7 Things Freshmen Must Know Before Semester Starts

Start of semester pic

You can see the end of the summer season, which gives you a bittersweet feeling. You won't miss the sweltering heat, which prompts you to spend more time inside your (air-conditioned) room. On the other hand, the incoming fall (season) gives you trepidation. You're an incoming freshman, and you're aware of certain things that aren't taught in the lecture rooms. You didn't ask about those things during your first visit to your chosen campus. Do not be afraid, as you're about to read some important things.

If you happen to pursue a degree related to Arts and History, you would be bombarded with those "Mickey Mouse" questions. These inquiries could make you think about changing courses, as it would suggest that you won't earn as high as the other students who are majoring in Math and Science. It might be too early to think about your career options, of how you must hone your soft skills. Recruiters aren't judging first-time job applicants on academic merits solely, as experiences in clubs and societies, and internships, as well as volunteering, if any, would count. You must block it out, as you try to focus on your first few months in the college. Besides, you need to come up with a witty response to remarks that suggest the B.A. students have lots of free time. You don't need to be a snob, as you would need to expand your network. There's something else.

You would hear lots of complains during the first few months of the term, and you must treat yourself if you're not one of those freshmen who make those complains. You have learned the virtue of patience, even the value of money. There’s a limit to patience, so it won't be good enough.

Additional Schooling: Some Fundamentals That You Must Know Right Away

Avoid spoilers. Your coursemates are talking about "It", and you could tell that no one read the novel in its entirety. You can't blame them, as it would take you three attempts before reading every page of this novel of "Moby Dick" proportions. As a matter of fact, you want to remind them of several changes in the film version, which you figure out after watching the final trailer. You might lose your new friends if you tell them, as Stephen King would make numerous allusions to popular culture. They won't care about your knowledge of Paul Bunyan, but they would appreciate your tact.

Tell your coursemates to leave the room. You're tired from the few hours of group study, and you want to hit the sack. Your coursemates aren't ready to go, though. In fact, they're excited about the HBO remake of Alan Moore's "Watchmen". If you have an upcoming examination, remind them. If you don't have one, you can tell them about your worries on your other assignments, and how you struggle on procrastination. If it won't be good enough, tell them that they can come back the next day, if not the day after next.

What to do when you’re about to complain about food. An older student may have recommended the best restaurants near the university, yet it won't be good enough. A few dollars might spell the difference between good food and the bad ones, but you wouldn't know until you try it out. Keep an eye on your budget, though. Pizza and chips could be lifesavers, even if you’re yearning for your mother’s dishes.

What is the secret to home cooking? There's no secret to it, as you would know what to buy after you budget your money for the next month or so. You may be the first to figure it out, if not the last, but it doesn't matter. You won't be the only one, and this kind of situation brings students together. You can treat your new friends to chips, but don't expect anything in return. There's nothing wrong if you ask questions about your next assignment, though.

Learn the art of compromising. If you're going out, there would be a choice between a pub and a cultural event to distract you completely. The same thing applies to TV, when you must share it and you can't decide if it's football or reality TV. There's no need to do a toss of the coin if you agree on some things accordingly. It's easier said than done, as you can't tell an alpha type from the bunch. Keep your expectations low, as you try to get to know the other teens that you meet frequently. And then learn how to deal with them.

Round up the pub. You would miss a great deal on your social life if you haven't made a round of the pubs, even once. But don't bring a lot of cash. (If you're running short, promise your new friends that you would join them next time. Honesty won't make you less here.) If you can't restrain yourself for having another drink, ask your roommate (or trusted dorm mate) to remind you after a drink. Forget about the pub if you have a lecture the next morning. There would be another time.

Get along with your friends' (terrible) partners or unruly pets. You don't have to make a scene if you don't like the person that your roommate (or best dorm mate) is dating with. Think of it as an opportunity, as meeting different people widen your perspective. If you look at it in a positive light, then you don't have to travel the world for several months or so. The same thing applies to pets, but you must remind them about (house) accident(s).

The New Cool

The list that you read is practical pick-me-ups that you won't know while reading the classic (or memorizing a bunch of theories). It should enable you to achieve a study-life balance sooner, but there's no guarantee. It depends on your self-discipline (or the lack of). Summer is not yet over, so practice on it. Other students would admire you, if not emulate you.


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