You’re a new college freshman starting your first semester soon. Congratulations! This is an important time of change, growth, and amazing opportunities—but it can also be a difficult and overwhelming transition. After all, it’s likely your first time away from home, academics will be harder, and you have to start over with making friends. But don’t let any of this scare you, because we’ve got you covered with all the advice you could possibly need for all these situations! Written by experts, fellow students, and more, the articles and advice below cover everything from starting the semester on a strong note to finding help for specific needs you may have on campus. Do yourself a favor and start your college career armed with knowledge and confidence that you’re going to have an amazing journey ahead of you.
Starting the semester off right
- 5 Ways to Prepare for Freshman Year of College: If you're nervous about starting college, this is the guide for you. Here are five valuable tips on how to prepare for freshman year.
- A Smart Checklist to Prep for Your First Year of College: Preparing for college now will save you both time and stress in the long run. Here's everything you should do over the summer to get ready for freshman year!
- 10 Things You Need to Know How to Do Before Going to College: Transitioning from high school to college can be difficult, but learning how to do these 10 things before starting your freshman year will make your life easier!
- 5 Tips to Have the Best Freshman Orientation: Freshman orientation is your first glimpse at college life, so it can be a bit intimidating. But you will survive it, especially if you follow these five tips.
- How Can I Make the Transition to College Easier?: Worried about starting your first semester in the fall? Check out our expert's top 10 tips to help you make a smooth transition to college.
- Video: What to Expect When Entering College: The college journey can often feel like an expectation vs. reality meme. Get prepared for freshman year by learning what to expect from vlogger Jordan-Paige.
Adjusting to dorm life and roommates
- How to Be Smart When Picking Your College Roommate: Choosing a college roommate can be intimidating. You're expected to live with this person for at least a year! Here's how to be smart when finding a roommate.
- 5 Simple Tips for Picking a First-Year Roommate: Your college roommate is someone you'll be spending a ton of time with, so you want a good match. Here are five tips to help you choose the right person.
- Top Ways to Prepare for Life With Your New Roommate: Living with a roommate can be a lot of fun but also challenging. Here's how to break the ice with your new roomie and get ready for college life together.
- How to Make Your Own College Roommate Agreement: It's important to talk about potential issues with your new roomie. Consider these topics and download our free template if you want to make your rules official!
- How to Start Your Dorm Life Like a Boss: Living in a dorm is a huge part of the college freshman experience. Here are 11 ways to help you adjust to college and dorm life like a pro.
- 3 Tips to Help First-Year Students With Homesickness: It's normal to miss your old life during freshman year. If you're feeling homesick, here are three ways to turn your college into your new home away from home!
Acing your first college classes
- A Guide to Choosing the Best First-Year College Classes: It's important to plan out your college classes carefully each semester! Here's a guide for first-year students who may not be sure which courses to pick.
- How to Easily Plan and Register for Your College Courses: Registering for your classes is an important next step after getting into college. Here's how to easily plan your academic schedule and get registered.
- How to Be a Course Registration Wizard: Choosing your class schedule for next semester can be a daunting task, but you can master course registration with these tips.
- Important Academic Advice for Freshman Year of College: After the first few weeks of excitement on campus, it's time to buckle down on homework and studying. Here's some key academic advice from a sophomore.
- Top 5 Study Tips From a College Freshman: Looking to improve your studying? These tips straight from a college freshman can help both high school and college students have more efficient study sessions!
Learning from upperclassmen
- Sage Advice for College Freshmen From Fellow Students: What better advice can you get about college than from students who went through it? None! Here's the best advice we've gathered for first-year students.
- 5 Life-Changing Lessons From My First Year of College: Freshman year is certainly a time of growth and maturity. Here are five lessons you can learn and grow from, courtesy of one of our student writers.
- 3 Things I Wish I'd Known My Freshman Year: A junior at the University of North Texas reveals three things she wishes she knew when she first started college. Find out what the inside scoop is now!
- How to Be More Confident Freshman Year of College: It can be scary walking on campus as a college freshman, but that's no reason to lack confidence. Shake your nerves (or fake it until you make it) with these tips.
Making friends and the most of your time
- 7 Things You Must Do Your Freshman Year of College: There are certain things you shouldn't miss out on during freshman year. Get involved early and find great opportunities throughout college with this advice!
- How to Be Awesome at College: A Student's Cheat Sheet: Are you ready for college? Here are our top tips for kicking butt and taking names on campus, from academics to socializing and everything in between!
- How to Make the Most of Freshman Year in the Pandemic: COVID-19 has cast a shadow over many students' first year of college. Read on to see what one student learned after spending freshman year in quarantine.
- 4 Great Ways to Make Friends at College: What's the college experience without great friends to share it with? Here's some advice for making new friends in college and finding your people.
- Video: Making Friends in High School vs. College: In this video, student vlogger Robert debunks three myths about what it's like to make friends in college and how it's different than high school.
- Where and How to Find Free Events in College: The life of a cash-strapped student doesn't have to be a mundane one. Check out these free entertainment ideas and how to find out what's happening on your campus.
Finding help for specific needs and circumstances
- Who Can Help: The Ultimate Directory of Important Resources on Campus: In those first few days on campus, you may be unsure of where or who to turn to with questions. That's where this handy guide comes in!
- Making the Most of Your Campus Resources as a First–Generation Student: Colleges abound with resources for first-generation students, but it can be hard to know what they are. These are the campus resources you should look for.
- 7 Things to Avoid Going Into Your Freshman Year: Your first semester of college may seem scary. Luckily, you're not the first student on this journey. Here's what to avoid to make freshman year easier.
- Surviving Freshman Year of College as a Student-Athlete: Being a student-athlete can be a bit overwhelming when you first arrive freshman year. Here's some advice for balancing your college schedule as an athlete.
- 5 Questions to Ask Your First Year at a Christian College: Headed off to a Christian college? You should be asking yourself these questions before and during the year to learn more about your beliefs, needs, and goals.
- How to Ask for and Get Important Help in College: It can be tough to know where to go if you feel in over your head as an undergraduate. Here's a guide to finding help in college, from academic to emotional.
- List: Colleges Where Freshman Year Study Abroad Is Common: A lot of schools only offer study abroad opportunities to juniors and sometimes sophomores, but the schools on this list decided that their freshmen could handle it.
Find more advice on everything from dealing with roommates and surviving dorm life to making friends and finding fun with the blogs and articles in our Student Life section.