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How to Survive Your Freshman Year at College

how to survive your freshman year in college

Going to college is an exciting time, full of changes and adventures. These changes bring many new opportunities, but they also bring some challenges. Let’s look at a few ways you can expertly navigate your freshman year of college.

Eating healthy, not partying too much, and knowing that grades are important early on in your college experience will help you survive your freshman year at college.

Eat Healthy

There’s a reason why the term “freshman 15” is so popular. Many students gain weight during their freshman year because of the increased stress, social demands, and having to cook for themselves for potentially the first time ever. Add in the fact that most dining halls are stocked with unhealthy choices like pasta bars, pizza, and processed snacks and you can see why it’s hard to eat healthy during freshman year.

But, it’s not impossible. When eating in the dining hall, try to fill up a third of your plate with a salad or veggies, a third of your plate with complex carbs (brown rice, quinoa, whole grain or sprouted breads), and a third of your plate with lean proteins. This formula will help you stay healthy, even despite the temptations. Plus, if you consistently eat well during the week, you can afford to splurge on the weekends.

Limit Your Partying

Speaking of weekends, college is full of fun events and social gatherings that take a little time to navigate successfully. While college is definitely a time to explore, try new things, and test out your independence, partying too hard or too often can have detrimental effects. We might not think about it, but many college students actually suffer from drug or alcohol dependence. This can  potentially develop into substance abuse and addiction. Think about what you’re putting in your body on the weekends. If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, find suitable treatment to get and stay sober, and learn how to party responsibly.

In addition to knowing how to have a good time while still balancing school and your wellness, knowing who your true friends are is invaluable freshman year. It isn’t uncommon to enter college and want to be BFFs with everyone. While you might start out being friends with everyone, you will soon learn which friendships are good for your growth and will last and which are just temporary. Choose your friends wisely and they will last a lifetime!

Grades Do Matter

As much fun as college is, at the end of the day you’re here to learn and earn a degree. Many times, freshman think that they have a whole four years to build up their GPA, so they slack during their first year. This is a huge mistake, as it’s much easier for your GPA to decrease than increase. If you fall behind and start to get bad grades, even during one semester, it can take a long time for you tobounce back.

While grades aren’t everything, a good GPA will help you join academic extracurriculars, which will then lead to industry internships, which will then lead to a job when you graduate. So, don’t slack off freshman year with the hopes that you can increase your GPA in coming years.

Going to college is fun, exciting, and a little bit scary. Follow these tips on how to survive your freshman year at college for a successful and safe experience.

For more great college tips, make sure you check out the other blogs on College Basics.