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First Year

This is it! You’re about to start your first year of college. Going to college is a big step and can be made even more difficult by social or economic constraints by not being prepared for such a drastic change, so to make it easier here are some tips: 

Academic Life

Classes. Choosing which classes to register for can be especially daunting for first-year students so here are some tips to help you choose the best classes for you and start your post-secondary education off right. Evaluate course options by reviewing your college/university’s course catalog either by going on the school’s site or a simple (School name +course catalog) search might reveal what you’re looking for.

Visit/email your academic advisor. Emailing your advisor with a list of questions might help in them guiding you to a favorable course schedule.

Create a balance. Balancing the rigor of your classes is very important. If all your classes are STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) heavy, it would benefit you to find non-STEM classes to balance it so your schedule won’t be test heavy or essay heavy if it’s mostly liberal arts.


Use AP/IB credits to exempt classes. Depending on if your college allows you to and if you still have a good knowledge of the subject, you can use AP/IB credits that you accrued over the course of high school to exempt yourself from taking a required class covering the same content in college. Though be careful if you’re planning on taking any tests for a pre-professional track like pre-med or pre-law because there will be content from some of the AP/IB classes and it will be easier to remember the information if you take it in college.

Take core classes first. Continuing the subject of required classes, it is better to take the core requirements that your college requirements as oftentimes those classes are prerequisites, or need to be taken, for a class you need to take for your major requirement.

With so many opportunities presenting themselves in college, getting and maintaining good grades may become difficult. If you hit a patch of bad grades, do not fret. College is a whole different world academically and can be difficult to adjust to. While doing all of the things below might not shoot you to the top of your class, they will help you to be!

Communication, both in the academic and social sense, is a big part of college. As many of you will find yourselves immersed in and having to collaborate in a world filled with new individuals coming from drastically different backgrounds and perspectives, so it is imperative to develop good communication skills. From dealing with professors, school officials, and potential career officials, communication skills along with problem-solving and leadership skills are imperative

Social Life

It is important to balance your academic life with a healthy social life. College is full of many opportunities to interact with your peers and the community around you. Make sure to check out the clubs and activities that your school offers and you will surely find the one for you! 

College is the place to find oneself and interacting with different people is the way to do that. Make sure to branch out and get to know different types of people throughout your college years. Friends are always good to have as they will not only make sure you have a good time but will also help you keep your academics on track! 


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