nor isolated occurrences. Remember that behind every bully is a story of grief and victimization. The sources vary but what you must keep in mind is that every bully has suffered in the past and was unable to take a stand. He or she therefore feels that he should now gain mastery over others through force – ergo bullying. In your freshman year of college, when you are still getting your bearings, the best thing to do is ignore such people and just be your confident self. Don’t even try to react and never challenge them – you’ll only succeed in goading them further. Yes it’s hard to ignore but if you do it long enough, they’ll eventually back off and even begin respecting you – albeit grudgingly.
You’re out of uniform, timetables, and drills. So give free reign to that wild streak and go for your most bizarre outfits, funky hairdo, and accessories – this is your chance to find yourself. Just don’t overdo it. Maintain a respect for your professors, mind your peers, and be decent. Remember that whatever you do can have long term consequences. Its fine to colour your hair five ways but it’s definitely not okay to wear a deep neckline or parade around shirtless. Also hair color may seem cool right now but it can also harm your – as can tattoos and body piercing. Draw your own line and stick to it. If this is not acceptable to some – well so be it.
There’s no need to be miss – or mister – goody two shoes. But it’s also not necessary to be rude, defiant, or loud. It’s fine to pick up a bit of slang – after all you are the new generation and you’ll create your own language – but don’t flaunt it around or throw it in the face of your professors and staff – or for that matter your parents though you can share your discoveries with them. Even if you find someone in authority unappealing or disagreeable, don’t be rude. If things go out of hand it’s not so un-cool to complain.
It can be intimidating to walk up to a stranger and say “Will you be my friend?” But like we said, if you know a bit about the campus you are entering, it can serve as an ice-breaker. Then move on to other subjects of interest – no matter what they may be. Hobbies and sports are cliché but they’re great conversation starters too as are admiring someone’s dress, jewelry, or accessory, or even asking for directions and requesting help. These are just to get you started – once you are on a roll, you’ll soon discover people with similar interest and move with them. Move cautiously and back off at the first sign of discord – lest you fall in with the wrong crowd. You can always reconnect later and if they are as good as they seem they’ll welcome you back.
Live a Wholesome Life
Unlike colleges of the past, today colleges offer much more than academics. You’ll perhaps learn the most important lessons of your life in the campus. The various clubs, societies, and groups in college are more than extra-curricular activity. They are an opportunity for you to discover yourself. Find out what’s on the menu and get into one or more of these groups and let your natural self emerge. You should join as many as you can in your first year when you will be less pressurized by work and full of gusto. It also gives you an opportunity to mingle with the crowd. You can always ditch those you think are not-so-good in the later years.
Don’t Forget your Sweetheart
Rose Day and Valentine’s Day are undoubtedly the most celebrated days in college. You might perhaps already have a beau or are on the hunt for one. Yes, this is the time to discover the opposite sex and explore your own emotions. But it is really not so un-cool if you do not have a girl or boy friend tagging along. After all, like we said, if you fake it, it won’t last. So yes by all means mingle with both girls and boys but pace yourself and if you decide to commit, make damn sure you are doing it to the right person.
Manage your Money
College is expensive in more ways than one. It’s not just the fees that are high but being in college entails a host of other expenses – such as getting a new wardrobe, cash for the canteen, and of course for wooing your heartthrob. But then money does not grow on trees – your parents work hard to put you through college. So if you are old enough why not pitch in? Get a part time job. These days there are a host of work from home opportunities for those looking for some extra cash. Or you can ask around the campus – many institutions offer jobs to students in their spare time. Apart from pocket or pin money it will also give you a head start in your career.
Develop your Skills
If you don’t need the extra cash why not develop some transferrable skills?
In these days of campus interviews, it’s not enough to hold a degree. In fact a degree is not as important as your skill. So it’s a good idea to acquire some job skills during your college years. These skills – often called Transferable Skills – will help you when you graduate and take your first step from campus to corporate. Many private institutions like Learning Equinox offer such courses for a reasonable fee.
Above all, whatever you do, as you enter the campus for the first time, do so with confidence in yourself and your capabilities. Have faith in what your parents and teachers have taught you – and we guarantee you’ll sail through. Of course turbulence is par-for-course and you’ll handle it.