Best Advice for College Freshman: Go to Class!

I remember my first two weeks of college.  As a freshman at The University of Alabama, known when I was there as the number two party school in the nation (unlike the rank in college football which has risen significantly since I’ve been there, I think the rank in partying has gone down), I went out every night for the first two weeks. There was always a party going on.

I realized rather quickly after classes started that there was no way I was going to be able to maintain the party schedule and make it.    I’m glad I came to this realization sooner rather than later, but I wish someone had given me some tips on how to survive college before I left.

Here are some tips I wish I had been given:

  1. GO TO CLASS.  This is really the only tried and true tip I have.  If you are committed to going to class, the other tips will be easy because you will need to do them to make sure you go to class.   Going to class will make college a lot easier.   You are there to get an education and the primary way to do this is through attending your classes.   You’ll find that if you go to class and listen, you won’t need to study near as much, your grades will be much better than those of your peers who skip, and you’ll be able to keep your priorities in line.
  2. Get enough sleep.   If you are committed to going to class, then you’ll have to get enough sleep to maintain this commitment.  That means partying till 2 am on a Wednesday night when you have a morning class on Thursday won’t be an option you’ll have to consider if you’re committed to going to class.
  3. Enjoy the extracurricular things that college has to offer.  Yes, that means parties and social activities. It also means getting involved in things you enjoy whether it be sports, student government, on and off campus organizations and even work that can help pay for college and give you practical experience to make you more marketable when you graduate.   And if you go to class, you hopefully won’t have to spend as much time studying to learn the material that you should have learned about in class, giving you time to enjoy the things that make college a learning and enjoyable experience outside of the classroom.

College should be a practice in balance, just like all periods of life.  Taking an all or nothing approach to studying or partying/social activities isn’t necessary.  You can do both and learn from both.

What tips do you have for college success?

Mary Ila Ward

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