Fourteen Things Every Freshman Needs to Hear

By Teresa Donisi


  1. Do your homework & assignments. Hey guys, mom here. Not really, but one big thing a lot of freshmen don’t seem to understand is how important homework and assignments really are. Trust me: professors know if you actually did the homework or not — even if they don’t collect it for a grade. It becomes obvious when you are sitting in class having a discussion about it and you aren’t understanding. Take the time and just do it.
  1. Go to office hours. If you can’t make it your professor’s office hours, try scheduling an appointment with them. They want to see you succeed. Let them help you. Yeah, emailing is great, but most of the time, face-to-face is even better for explaining and understanding.
  1. Talk to your advisor(s). Find out who your advisors are. Go and see them a few times a year. As freshmen, an advising meeting is mandatory — but do it even after freshman year ends. Make sure you are on the right track and taking all of the classes you need to.
  1. Schedule your classes carefully. Use your first semester as a guideline for other semesters. Yeah, you were able to wake up at 6 a.m. for high school, but once you get to college, it all changes. You will soon realize that waking up for that 8:50 a.m. class every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday becomes a lot harder than you thought. Also: credit hours between 12 to 18 cost the same amount of money. If you are taking 18 credits this semester and it was too much, take only 15 or 16 next semester. It’s okay, you will still graduate.
  1. Take advantage of resources. The University of Akron has so many resources on campus. Take a look at all the resources and become familiar with them. From the Student Recreation and Wellness Center and Student Health Services, to the Career Center and Counseling and Testing Center. They are all completely free for students to use.
  1. Become friends with your roommate. Kind of common sense if you ask me, but I can’t stress enough how important it is to become friends with your roommate. Get their phone number for sure; you’ll never know when it will come in handy. Don’t forget, you are living with this person for at least sixteen weeks. Don’t make an enemy. Hey — you never know, maybe you will end up being lifelong friends.
  1. Become sociable. If you’re not already, do it. Now. Make friends. Talk to people in your classes. College is supposed to be the best four years of your life. Not to mention it is super beneficial to know at least one person in each of your classes in case you are not there and you need the notes or information the professor won’t give to you.
  1. Get involved. The University of Akron has so many different activities and clubs to get involved with. Not only does it look great on a resume, but it gets you out there. It helps to find a place where you fit in. It allows you to get away from your studying, homework, and classes. Love tailgating and going to sporting events? Join the AK Rowdies. Amazing at a sport? Try out for our corresponding sports team. Not so good at a sport but love playing anyways? Look for intramural sport teams. If no club interests you, try creating your own. Just get out there and have fun. Make college your home away from home.
  1. Go to class. Go to class. Professors have participating points and sometimes even random quizzes that you can’t make up, or even attendance policies. You could get a teacher that gives you five freebees before points are taken off, but then there are professors who only give you three, two, or even only one. I even had a teacher who took off points every class you didn’t show up to. No freebees. Some even dock a whole letter grade. Save your freebees for when something actually happens to grandma. Don’t waste them. Also: by going to class, you might actually learn something. That’s why you came to college, isn’t it?
  1. Sleep should become one of your best friends. Make sure to always get enough sleep. Sleep will give you enough energy to actually make it through your classes. You might even be able to get up for your 8:50 a.m. class if you get enough sleep.
  1. Try not to stress. Probably the hardest of them all. But seriously: don’t stress out. Take deep breaths. If you are too overwhelmed, try cutting back a little bit. You have to balance your life between school, sleep, and a social life. You have to make sacrifices, but it will work out in the end.
  1. You’re paying to go here. You are paying for each class. You don’t go to class, you just lost out on the money you paid for that class. Get your money’s worth when you go to college. Do the work to pass the class so you don’t have to pay a second time to retake the class. You’re the one who will have to pay all that money back once your four years are up.
  1. Don’t be stupid. There is not much to say about this one. It says it all. Don’t be stupid. Be smart. You’re in college now. Be mature. Know each situation you are getting yourself into. Be careful. Do the right thing. Always have a buddy with you. Have fun, but don’t be stupid while doing it. It is as simple as that.
  1. Have fun. I said it, and I will say it again: have fun. Make the memories. College is the best four years of your life. Make them all count. Studying is such an important component of college, I agree, but so is being yourself and having fun.