Incoming freshmen, some sage advice before taking the plunge


College upperclassmen and online community members on the College Confidential website weigh in on what they wish someone had told them before heading to campus:

“Talk to as many different people as you can the first few weeks. This is when freshmen are the most open and searching for their new circle of friends. ...This means going to events ... dorm events, freshman events, orientation events, dinner in the dining hall, etc. ... But don’t feel bad about yourself if you emerge friendless from that period. It’s not your only chance.”

“Pack less stuff. It doesn’t fit in your dorm room.”

“Your school wants you to succeed. Ask for help when you need it. Take advantage of services like writing centers to ... avoid getting into a jam in the first place. Make sure you understand your assignments: Ask questions in class; talk it over with your professor or [teaching assistant].”


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“Scope out the good, quiet places to study on campus.”

“As far as classes are concerned, [don’t] assume things will be easier because you have fewer classes per day or large gaps of free time.”

“Ditch the high school sweetheart!”

“Know if there are doctors near you that accept your insurance.”

“Living in a dorm, your reputation can get around fast. ... A good rep can spread, too.”

“Collect the syllabus for each class and use them to map out the semester on a calendar the first week of classes. Keep track of it often so that due dates never sneak up on you.”

“Sleep and eat well at least 80% of the time.”

“Call your parents.”

“Get a job. I found it helped with time management!”

“Buy a plunger.”