The summer before college can be a pretty scary, emotional time in your life. Two summers ago, when I was getting ready to head to college for the first time veer, I had a lot of fears and wasn’t entirely sure what to expect. Arriving on campus in the fall, my life changed dramatically and I soon found myself learning how to not only survive college, but to make it my own. Today I’m sharing some advice I wish that I had been told before entering college, so that you can survive & thrive your freshman year, too.

Don’t be shy

I know that it’s crazy scary to leave all of your high school friends and family behind and start over in a completely new location where you may not know anyone. But it is 100% possible to make new friends and have a great school year – as long as you don’t get in your own way of doing this! You need to move past your comfort zone and interact with as many people as possible – they are in the same boat that you are in, and will definitely be interested in making a new friend, too! Don’t be shy and introduce yourself to everyone you run into.

Be open to new experiences and people

College is an intense opportunity to become the person that you need to be and learn a ton of things about life and yourself in the process. You can’t grow or learn unless you are willing to be open to experiences and opportunities that you may have never imagined or may not initially be interested in. Find out the important lessons I’ve learned in college thus far.

Learn what your campus offers

Learn what services and resources your campus offers – from guidance to student organizations and everything in between. In order to achieve both your academic and personal goals, take advantage of the vast amount of resources you have access to for the next four years.

Stay on top of your classes

I won’t lie to you: college is a lot harder than high school. Each class will require a significant amount of effort and hard work by you, and you will not be able to skate by without completing the homework and studying. Never lose sight of the fact that college is first and foremost about your education, and that you need to always be on top of your course load so that you don’t get overwhelmed later on.

Ask questions

When it comes to academics and to campus life, there are so many things that freshman simply don’t know off-the-bat, and this is perfectly okay! Tap into upperclassman and professor knowledge by asking questions on how to handle any issues or concerns you have about college. No one will hate on your for asking, I promise.

Get involved

The best way to have a great freshman year is to become a part of your campus community by getting involved! Click here to read all of my tips on how to go about doing this.

Get some sleep

You will be tempted to pull all-nighters to last-minute study for that calc test or to binge-watch Game of Thrones, but I am telling you you need to resist this urge. You need to get your sleep, especially during the week when you have early morning classes.

Thanks for reading! Please share this post if you found it helpful so others can gain this advice, as well. And, as always, share your thoughts in the comments below or with me on Twitter @CaseyDonart

xoxo Casey

Related: How to Have a Great School Year

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