Posts Tagged ‘college freshman’
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!
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!
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.
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!
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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Freshman year is tough. You’re away from home, you’re sleeping six feet away from a stranger, you’re terrified of the inevitable fifteen pounds you’re rumored to gain first semester, and your first exam came back with a grade you haven’t seen since middle school technology when your bottle rocket exploded instead of soared.
College freshmen are often disappointed upon receiving their first exam grade or GPA. Some will admit they had grown accustomed to the straight A’s they received in high school, and didn’t necessarily do a whole lot or try too hard to get them. For those who happened to coast through high school, it can be tremendously stressful and overwhelming to come to the realization that college has higher expectations. As a result, students who may not have taken a single note in their lives, suddenly find themselves having to set aside hours to study with little idea on how to effectively do so.
According to an article in the New York Times published in 2009 entitled “Colleges are Failing in Graduation Rates,” only half of students who enroll [in college] will end up with a bachelor’s degree. While many students drop out by choice over the course of their four years, it has been said that nearly 30% of students won’t make it past their freshman year, often due to poor performance. Knowing how to hold on to the knowledge you’re given is a powerful tool that will not only grant achievements in the academic world, it will be the fuel to your career for the rest of your life!
The following is a list of Do’s and Don’ts for smart studying.
Do: Take legible notes with an outline that makes sense to you in notebooks dedicated for each class.
Don’t: Pull a napkin from your pocket and chicken scratch a few key words before stuffing it into your book bag.
Do: Review notes often.
Don’t: Let the day you take notes be the last time you ever see those words again.
Do: Memorize in sets of three, adding on more sets as you go.
Don’t: Overwhelm yourself by trying to memorize everything at once.
Do: Keep an open mind to other places you can find information discussed in class, such as online databases, review books, articles, tutors, web sites, textbooks, and so on.
Don’t: Assume your professor is the only source you can learn from, especially if you’re having difficulty doing so.
Do: Test yourself by creating situations as similar to your exam as possible.
Don’t: Assume you truly know the material just because you’ve read your notes a few times and it all sounds familiar.
Do: Start studying at least a week before your exams, asking questions and following up in areas you don’t understand.
Don’t: Try to cram it all in.
Do: Find out your learning style by taking a multiple-intelligence quiz online, and cater your studying to your specific needs.
Don’t: Assume there’s only one way to learn anything.
Do: Find a dedicated academic support system, such as a study group you can work and discuss ideas with.
Don’t: Get involved with groups that cheat, copy, plagiarize, or end up with you doing all the work.
Do: Make your profile on Cappex.com to get info on colleges and scholarships!
Sometimes, fraternities and sororities on campus are seen as important aspects of campus culture. Other times, they’re selective clubs that promote negative activities on campus.
Recently, two major universities took action to deal with what they perceived were the problems with Greek life on their college campuses. The University of South Carolina put a freeze on fraternity rush. The decision came after a student drank so much at a fraternity recruitment party that he became unresponsive and was taken to the hospital by ambulance.
At Princeton University, officials recently banned students from participating in freshman rush beginning in fall 2012. The decision was made because of the school’s beliefs that social and residential life should revolve around the residential colleges, eating clubs, and shared experiences of the undergraduates living and dining on campus. Other officials at the school find that fraternities and sororities contribue to a sense of social exclusivity and privilege among students.
Are there more negatives to Greek life than positives? Here some pros and cons:
Pros to Greek life
- friendship–it’s an easy way to meet some of your best friends for life
- academics–often times a big purpose of the fraternity/sorority community is to encourage and develop high scholastic achievement among its members
- social life–planned mixers, parties, etc.
- community service opportunities
- networking–the Kappa Fig Newton could connect you with your dream job
Cons to Greek life
- dues — Greek life gets expensive!
- stigma–unfortunately, people tend to stereotype people in the Greek system
- drama–living with a small community of boys/girls can become a bit much, and a little misunderstanding could lead to a big fall out
- hazing–it’s technically not allowed, but depending where you go, it still happens
Do you agree with these university officials on their stances against Greek life? Share your opinion by leaving a comment below!
Recent 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!
If you’re a high school senior, you have less than a semester left of school and your highly anticipated start of college is on the horizon. After spending 4 years in high school, you might want to prep yourself for the changes you’ll experience going away to college. And one of the biggest changes is making new friends.
This post from the Uloop blog gives college students 5 easy ways to network and make friends in college:
Switch It Up
Although it is very easy to be a part of the same organizations that you have been a part of for your entire life, it is more beneficial to branch out to various organizations that have different backgrounds, connections, and client bases than your own. For example, even if you are not politically driven it may be rather prudent to join Young Republicans, Campus Democrats, etc. Or on the flip-side, if you have been a part of a politically affiliated organization for a long time, then maybe you should switch it up and join the Adventure Club or Fencing Club. By doing this, your face and name gain recognition across demographics.
Approach the Unfamiliar
Oftentimes people get so wrapped up in their own lives that they forget that there are six billion other people on the planet. Yes, friendships are amazing, especially the lifelong ones. However, someone that you have known since pre-school will not vanish if you do not hang out with them for a couple days. Be approachable and approach those that you don’t know. For example, if someone is wearing a shirt that says “Combat Airsoft” you may feign interest in order to spark a conversation which could lead to a friendship. No one ever got anywhere by staying in their shell, and neither should you.
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