Advice for incoming students

Some helpful tips on starting college

Starting college can seem like a scary time in your life. Even if you’re transferring from another college, starting classes and meeting new people can be daunting and might cause some stress. Here is some advice that I wish I would have been told when I started college three years ago.

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone when taking classes

Since college is a place where you can expand your knowledge, it makes sense to enroll in classes that you might not think you’ll enjoy. Even if you already know what you want to major in, general education courses are something all freshmen have to take so these can be a chance for you to enroll in some of the various classes North Dakota State University has to offer.

Even though I’m a journalism major, I had to take three science courses so I used that opportunity to learn more about meteorology in Wonders of Weather and plant sciences in World Food Crops. I even took biology, a class that I had to take in high school and didn’t enjoy, and learned a lot more about the subject in the one semester I took it here.

Science is just one example of the subjects you can explore while at college. Be sure to keep your mind open for what classes you might actually love.

Take the time to meet new people

Just like with classes, don’t be afraid to meet new people who may have different interests than you. It might have been easy to close yourself off in high school, but college is a time where you befriend people who don’t share the same major or hometown as you.

Coming from Colo. was sort of a challenge for me since I didn’t know a single person here from my state. However, I quickly learned that sharing something in common with someone doesn’t mean you’re bound to be friends.

Residence halls are great places to meet people, but don’t forget about the people in your classes as well. Sometimes it’s better to set your phone down and talk to the person sitting right next to you since they may become your closest friend.

Grades don’t define your success

It’s easy to compare yourself to every grade you get on a test or paper, but remember that grades don’t define your success. Don’t feel like you’ve failed a course after one bad test score.

While it can be rewarding to achieve good grades and make the dean’s list, don’t sacrifice your mental health for your grades. Like many will remind you throughout your college career, grades don’t determine your worth. Show your professor that you care by showing up to class, doing the assignments to your full potential and show them that you are in fact, a hardworking student.

Professors are there to help you

To go off of my last point, whenever you feel like a class isn’t going your way, make sure to reach out to your professors. It may seem like they assign you a large amount of work with little time to complete it all, but in reality, they really do care about the success of their students and that even includes the tough professors.

Make sure to go to their office hours when you’re confused about a lesson or you need to talk about something. College is different from high school since your professors probably won’t notice when you’re struggling especially in large lectures so make sure you get the help you need right away.

Enjoy your time at college

Lastly, enjoy your time while at college because it tends to go by fast. If you don’t take the time for yourself, it may seem as though all the exams and papers just blur by and soon you’ll be halfway through your college career with no recollection of what you’ve accomplished.

College is a time to meet new people and make some memories so make sure to enjoy your time while here.

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