Freshman year is a whirlwind of new experiences: meeting new people, living on your own for the first time and managing a full load of college-level courses. Now that second semester is well underway and most freshmen have adjusted to a busy college life, it’s time to start thinking about some significant things that should be done before the end of the year. Fresh U has compiled a bucket list of things freshmen should do before the end of the year, all of which are guaranteed to improve your year and help set you up for success in years to follow.
1. Explore your entire campus.
Make sure you’ve taken the time to walk around your entire campus (unless it’s enormous) and get to know the various areas. You’ll find spots that may become your new favorite places to go and you’ll know where buildings are when you need to go to them in later years.
2. Go to a sports game.
Whether it’s football, soccer or whatever other sport you prefer, take the time to go to one of your college’s athletic events. It’s a great chance to share in your school community and bond with fellow students.
3. Go to a theatre performance.
Another great way to bond with your college community, going to your school’s theatrical performances is also a good way to take in some quality artistic content for a low cost or no cost at all.
4. Join at least one organization or club.
Organizations are a great way to meet people who share your interests and learn more about subjects you enjoy. Make it a priority to join at least one organization on campus before the end of freshman year and regularly attend meetings.
5. Explore your local town or city.
Depending on where your college is located, you may have access to a great town or city next door. Take a day to walk around the local town and discover what it has to offer, whether that’s shops, restaurants or museums.
6. Check out your campus’s gym.
Even if you aren’t usually into fitness, scout out your college’s gym to see what it has to offer. You may not want to spend a day there lifting weights but you may find yourself drawn in by dance or yoga classes that they offer.
7. Figure out a general idea of what you want to major in.
You don’t have to make any concrete decisions yet, but by the end of freshman year it’s helpful to at least narrow down your options; you may decide that you want to go into a health-related field like pre-med or nursing, or you may decide you want to do something social-sciences based like sociology or gender studies.
8. Figure out classes you want to take in the future.
This goes hand-in-hand with number eight, but if there are any classes you know you want to take in future years, make a note of them and figure out when you’ll be able to take them. It’ll make planning a lot easier.
9. Make some decisions regarding your friend group.
You’re going to meet tons of people freshman year and may form strong friendships with some of them. Having a good group of friends will definitely enhance your college experience, but being friends with toxic people will make it considerably worse. At the end of freshman year, evaluate your friend group: are they good people who have your best interests at heart and who will make your college experience better? If not, you may want to cut them loose. The last thing you need is to go through college with a group of people who only bring you down.
10. Go to a party.
Some people like to go out to parties every week, while others prefer to stay in. Both are absolutely fine, but if you feel up to it, try going out to a college party at some point during your freshman year. It’s a very unique experience, and at the very least will give you some great stories to tell.
11. Do something that scares you.
College is the perfect time to break out of your comfort zone. Whether that means taking a class in a subject area you normally wouldn't, joining an organization outside of your normal interests or going out to a party, try something out of the ordinary. You may find something you love to do.
12. Learn how to study.
Even if you didn't need to study in high school, that's guaranteed to change in college. By the end of freshman year, make sure you've figured out a study method that works for you so that in future years, you'll be able to study in the most efficient way possible.
Freshman year is a period of adjustments, but don't forget to get out there and experience college. If you keep these things in mind, you're guaranteed to finish your freshman year feeling satisfied and prepared for the years to come.
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