Posts Tagged ‘college freshman’

Freshmen: Look Forward to Breaks!

Categories: College Life

If you just graduated from high school and will be a verdant college freshman this fall, you may or may not be dreading living away from home. Everyone reacts to new independence a little differently, and homesickness is totally normal. For your peace of mind, take a look below at the breaks you have to look forward to. Be sure to check your school’s calendar to find out exactly which days you have off and when your final exams take place. Knowing when you have opportunities to see your family or spend time with friends away from school may quell some anxiety.


Late November. This is probably your first big break from school. Thanksgiving is also typically a super fun reunion weekend with high school friends who are seeing each other for the first time since going away to college. If you’ve got a break on the longer side, consider spending some time bargain hunting: check out Cappex’s 5 Black Wednesday Scholarships!

Winter Break

Late December. Oh, winter break. The doozy of all college breaks. Usually longer and more luxurious than any high school winter break could ever hope to be. Spend it lazily hanging with your family and friends, enjoying home cooked food and not living in a dorm. Give your brain a rest from all the finals and papers you probably just completed for semester’s end. Read a book. For FUN. GASP!


January. Many schools offer what’s called J-Term (January Term) if their winter break extends through the month of January. Schools like the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis, Minnesota offer J-Term travel programs where students can study abroad for the four week break. In fact, St. Thomas requires its students to do this at least once while they attend school.  A student can travel to Greece to study archaeology and art or Ghana to study its transition into modernity. What an awesome opportunity!

Spring Break

March/April. Again, your time off will vary by school, but usually spring break is one week long and full of fun. Hopefully it falls right after you’ve gotten midterm papers or tests completed, but sometimes you’ll need to split your time off with time on finishing homework. You can also use this time doing something fun AND productive by doing what’s called an Alternative Spring Break. Basically, it’s volunteer work and you’ll not only feel good doing good for others, you’ll be building skills and experiences.

Cappex has tons of resources for college freshmen, including scholarship opportunities.

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Time Management Tools for College Freshmen

Categories: College Life

Managing your time as a college freshman will be very different than when you were in high school. This is due in part to the style of homework your professors will give you and the intensity of the extra curricular activities you choose. When life gets hectic in college, use these tips to help yourself stay on track!

Prioritize. Figure out which tasks will take the most time and energy. Which tasks are most important or weigh the most heavily on your grade? If you have easy homework due tomorrow, get it done and out of the way so you can focus on the larger projects due down the road that require more preparation time.

Know when to say NO. Don’t take on more than you can handle, especially when school is just starting out and you haven’t found your rhythm yet. You do not have to do it all to be a successful student. You have to do a few things well and with passion.

Get rid of distractions. Force yourself into seclusion if you have to! This means moving to a library study room away from goofy friends, closing your laptop so you can’t see Facebook, and ignoring phone calls until you’ve gotten some work done.

10 Minutes. If you are a habitual procrastinator and refuse to get started on projects or school work you know will take a long time to complete, limit yourself to 10 minutes at the beginning and 10 minutes per day. You might find that its not so bad and you feel good when you get things done. This rule can also apply in different situations – you’re swamped but told a friend you’d get coffee? Tell them you’ve got 3o minutes you’d love to spend with them. Setting up a time frame before your activity starts gives your day structure and will help you plan better.

Start early. Big projects and papers that are due at the end of the semester are daunting. It feels like you have a lifetime to complete them. You don’t. You have one semester. Start now. Use the 10 minute method if you have to. You do NOT want to have to be writing a 20-page paper at 4am the night before it is due. Yuck.

Get a calendar. Write down due dates and appointments.

Use your calendar. Check those due dates and appointments every day. Be in the know and aware of what you have coming up.

One thing at a time. When in doubt, take it one thing at a time. Focus on one thing at a time and slowly, but surely, you’ll get everything done. You can do it!

Check out more college tips on Cappex!

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Surviving Summer at Home After Freshman Year

Categories: College Life

Going home for the summer after your freshman year of college is not always the smoothest of transitions. For some, it may even be harder than going to college in the first place! What you must remember is that this is brand new territory – you’re not at school anymore, but you’re not the same person who lived at home before.

Here are some things to keep in mind as you survive your first summer home!

Talk to Your Parents

Seriously. Both you and your parents have very different expectations of what life should be like with you living under their roof again. The sooner you discuss things like curfew, the sooner you can get on the same page and avoid unnecessary squabbles.

Embrace High School Friends

When high school friends first see each other after freshman year, everyone can seem different. All of us go through changes in college. You may not feel it, but you will have grown a lot in that first year of school and act differently than you did at the end of your senior year. Know that many of your friends might seem like different people or you might seem very different to them. Embrace these changes and avoid judgment. We’re all just figuring out who we are. Focus on the friends you still connect with and are most important to you.

Stay in Touch

You probably met a ton of new friends in college – stay in touch with them! It will feel nice to commiserate about being away from school with someone who knows how great your school is and went through that first freaky year with you. While its perfectly normal to miss these friends, don’t dwell on the fact that you’re not together – plan a fun visit or things you can do together when you’re all back at school in the fall.

Harness Your Independence

You’ve been living on your own essentially for nine months. It’s hard to strike a balance between independence and dependence living at home, but if you embrace responsibility and show your slightly more mature side, life at home will run more smoothly.

Get in Shape!

Did the Freshman 15 get the best of you? Use this summer to eat healthy and spend your spare time getting back in shape. Nothing will feel better than going back to school as a Sophomore knowing you can tackle anything your second year throws at you!

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