What to Expect Your Freshman Year of College

Be prepared to make some adjustments during your freshman year of college, especially the first semester. Here are some challenges you may face.

New experiences, new friends. When you get to college, you’ll find it’s difficult to stay close to your high school friends because they no longer share your experiences. You may also experience homesickness. To gain a sense of belonging, attend freshmen orientation activities, get involved in extracurricular activities, and find a part-time job. It’s important to stay busy and meet new people.

Less structure. You’ll go to bed later and get up later. You’re in class for a total of three to four hours each day and those hours are staggered throughout the day. You’ll think you have plenty of time to study and will have an urge to procrastinate.  Instead, use the time between classes to review notes and study.

Lots of reading. Talk to any current college student and they’ll tell you the reading is “huge!” To avoid becoming overwhelmed, set small goals (10 pages at a time) and it will be easier.

Weight gain. Oh…you’ll complain about the dorm food, everyone does. But it’s pretty good and there’s lots of it. Many students gain about 10 pounds by Thanksgiving. That’s why it’s important to use the fitness center and avoid late night snacks.

Getting your grades. “Wow, what happened?” Many freshmen ask that question when they get their first set of grades. Your professor will give you a syllabus at the beginning of the class.  It’s up to you to follow it. You won’t get reminders about due dates for reading assignments or term papers.