Tips to survive your freshman year at a new school

May 10, 2016

Hannah Harvey
hharvey@uccs.edu

You’ve made it. You’re a legal adult now and you’re ready to fend for yourself.

Last year, I ventured into the wilderness. And by wilderness, I mean that I started my freshman year of college.

The first day of navigating campus can feel like you’re stumbling through an unfamiliar jungle trying to find your way to civilization.

Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be that way.

After my freshmen year at UCCS, there are three lessons I learned that were the most helpful to me and might be helpful for you in your first year, too.

First, stop procrastinating. It doesn’t matter what class it is, if you decide to study for a test eight hours before it happens, because a five-hour marathon of “Lost” was more important, you won’t be pleased with your score.

Your grades are important; not only to employers, but for scholarships, internships and it makes up for the semesters you may not do so well. Your GPA isn’t the end-all, be-all, but it can determine your future.

Do your homework, study for your tests and take advantage of the extra credit opportunities available.

Maintaining your GPA is important, but don’t beat yourself up if you don’t ace every test. There will be a time you study for an entire week and still get a C on a test.

It’s OK. Failure is OK. Instead of seeing it as fate, view failure as a chance to improve, to fix your mistakes and grow. Sometimes you can take steps to change the outcome, and other times, it’s out of your control.

Best-selling author Denis Waitley once said, “Failure is delay, not defeat. It is a temporary detour, not a dead end.” Keep going when it gets tough, because it’s only going to get tougher.

This applies to those daunting exams, but also to new ideas you might be comfortable experimenting with in college.

Joining a club, opening your mind to new perspectives and auditioning for the university choir can be scary, but it’s a great chance to develop your originality and character.

Finally, don’t close yourself off to new experiences and people. This campus holds a variety of events, concerts and clubs, and
we have the best views for hiking right in our backyard.

Whether you’ve grown up in the Centennial state or are new here, take advantage of what there is to offer. Go on a hike and take a class you never thought you would before.

Sometimes these experiences show us what we want to do with our lives and change them for the better.

Freshman mechanical engineering major Nick Foster said that opening your mind to new opportunities can be beneficial.

“Get to know what the school has to offer, there are a lot of things you might not know about.”

Sophomore business major Thomas Roth said he has learned how to adapt to his surroundings by opening his mind.

“I came from a small town and idealized college too much. Don’t build it up, but be outgoing and friendly,” said Roth.

Don’t stress out about your first year of college too much, but remember the importance of what you’re doing at a university.

Make some new friends and memories; you’ll learn how to find your way around quickly.