10 Things Every Freshman Should Know

By Rachael Smith, Student at Radford University

I could probably list a hundred things every incoming freshman should know but here are my top ten!

Sign Me Up!

Freshman year is the most laid-back of all four (or five) years of college, so sign up for things!

At my school, Club Fair is a huge event held the first weekend after school starts where every club and organization sets up a table on the quad. As a freshman, I think I pretty much signed up for everything there. Later, when I received a ton of emails from the groups, I just weeded out the ones I knew I wasn’t interested in and went to the first meetings of the ones I thought would be cool.

You have time to be sporadic that first year, so try new things they may even lead to something bigger!

No need to RUSH

Well, no need to “rush” rushing a sorority right away. Some schools offer sorority recruitment in the fall, some only in the spring. Take your time getting adjusted to college life. If you are set on joining Greek Life, take a semester to observe the different organizations and you will be surprised what you can learn.

Give your new “freshman personality” time to come to life before losing it in a sorority that just isn’t you.

Stick to a schedule

Definitely stick to your class schedule but also a healthy workout and eating schedule.

You've probably heard of the Freshman 15. Well, I hate to break it to you, but it can happen to you if you're not careful. The sad fact is that so many college campuses offer too many junky and fatty foods. With no one telling you what to eat, it's free game!

It’s so easy to become unhealthy but so much harder to get fit again. Make some time to stop by the gym a few times a week or try a fitness class if your school offers them.

Office space

Go to office hours! Please! This is a fantastic way to introduce yourself to your professor and start a network that could help you when you graduate in four (or five) years. You showing up to their office hours proves how much you care about your grade and their class. And believe me, they will remember you.

Use your resources

At every school, there are different services provided to make your college experience more memorable and run more smoothly. If you are still undecided about your major, go to Career Services and talk to one of the counselors. Some schools also offer tutors for classes. At my school, they are just students my age who are geniuses. Student Government is usually in charge of organizing tailgates or any kind of on-campus activities like free movie night at the student union, planning for a musician to come play, etc.

Say “college!”

Take a camera everywhere. You will want to remember the fun times you shared with new friends!

Stay put

It isn’t uncommon to become homesick either right after your parents leave you in your new dorm room that first day or even a month or two later.

Try to stay at school; this is all part of becoming independent and out on your own. You may not have a ton of friends now, but you won’t get any closer to having more if you go home every weekend.


You’re in a new city so go check out what it has to offer! Don’t get too comfortable in the college bubble. This is your second home and there are no reins!

Honk if you think I'm a freshman!

As much as you try to not look like a freshman, it will show through. But that’s OK — try to embrace your freshman-ness! Seniors are honestly just jealous because you get to stay in college longer.

However, to avoid looking like the ultimate freshman, do not walk around trying to find a party the first weekend in a tiny, tight dress with heels in a group with 15 other freshman girls. That’s a good way to get ridiculed.

It goes by faster than the blink of an eye

College years are in no way equivalent to high school years. These go by in a flash!

You are about to embark on the greatest four (or five if you’re lucky!) years of your life.

Head on over to 1,000 Dreams Fund to learn how to get funding for your dreams!