Posts Tagged ‘advice for college freshman’

5 Worst Mistakes of a College Freshman

Categories: College Life

flagFreshman year of college is big transition year. You’re basically taking off from where you spent most of your life and pioneering to a strange wilderness with new people and a new culture.

It’s also just a really great and exciting time, so we have some tips to help keep you from making the five worst mistakes a freshman can make in college:

1. Making all your decisions based on your group
When you first get to college, making friends is kind of like that pick-up football game in the beginning of Little Giants–as you meet people from orientation, your dorm, classes, the cafeteria, you continually add them to your posse until what started off as just you and your roommate morph into one unicellular amoeba. Soon, you’re not making decisions based on what you want to do or what’s best for you, but what the group decides upon. This type of decision making is the worst kind. You wind up compromising on what you really want. So yes, make friends. But, don’t let big group decision-making keep you from doing things, like, joining a club, or meeting up with friends outside your group, or even studying for class.

2. Managing your free time poorly
Acquiring free time is a power that goes to some college freshmen heads. They take the power for granted, use it unwisely; completely waste it watching reruns of Law & Order from noon till nightfall. Managing your free time is key to having a successful college career. Don’t let the free time power go to your head. The force free time is with you. Use it wisely. 

3. Trying to save money by not buying textbooks
There once was girl of college age who took her studies seriously but found herself stressed out about money. Instead of deciding to skip out on things like custom-made Halloween costumes, fine dining or miscellaneous and unnecessary cute kitchen utensils, she decided that it was her books that needed to go.

“Why spend $100 on a physics book if I don’t even think physics is a great as that leather bomber jacket in the window,” she rationalized.

Perhaps she was right. After all, that leather jacket was pretty great. So, our heroine looked super stylish, the week before her huge, 70% of her total grade physics final, but, she was unfashionably late getting to the library and the last of the textbooks on the shelves were checked out.

A sad, sad story. Very preventable. If you’re short on cash, cut back elsewhere, not on your education.

4. Looking for help in the wrong places
As a college student, you’re bound to get confused or frustrated with schoolwork. That’s totally normal. The mistake that freshmen make with this issue is that they wind up looking for help in the wrong places. Like say, the Internet. Trust us, the Internet is great for things like college search and scholarship matching, but if you’re having trouble with homework or a concept from class, the best resource you have is your professor or teacher’s assistant or other classmates or the library or tutoring center or the student resource center or basically anything your school can offer! It might take a little extra effort to work around your professor’s office hours, but in the end, it will save you time.

5. Going back home too frequently
Is your mom’s meatloaf really that good? Not to offend your mom, but I’m sure you can find something comparable on your college campus. Visiting home can be relaxing and familiar, but the more you’re away from campus, the less relaxing and familiar campus will get for you. College life might be weird and uncomfortable at first, and Pete who lives across the hall from you might in fact really be pirate like you thought, but if you take too much time away from campus it will never become home. And you might miss Pete’s parrot say your name aloud.

Did we catch them all? What mistakes should college freshman be aware of? Leave a comment!

5 Ways to Pump Up Your School Spirit Before You Land on Campus

Categories: College Life

flagRecent high school grads are finding themselves in this strange “I’m not in high school but I haven’t started college yet” limbo.

It’s a strange place to wander. But don’t worry; you’re not alone. In fact, with a little summer downtime you have the opportunity to fit in a few school spirit pump up sessions.

Now you ask, “But Cappex, how do I implement a school spirit pump up session?’

Well, it’s just a couple reps of this and a couple reps of that and you’ll be on your way. Specifically, we have 5 answers for you:

1. Join your class Facebook page/group
What’s your college graduation year? 2015? Yikes, I feel old. Any-who, whether the page was created by the college itself or a student group, it’s a great resource to be a part of. You’ll be privy to college news, events and be able to ask questions to your peers and answer them as well.

The shared excitement of your peers will definitely get you excited for your college year to begin.  Who knows, you might even find some new friends there, too!

2. Get some gear
It’s not scientifically proven, but I’d guesstimate that 90% of tangible school pride stems directly from college day wear. Want to show some of your school pride? Request a sweatshirt, t-shirt, shorts, sweatband–whatever it is–from your awesome aunt who keeps asking you, “Dear, what should I get you for your graduation?”

3. Check up on the news, blogs and vlogs
Your college or university has an entire life of its own, which includes news, events and all-around happenings. Keep yourself informed about these things by reading school blogs, watching student vlogs and of course, the student paper. Keeping up with the news around your school will get you excited to finally jump into the scene when you land on campus.

4. Research school activities and find your passion
The summer is a great time to do some preliminary research on what student activities your school offers. If there’s an activity you’re passionate about, see if there’s a student group dedicated to it and email them over the summer. If you don’t see the tight-roping club on the list, well, get pumped to start your own club!

5. Talk to alumni
This step is only for the students most serious about their school spirit. Talking to an alum of your school is like going straight to the source of school pride–it’s pure and it’s powerful. So be prepared to get really seriously excited about going to college. You can contact alumni through alumni relations at your college.

Do you have any other ways to get your school spirit up before school starts? Leave a comment!

5 Things You’ll Want to Know Before Starting College

Categories: College Life

globeHeading off to college is very exciting. You’ll be entering a whole new world, as our magic-carpet-riding genie-conjuring friend would tell you.  And, as with what happens when becoming part of any new world, it’s nearly impossible to know all the in’s and out’s from the get-go–a certain red-headed mermaid-gone-human could tell you that.

Incoming freshman, you’ll be surprised at how different college might be from your initial expectations.  But, to help ease the transition from high school to college, here are 5 things you’ll want to know before you start:

1.  Major change
Yes, college will be a totally, crazy, incredible, major change.  But, more importantly, chances are you’ll actually majorly change your major. One semester you’ll be all about horticulture and saving the environment, and the next you’ll want to transfer to the business school to get an internship at some huge oil conglomerate. The point is, just expect the unexpected. 

2. Always be on your dream job search
Whatever dream job you’re working for at the moment, always keep it on mind. You never know when an opportunity might just be passing by. It’s never too early to network, talk to professors or local businesses. They could have the perfect internship for you during the school year or job waiting for you after you graduate. 

3. How to microwave popcorn in a dorm room
Pro: Your college dorm probably has very high quality, sensitive smoke detectors. Con: Burning a bag of microwave popcorn can lead to 250 students in their pajamas (and there’s always one in a towel) waiting outside in the cold at midnight.  Don’t be the culprit.  Watch your popcorn pop carefully–don’t leave the room while it’s going.

4. You’re paying a lot of money, get the most out of it
If you’re not sure that you’re getting the most out of your education, think about the number of nights this month you spent partying, and then look at the number of zeros on your tuition. This simple exercise will most likely lead you to the conclusion that you definitely need to use the resources more that you’re paying such a steep price for. This includes the libraries–the books, study areas and computer labs–professors and research opportunities.

5. Independence –the double-edged sword
By the time you leave for college, you’re probably dying to get away from home and live on your own. Just remember these things still need to happen: grocery shopping, laundry, household chores, and overall taking care of yourself.  Without a 24/7 caretaker (aka mom and dad), you might be surprised just how tedious these little thing can be.

So, before you head to college, we just want you to be prepared–a certain murderous lion would definitely want you to know that.

Do you have any other tips? Comment and let us know!