I graduated from a small predominately white high school in 2009 and graduated from a historically black college, Fort Valley State University, in 2013. These two totally different school experiences have shaped who I am as a person and I wouldn’t be who I am without them. As a former college student leader I wanted to share some tips for new students; especially first generation college students to give them some guidance.
ADVICE FOR FRESHMAN YEAR:
1. Establish rules and communicate early on with your roommate(s). Y’all don’t have to be best friends, but you live together now so respect people’s things and have boundaries.
2. Please be yourself and talk to people you don’t already know.
3. If you’re feeling down and need someone to talk to go seek out your university’s infirmary and seek free counseling if available.
4. I know it’s a new environment, but try not to go home every weekend and try not to stay in your dorm all day.
5. If you have a car make sure to get a parking decal asap!
6. If you have a car make sure you’re not being used by others who won’t even give you gas money or say thank you for giving them a ride.
7. There’s pros and cons to everything. In my opinion if you’re not a morning person don’t take an 8 A.M. class or maybe you are a morning person, so take the class and get it over with and have the rest of the day to yourself.
8. Check out websites like Chegg and Google other book rental sites before going to the bookstore.
9. When dealing with advisors, professors, financial aid, etc. make a copy of everything they give you. Keep your receipts and emails!
10. Figure out what campus activities or clubs fit your personality.
11. If you are interested in a historically black fraternity or sorority do not tell everybody. Focus on your grades and community service.
12. Be careful about what you post on social media. There is life after college and future employers look at that.
13. If you have an online class or have to upload an assignment online upload it early because sometimes depending on where you are or what time of day it is the WiFi won’t be as strong.
14. If you don’t understand something or need extra help seek out a tutor and go to your professor during their office hours to ask questions or get clarity on something you didn’t understand during the lecture.
15. Try to call or text your parent(s) at least once every few weeks and not only when you need or want something.
16. Focus on your required classes before permanently choosing a major. So if you choose to change majors you won’t lose so many credits.
17. Talk to your academic advisor. This person is vital in helping you know what classes you need to take in order to graduate on time.
18. Go to class and try your best to sit up front and take notes.
19. Get a part time job. It’s nice to have money in your pockets and good to have work experience.
20. Take advantage of free things your campus may offer.
21. Invest in a good umbrella and get some rain boots because when it rains on campus at FVSU it poured down!
22. I know the cafeteria has various food options, but try to eat healthy when you can. Don’t forget to try to get at least 6 to 8 hours of sleep a night.
23. Get involved in the community and city your college is in.
24. Go to the library and study there.
25. Study Hard, but Play Hard. Enjoy your college years and cherish the moments!