3 Steps To Take As A Freshman In College

Updated: Nov 4, 2021

Are you a freshman still trying to get the hang of college? If so, keep reading to find out what you can do to succeed in college.

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1. Be Prepared For Class

It can be helpful to be prepared for class to make learning easier. Professors often post their syllabus online, where you can find all the information for the course, including important deadlines, the professor’s contact information and a schedule for the entire term.


Many professors suggest that students read the textbook or complete the assigned reading before attending lectures for the week. Reading the material before it is taught in class helps you understand the concept better and gives you a chance to ask questions if you didn’t understand it from the reading. It can be challenging to complete all the readings before class because you have other classes to manage, but even briefly reviewing the chapter can help as well.


The materials taught in college are complex and professors sometimes move quickly during lectures. It’s important to keep up with the materials while trying your best not to put it off, as it could lead to you trying to teach yourself the material the night before the exam.



2. Practice Time Management

Your schedule in college will be more flexible than in high school. In high school, you were in school for seven hours a day, whereas in college, you have more freedom to choose your schedule. Some days you will have one to two classes or even a day with no classes. Students get excited that they can pick their schedules but often struggle to manage their time.

You may find yourself having a lot of free time in your calendar because you only have classes for a few hours a day. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t find time to complete assigned readings or revisit your lecture notes. The assignments given in college will take a lot longer than the homework you received in high school. Professors will often hand out assignments that are due in a few weeks because it will take some time to complete. It’s your responsibility to keep track of the important due dates and start the assignment as early as possible.

Many best practices are available online to help you manage your time. When looking for ways to manage your time, note that what might work for one student will not always work for another student. It’s important to keep trying new methods and best practices until you find one that works for you.



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3. Reach Out to Your Academic Advisor

Your academic advisor will be the person to help you with your academic plan and goals. Many students don't know about their academic advisor until later in the year. If you are struggling in a class, your academic advisor can help by giving you advice on what steps to take and finding resources to help you succeed.


Reach out to your academic advisor at least once a term to see how your plan of study is coming along. They will be happy to answer any questions you may have and make sure you are on the right track to graduation.


These are just three steps you can take as a freshman if you are still trying to figure out college. You can take advantage of the college success roadmap created by Rise First for more guidance throughout your college career. Feel free to print or bookmark the page for easy access to the roadmap.