Freshman year can be overwhelming for students. To add to that, being a freshman in a foreign country multiplies the excitement or nervousness tenfold. Remember that as a freshman, your fellow freshmen are probably as lost as you are. That’s nothing to be ashamed about. You’re on a journey together, and being new gives you the chance to be open to more experiences. Here are some tips on how to make the best out of your freshman year:
Finding the Best Way to Study
Yes, the main purpose you are in school is to study. But who says there’s no adventure in studying? In your freshman year, if declaring a major is not urgent, don’t rush it. Take classes about the arts or something you know nothing about. Who knows, right? It will be the best time to discover new things simply because the opportunity to learn is there.
Something that will definitely help with your studying may shock you: attend classes. It’s a no-brainer, but it has to be said. You may be able to get by with recorded lectures, but if you have a question, a recorded lecture won’t be able to answer you. Outside the classroom, everyone has their own way of studying. Find a good study spot that helps your productivity whether it’s in a noisy room or the isolated corner in the library.
Talking to Professors
Take advantage of talking to professors. They have their office hours there for a reason and they do want to talk. Visit them or start with an e-mail introducing yourself. This will avoid being just another face in the crowd.
During class, don’t be afraid to ask. Professors want the class to understand the lesson and asking for clarification on anything won’t hurt anybody. In fact, it may benefit the class, especially those who were too shy to ask in the first place.
Joining Social (Non-Academic) Things
Even if studying is the main reason for going to college, it doesn’t mean it should be the only thing a student does. Non-academic activities are important as well because they are what make college fun. They will lead to lasting friendships and possible career opportunities in the future.
Joining a student club or organization, (Meetup) or even volunteering can be especially helpful for an international student that’s homesick. This is one of the ways that can make the semester much more enjoyable. This way, you can look forward to the activities and people you have a shared interest with.
Another non-academic thing in your freshman year you should be aware of are school events. There will be a lot. These are a great way to meet people and have a good time after an exhausting week.
Health and Fitness for Your Body and Mind
Don’t take your health for granted or the Freshman 15 (pounds) may come true. Parents won’t be around to provide a balanced diet for you so that responsibility now falls onto you. This means learning to say no to sweets for dinner or stress eating. Fast food doesn’t count either. Click here for some easy student friendly recipes. for some easy student friendly recipes. It should be obvious, but you should stay hydrated! It’s very important to drink a good amount of water daily. Refill your water containers as often as you can.
Besides a balanced diet, exercise will also be key to your health. Try going for a run if you feel stressed out or head to your school’s gym if they have one. The timeout can reenergize you for the long night.
Now that we’ve covered diet and exercise, being healthy isn’t all about having enough energy to do everything. It also includes getting enough sleep. Papers will be easier to write when the mind has had a chance to rest. Even if it means taking a nap. You may not have been one to take naps in high school, but college will be much busier. Don’t be shocked if you find yourself needing to sleep in the afternoon. It’s normal and part of college life.
Managing Your Finances
As a student, finances will be limited. Learn how to budget wisely by not spending everything on the first few months. With your free time, maybe apply for a part-time job? International students are allowed to work part-time as well. This will also help improve your time management skills.
Don’t be Afraid to Ask
If all else fails, ask! There will be people on campus willing to help you whether it is for academic advising, counseling, or international student-related concerns. They will be there for you so please don’t hesitate to approach them. Sometimes the first step to that is asking where the entrance is.
Remember: It’s okay to be nervous! Your fellow freshmen are just as nervous as you are. This list is merely a guide for one of the most exciting times of your life. Be open. Take in your new environment. Freshman year is about discovering. Take one step at a time and savour it.