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8 Tips to Help you Survive and Thrive as a College Freshman

Posted by Marc Costanzo Thursday, Jul. 14, 2022

8 Tips to Help you Survive and Thrive as a College FreshmanTransitioning from high school to college is an exciting time, but it can also feel overwhelming. 

Having a successful and meaningful college experience is possible with the right tools and support.

As you’re preparing for college, consider the following eight tips that will help you survive and thrive as a college freshman at Nebraska Methodist College (NMC) or any college. 

Put these into practice, and you’ll be able to balance the fun and social aspects of college with your academics.

  1. Attend Classes

For the first time, you don’t have parents, guardians or teachers monitoring your every movement and recording when you don’t show up to class. But that doesn’t mean you should skip your classes.

Many students believe they can miss classes because they won’t get into trouble. But, while you may not be scolded in college, you will miss out on vital information for upcoming exams and critical lessons that will inform your future career.

NMC has a 14:1 student-to-faculty ratio, and many of our classes use simulations and clinical instruction, so you will certainly be noticed if you don’t show up.

  1. Get Involved


The “campus life” aspect of college is just as important as classroom learning and studying. 

Getting involved in campus activities and organizations can help give you a sense of community, allow you to discover new interests and enable you to create connections.

NMC offers many activities on campus for students. You’ll experience food trucks, outdoor movie nights, therapy dogs and more during events like Welcome Week and Homecoming Week.

At NMC, you can join student organizations such as Student Government, honor societies, Social Justice and Inclusion Council, the Methodist Student Nurses’ Association and the Methodist Allied Health Student Association.

Students can also become Student Ambassadors, participating in the recruitment of students and promotion of the College while developing leadership skills.

  1. Set Boundaries


Your first year of college brings newfound independence. That sense of freedom may feel exciting, but remember that your studies must be a priority.

If you have a night out with friends, make sure to schedule it for the day after that big test, not before. 

Set boundaries with roommates and friends when you need to buckle down and study rather than play another round of Mario Kart.

  1. Get the Support You Need


Freshmen take on adult responsibilities for the first time while navigating the demands of college courses.

During your first year of college, you may have unexpected roadblocks. Seeking help is the best way to get the support you need.

NMC understands the unique demands of healthcare students, which is why Student Engagement and Support Services provides student mental health services that can facilitate success in the classroom and personally.

NMC offers free, confidential counseling to all enrolled students.

These services help students make adjustments in their academic and personal lives. The licensed onsite counselor can address a various issues, including test anxiety, relationships/codependency, stress management, time management, anxiety, coping strategies, substance abuse, depression, grief and loss, family/parenting issues and more.

NMC’s Trio Support Services provide assistance to increase rates of academic achievement, retention and graduation rates to students who are first generation, low-income or students with disabilities. 

  1. Make Sleep a Priority


Your college class schedule will look different than it did in high school. For example, your classes may begin later, and you won’t be in school all day.

It might be tempting to stay up later, but your body needs sleep to stay healthy.

Getting enough sleep will allow you to stay alert and present during classes. 

Make sure you go to bed at about the same time each evening if you can, and remember that tucking in at 11 p.m. and being well-rested for a test is far preferable to burning the midnight oil and taking a test while you’re exhausted.

  1. Take Care of Yourself


Between classes, studying, working and your personal life, taking care of yourself may become less of a priority.

But caring for your body will allow you to give your academics the attention they need. Offerings at NMC that will help you practice self-care include:

  • Free healthcare services through Campus Health.
  • Fitness classes and equipment in the Wellness Engagement (WE) Center (opening fall 2022).
  • Meals and snacks available for purchase at Deja Brew and the Micro Market.
  • Free food, meal kits and personal care items to students in need at NMC’s Food Pantry.
  1. Use Financial Aid Assistance for Tuition


It might be tempting to use the money you receive for fun or to pay personal expenses. But scholarships, student loans and financial aid money should go toward tuition. Having a tuition bill that you can’t pay will add unnecessary stress to your college experience.

When it comes to loans, take out precisely what you think you’ll need to pay for school so that you don’t get into debt once you get your degree.

  1. Manage Your Time


Use a planner to manage your time, coursework and personal life.

Figure out the times you can set aside for fun and when studying needs to come first. Break your college life down into a schedule you can keep so that you never have to worry about forgetting responsibility.

The NMC Experience

So there you have it. Eight tips that will allow you to survive freshman year. The great news? You can use these throughout college and maybe even in your upcoming career. Good luck!

Do you want more ideas on how to get involved on campus? Download our Campus Life Quick Guide.

Topics: student life, campus life, college routine, preparing for college

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