Essential Checklist for a Successful Freshman Year at College

A successful first year of college requires more than remembering to pack your toothbrush. It’s about having the right tools to keep you happy, healthy, and on track with your classes. If you’re heading off to college for the first time, try to complete this essential checklist for having a successful first year at college.

1) A way to exercise.

This could be anything from getting up early to go running to playing tennis with a friend you met in the dorms.

Having a method of exercise not only keeps you healthy (and avoid the freshman 15), but it also gives you a constructive extra-curricular activity, and an avenue for meeting new friends.

If you’d like your exercise time to be built into your schedule, check out campus options like wellness classes, fitness clubs, or intramurals. Oh, and don’t forget that exercise releases endorphins, which help keep you happy.

2) A dorm with personality.

Your dorm room needs to be more than a place to throw your backpack after you’re done with class. It should have an element of comfort and personality. Work with your roommate to decide on options for seating and decoration.

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If you have an environment that’s comfortable and inviting, not only will you feel more relaxed while you’re there, but you might feel more comfortable inviting friends to hang out or watch a movie.

3) Organizations to keep you involved.

One of the most important things you can do for yourself your freshman year is to get involved with organizations that interest you.

If you’re a humanitarian, volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. If one of your specialties is going to be sociology, maybe you want to volunteer your time to Big Brothers, Big Sisters.

Whatever you choose, staying involved in your campus and community will help you meet new people, make new friends, keep you constructively occupied, and even offer you leadership opportunities later on in your college career.

4) A place to study.

Whether it’s your dorm room, the library, or your hall’s study lounge, you need to find a place where you feel comfortable studying at any time of the day or night. For some people, this means a healthy buzz of conversation, while for others it means complete silence.

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Try out a few different areas on campus to find one that works for you. To be successful in school, you need to find a place where you will always feel comfortable doing your schoolwork.

5) A confident attitude.

The most important part of this essential freshman checklist is to be confident with yourself. You’re in a new situation, but so is everyone else in your class. Treat it as an adventure, and don’t get down on yourself if you make a mistake. By meeting college confidently head-on, you’ll have a much better experience all around.

If you can check off all the above things on your list, then you will have a successful first year of school.