By Lindsay Garbacik
Freshmen year may seem like the most daunting of the college years. With the idea of learning a new school, a new campus and making new friends, there are a lot of aspects which plague incoming freshmen. The keys to a successful freshman year really fall under a few main categories; getting and staying organized, keeping up with academics, meeting new people and getting involved with campus extracurriculars and clubs.
Staying organized is a pivotal part of a successful freshman year, especially for those whom have never lived on their own before. Keeping an organized room can be difficult depending on living situations, especially if the student is confined to a small dorm room. Many stores sell options to overcome issues like this and allow students to maximize space, by utilizing space under the bed or rolling clothes rather than folding them traditionally in drawers.
As for staying organized and on top of the academic aspects of college, every student organizes in their own way. A great way to begin to get organized for the school year is to buy a planner to write important dates and homework assignments. Having the ability to see where due dates fall while also having a place to write day to day notes and reminders is an easy way to keep track of the easily forgettable things. Academics are really the most important part of college, so ensuring that they are organized is imperative to doing well even before the exams start.
And while academics are important, so is socializing and making new friends, especially for those students living on campus. The beginning few days of freshmen year can be scary, purely because of the amount of new faces. Everyone is a stranger to one another. A great way to break down the barrier of meeting new people is to meet other students living in the same dorm. Instead of always having the door closed, a great way to meet dorm neighbors is to leave the door open for a few hours during the day. This encourages passer-bys in the hall to stop in and socialize. Another way to meet new students for freshmen is the dining halls or restaurants around campus. Sitting down with someone who is sitting alone is a simple way to meet a new face and maybe even a new friend.
Extracurriculars are another key way to make friends and have a memorable freshman year. Many schools have club sport teams, clubs for different political and religious groups, or really any kind of interest. And if there isn’t a club for it, making one is a great way to show initiative and meet like-minded people in the process. Many specific fields of study have extracurriculars associated with them, which can be a way for freshmen to meet other students in their major.
Freshmen year can be a huge change for students coming from the more mundane days of high school, but every student is sure to figure out a few tricks and tips that makes the year work for them.
Lindsey Garbacik is a journalism major at the University of Maryland. A graduate of Cedar Cliff High School, she recently completed a summer internship with Harrisburg Magazine.