Syllabus week is arguably the easiest week of the semester for most of us. Don’t be fooled, though, as the coming weeks may prove more difficult than you anticipate. Here are some tips for freshman on how to survive the new school year.
The first days of classes are easy because you just have to show up, talk about the syllabus and maybe introduce yourselves. The following week will be a soft introduction to the material, with homework and studying generally kept to a minimum. Then college suddenly and inexplicably dials up the difficulty. All of a sudden, students who never had to study in high school are up all night hitting the books. Since time management is a lot harder now than it was in high school, how are you going to juggle a full schedule of demanding classes?
First, you have to adjust your study habits. Take it from someone who all of a sudden had to learn how to study her freshman year because she never had to before. Do the readings, make flashcards, form a study group. Start these good habits now so you won’t feel overwhelmed later down the road. Do not allow yourself the time to fall behind.
Syllabus week is a great time to make some connections with people for a study group. Just go around your classroom either before it starts or approach people afterwards. You might want to spend the first study session getting to know each other and breaking barriers just so it’s not awkward later on. Lastly, do not be afraid to ask your professor or a tutor for help, they are paid to help you succeed in school. Swallow your pride and do what is best for your academic career.
Next, we have time management, where a more personal style has to come in. Some people can survive on minimal sleep and a ton of coffee, others rely solely on the standard 8 hours of sleep to keep them sane. The point here is to find something that works for you in the long term. Make sure to budget your time like you would your income.
A piece of advice about time management: if you find that you have too much time on your hands, get involved in something. Join a club that interests you or maybe you are the type of person to pick up extra hours at work. Staying productive when you’re not studying or in class is as great for meeting new people as it is in potentially earning you extra money.
Lastly, you cannot ignore your dietary situation. Washburn campus will have events left and right with free food most of the time. Take that opportunity. Anyone who lives off campus and has to provide for themselves will tell you how much you will regret not accepting free food while you can. Also, take advantage of the different options from the dining halls in Lincoln Hall and Memorial Union. Where as the Union dining hall offers portion-controlled a la carte options, Lincoln’s offers an all you can eat buffet. Examine your daily needs and choose dining halls accordingly.
For now, enjoy your first year at Washburn.