Five tips to survive freshman year


A good album to listen on the way to class is “Renaissance” by Beyoncé, specifically the song “Alien Superstar.”


You visited colleges, applied to a few, found scholarship applications, finished out your senior year, packed up all your belongings, said goodbye to your friends and family, moved into a brand new place with brand new people, and now what? 

If you’re anything like me, this was my story to a tee. I arrived on campus with no idea what I would do afterward, my parents walked out of my room, and I spent the following few hours attempting to make friends on my floor before eventually attending the UNI NOW event for the night. I overthought everything, and I was terrified that I was never going to make friends, be successful in my classes, or get involved. 

Here are my five tips and tricks that helped me find my footing and survive my freshman year: 

Utilize UNI’s Counseling Center

According to the Mayo Clinic, 1 in 3 college students experience significant depression and anxiety. Freshman year is the start of the college experience, and it can be extremely difficult. Having a friend to talk you through, give you advice, and make sure you’re okay will help you get through anything that comes your way. 

Listen to Music or Podcasts on the Walk to Class 

Before my freshman year, I had never had to walk more than three to five minutes inside of my school to arrive at class. I quickly found that listening to music or a podcast while I walked not only made the walk go by faster but gave me alone time to digest my day. 

Set clear expectations with your roommate 

According to Georgetown University; About 1 in every 3 college students in the US reported roommate problems last year. Living with a roommate in close quarters is one of the most difficult things about college. Especially if you had never met them. It can be difficult to breach the conversation of boundaries or a contract but it makes all the difference. It puts into writing the things each of you feels strongly about, so they don’t have to be addressed each time they come up, and it will truly be better for both of you. Important topics to discuss are; turning the lights off, guests (who, when, and how long), and cleaning. 

Don’t be afraid to talk to your professors

First and foremost, your professors are here to teach you and help you. Introduce yourself to them, visit their office hours, be open when you are struggling, ask for advice, be brave in class, etc. you’ll become more confident and comfortable with your professor, and they will know who you are and be ready to jump in and help as needed. 

Take time for yourself 

Between homework, new friends, student organizations, and more, it can be difficult to take time for yourself. Taking those moments to take a long shower, watch a movie, do a face mask, or journal has real benefits on your mental health. According to the National Council for Mental Wellbeing; 64% of those who practiced self-care reported enhanced self-care as a benefit, 67% reported increased productivity, and 71% reported happiness.

Overall, freshman year is difficult and takes a lot to adjust to, but it is nothing you can’t handle. Try your best to follow these tips, accept help from others, and try new things. You will get your footing and confidence in no time.