According to ATTN, 30 percent of college students can’t boil an egg and 52 percent of teens can’t change a tire. The lack of teaching high school and college students basic life skills has led to “adulting,” where young people attempt to succeed at doing things regular adults do, but with a high rate of failure.
While your first year at college may seem a lot like adulting at first, soon enough you’ll pretty much be a pro at this whole college thing.
The All State’s editorial board has comprised a top ten list for incoming freshmen to survive their first year at APSU.
- Start studying early.
It may seem a bit silly to start studying after the first week or two of classes when there’s not much material to study, but getting into the habit of studying and looking over the materials will be beneficial when it comes time for exams. At least 30 minutes of studying a week per credit hour should be sufficient. Therefore, a 12 credit hour load would lend to six hours of studying per week, outside of assignments or other work for the class.
- Get involved.
Getting involved in clubs and organizations on campus is important for making friends and lasting connections outside of the classroom. For most people’s college experience, they won’t remember the specifics of an hour-long lecture; they will remember the friendships they make and the work they do in campus organizations, such as a study abroad trip or an event they helped plan. APSU has many different opportunities for students, such as Greek life, the Feminist Majority Leadership Alliance, the Student Government Association or the History Club. Find what you’re interested in and pursue it.
- Take general education courses first.
Chances are, you will change your major at least once, so it’s smarter to take core classes like science or English 1010 for the first couple semesters while you figure out what classes you’re really interested in.
- Start looking into internships early.
Internships are a vital to college and getting a job after graduation. Start looking early to get ahead of the game. You might even be able to complete more than one internship during your college career. Ask around in your department or organization to get a head start on looking for internships catered to your interests.
- Determine the best housing situation for you.
APSU is a mostly commuter campus, meaning the bulk of students live off campus. There are many apartment complexes in Clarksville and the surrounding area that are friendly to college students. However, there are many different dorm options for freshmen, sophomores and upperclassmen on campus. Living on campus might help you become more involved. Plus, you don’t have to wake up as early to get to class.
- Go to sporting events on campus.
APSU’s sports teams are only as good as their fan bases. Going to sporting events can be a great way to meet people and blow off steam during a stressful week of classes. Also, you get to chant, “Let’s go Peay” as loud as you want to.
- Take advantage of all the events and free food offered during the first week of class.
Those free shirts will become your wardrobe for the next four or more years of your life. Seriously, there are several events in the MUC Plaza and other areas on campus specifically for freshmen mingling and getting to know the campus. These events are helpful for meeting new people and preventing you from digging into your meal plan too early.
- Get to know the area around campus.
The area around APSU houses many small businesses, such as Johnny’s or Wicked Good Sandwiches, which are sometimes unknown to students. Downtown Clarksville is only a walking distance from campus, where you could see a show at the Roxy or eat at the Blackhorse.
- Utilize your membership to the Foy.
Exercise is a great stress relief after a long day of classes or work. The Foy has several classes throughout the week and is usually open until 10 p.m. Whether your preference is yoga, cardio or doing your own thing, the Foy is a great service on campus.
- Befriend your advisor.
Your advisor most likely has been advising students for years, meaning that they know how to help with scheduling, internships, what classes to take and the best track for graduation. Establishing a good relationship with your advisor is a good idea to help you make the most of your college experience. Furthermore, if your advisor isn’t a good fit or isn’t living up to your expectations, you can always request a different advisor from the department’s secretary.
This list isn’t comprehensive to all of the experiences you will have your freshman year. Some things you will have to learn on your own, but the start of freshman year signifies the transition into adulthood and most likely the beginning of exciting memories.