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  • By Alyssa Brennan

How to succeed in college: 10 tips for freshmen

College can be tough and intimidating, especially when entering your first-year semester and you do not know entirely what to expect.

I have been reflecting a lot on my past four years at Coastal Carolina University as I begin my final semester. Here are some tips to help you make the most out of your college experience.

1. Get involved:

One of my favorite parts of my CCU experience was writing for The Chanticleer. Getting involved in organizations on campus will help you make friends, build connections, and build up a resume. There are so many different organizations for a variety of interests on campus, you will surely be able to find something you are interested in!

2. Study and go to your classes:

Prioritize and take responsibility for your education. Find a way to study that best fits your learning style. One way I have always found to work well is to read the material and come up with questions that may pop up in class discussions or tests and write down a thorough answer. And do not skip your classes, not even the 8 a.m.

3. Ask for help:

The professors at CCU really are awesome! Each one I have had is really willing to work with you and help you out. Go to their office hours and meet with them.

4. Take care of your mental health:

This is a big one. It will be hard to focus and be successful academically if you are not taking care of your health and wellbeing. There are health services available on campus, and counselors who can assist you.

5. Exercise and take care of physical health:

Staying active, having a healthy diet, and resting will keep you feeling energized and refreshed, so you can better focus on your studies. If you are feeling stuck while studying, take a break and go for a walk to clear your mind.

6. Stay organized:

This one is huge. Get a planner, and markdown all the important dates for the semester from the syllabus you are given. This gives you multiple advantages: you are familiar with due dates, assignments and deadlines, and you get an idea of how you will need to manage your time throughout the semester to get everything done.

7. Take advantage of campus resources:

There are so many different resources available: tutoring services, health services, career services, the library and online resources. If you go to the CCU’s webpage, you can find additional information on these resources and how to contact people who can help you. They are available at no additional cost, so use them.

8. Manage your time:

Time management can be a tough skill to pick up, but you can master it well with some commitment and practice. Set aside time for studying and try to do the lengthy and difficult assignments first since they take the longest. Your education should be a top priority, but do not forget to be available for other things that matter; yourself, your friends, family, hobbies, etc.

9. Budget your money:

Most of us are probably working a job (or two) while taking classes, and likely already have student loan debt. Calculate how much you will need for bills and try to put a little bit away into savings when possible. Set a certain amount of “spending” money for fun things like going out with friends to keep from overspending.

10. Pick up a hobby, or two:

Having hobbies helps clear your head and brings some peace when things start to get stressful. Take a fitness or dance class, try photography or painting, volunteer somewhere: there are so many different things you could try, and you might find you really love something or have a natural talent.

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