1) THE FIRST THREE WEEKS SET THE PATTERN
What you do the first three weeks of the fall semester usually determines what you will do the entire first year of college. Get into a regular schedule of classes, study, recreation, and rest. Balance is important. Many fall behind during the period and never recover or they establish habits that are harmful to a successful college career.
2) CHOOSE FRIENDS BY YOUR PRIORITIES
Choose friends by your priorities, not your priorities by your friends. In the rush to make friends, many freshmen fall into the trap of connecting with the first group of people they meet and become involved in things they would never have decided to do on their own. Decide what is important to you. What are your values and priorities? Find and choose friends who share and will encourage you in these values and priorities.
3) GO TO COLLEGE EMOTIONALLY
Many freshmen do not have a good experience because they are not there emotionally. Don’t hang around your high school or plan your schedule around your former high school’s events. There is more to being a college student than taking classes. Find ways to be a part of campus life.
4) BECOME PART OF A GROUP
Studies and surveys indicate that the happiest and most successful students are those who are involved with a campus group. Campus Christian organizations offer a wide variety of activities like intramurals, lunch meetings, large group events, and small sharing groups. Involvement is voluntary and does not require membership.
5) IT’S OK TO CHANGE YOUR MAJOR (or not have one)
Many freshmen jump into a major not suited for them and get behind by taking classes in that major instead of the basics. Your freshman year is designed to be a time of adjusting to what college is all about and discovering interests and abilities while taking basic requirement courses. On average, college students change majors three to four times. Don’t hesitate to change should you decide you are in the wrong area.