• Monique Bonds

Mo's Declassified Freshman Survival Guide:

Updated: Nov 13, 2020

It's that special time of year when kids are packing their room, giving hugs, and saying goodbyes. Even during a national pandemic, it's move in time for students, and for some, it's the first one they'll experience.

Here are some tips for incoming freshmen to remember:

1. Be sure to pack all the essentials.

Essentials can be any of the following: scissors, band-aids, batteries, hangers, peroxide, toothpaste, cleaning supplies, needle and thread, laundry detergent, super glue, and more. Even if it doesn't seem essential at the time, it is. I'd rather be prepared on the first day in a new facility than be unprepared and asking strangers for help.

2. Keep an open mind.

Entering college with a close mind can easily set you back and knock you off the path to graduation. You may enter college unsure of what's next, but as long as you keep an open mind, you'll always be prepared.

3. Remember the reason you're there.

It's easy to get lost in the world of college but never forget your reason for entering college, to graduate. As fun as college is, it's pointless to enter and become a college dropout. Be sure to give it an 80/20 ratio, 80% books, 20% fun.

4. Be yourself!

Living in today's society, it's easy for people to forget who they are. With social media, it's easy to pretend to be something their not. From the "boujee" act to the "mean girl" appearance, it won't get you far in college. It's cool to be yourself and go through phases as you'll learn who you're meant to be in college.

5. Make new friends.

College is the best place to network. Look at it like this, right now, you're all in the same classroom learning the same things, ten years from now, you'll be working in the same field as your peers. That should be motivation enough for one to want to succeed. You'll learn your peers can teach you more than your professor. Hang around those with the likeminded goals as you and build those relationships early, you never know when you may need them in life.

6. Don't be standoffish.

That one is pretty self-explanatory. If you're standoffish you're ruining any chances of networking or creating new friends. No one wants to talk to the mean girl at the table by herself; this isn't elementary, speak up and make a friend or two.

7. Try something new.

You should make it a goal to try something new every semester. Rather it's an organization, a pageant, an event, anything. Do something to get you out of your comfort zone, that's when you'll do best.

8. Relationships can be a distraction.

Entering college as a freshman, everyone has that love and basketball movie in their head. They think they'll go to college, find their true love and be happily ever after. While for some, that may be the case, it won't work for all. Relationships in college are different than relationships in high school. You'll be with them day in and day out, meaning your more likely to lose focus on what you entered college to do, graduate. However, if you decide to be in a relationship, be sure it's with someone who motivates you, helps you, and feeds you.

9. Know your limit.

We all know freshman year can be a scary place. From drugs to liquor, you'll be surrounded by wrong choices, so pick your poison wisely. If you've never drunk alcohol or done drugs, don't try to do it to be cool. Drugs and liquor can be scary, causing sickness, blackouts, deaths, and more. It'll be pretty hypocritical for me to say don't do it at all but, if you do, be smart and safe. Also, always follow the buddy system. No matter what you're doing or where you're at, keep a friend near or one that always has your location.

10. Stay on top of your schoolwork.

Every class you enroll in you pay for. No matter if you pass or fail, you'll still be paying for the course, and if you fail, you'll be required to retake the course. That should be enough motivation to take the class and pass it the first time. If you find yourself struggling in any class, determine who's the smartest in the room and assign them as your study buddy. Study buddies are another way to network, build those relationships, and learn more from your peers. Don't forget to use those office hours, build a first name basis relationship with the professor, and do all you can to stay one step ahead in every class.

11. Your body is your temple.

Don't go to college and wild out because you're free from parental supervision. Remeber, your body is your temple and should be treated as such.

12. Create boundaries.

Having clear boundaries for yourself is another way to show growth. By setting these boundaries, you give yourself a limit to what you can and cannot participate in. For example, one boundary to set would be staying home until your homework is complete. Some students go out, and party before doing their homework and may forget about an important assignment due at 11:59 pm.

12. Failure is not an option.

Write it down, sing it, believe it. Failure is NOT an option.

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