6 Ways to Improve Your Freshman Experience

By Alyssa Laffitte on July 10, 2018

The start of a new school year is quickly approaching. For some students, it means stepping into a college classroom for the first time. Here are some tips for incoming freshman on how to improve their freshman experience!

image via Isorepublic.com

Participate in extracurricular activities

Freshman year is difficult for many people because it can be very lonely, but it doesn’t have to be! Joining an extracurricular activity is a great way to combat loneliness, since it will introduce you to people. In fact, it will introduce you to people who share your interests. For example, if you’re into music, joining a music club will introduce you to fellow musicians!

Similarly, joining an extracurricular activity is an opportunity to continue pursuing your interests that are not related to your major. Let’s continue the example with the musician I previously mentioned. If she majors in biology, she might not have much time to devote to her musical passion. But if she joins a band on campus, that will help her fulfill that interest. In short, participating in an extracurricular activity will improve your freshman experience because it will keep you from being lonely and it will allow you to pursue passions outside your major.

Avoid the freshman 15 by planning a healthy lifestyle

The “freshman 15” is a stereotype that states that freshman will gain 15 pounds throughout the course of the year due to eating so much junk food and not exercising. This happens because it’s hard to follow a healthy lifestyle when you are in college. You have so much work that you would rather eat something quickly or skip the gym just to finish your homework. For example, if you have to finish a 20-page paper by midnight, will you spend your time working out or preparing a healthy meal, or will you go to the nearest fast food place so you will have more time to finish your paper? This is why it might be difficult for a college student to live a healthy lifestyle.

Yes, living a healthy lifestyle during college is difficult, but it’s possible if you are intentional about it. You can be intentional about your new lifestyle by planning ahead. If you plan ahead, you can finish your paper the night before it’s due so that you can spend the next day hitting the gym and preparing healthy meals for the next few days. If you plan out your healthy lifestyle, you can improve your freshman experience, because you won’t gain the freshman 15!

Use campus resources for your healthy lifestyle

In addition to the previous point, there are resources available to you on campus to help you live your healthy lifestyle. Take advantage of them! For example, you can use the campus gym, since it is likely included in your tuition. It won’t cost you extra money, and you won’t have to travel far! These resources will help you live a healthier lifestyle and improve your freshman experience.

Respect your roommate

A big part of the freshman experience is living with a roommate for the first time. Roommate conflict can be a big source of stress for a freshman, or any other college student. So how can you avoid it, especially if this is the first time you have ever shared such a close space with someone else?

In short, respect your roommate. Listen to what they have to say, and be honest with them. Always treat them how you would like to be treated, with kindness and respect. It would also be a good idea to write up a roommate agreement early on in the semester, just so you two can set a groundwork for your expectations of each other (after all, most roommate conflicts are caused by unmet expectations!). These things will not guarantee that your roommate will become your best friend, because she might not, but it will make it easier to live in peace together. Living in peace with your roommate will definitely improve your freshman experience.

Talk to your professors

Talking to your professors is a good habit to get into during your freshman year. Your professors are there to help you. If you don’t understand a concept discussed in class, don’t be afraid to visit them during their office hours. That’s what office hours are for!

It’s a good idea to start getting to know your professors now, because they will be the ones writing your recommendation letters for jobs in the future. As a freshman, that might seem like it’s a world away, but you should start forming these relationships now.


In high school, many students were able to get by without actually sitting down and studying their class material. These students are shocked when they start college and realize they can’t do that anymore. As a freshman, you should start getting into the habit of sitting down and absorbing the class material. It’s an important skill to learn, especially as you advance in your major and start taking harder classes. Learning study skills will improve your freshman year and the rest of your college experience!

Your freshman year will be quite an adjustment. But with a little patience, you will learn to love the college life.

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