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50 Tips for College Freshmen

college freshman on campusSo, you’re headed off to college. Congrats! Of course you’re there to study, get good grades and eventually launch your uber successful career, but you want to enjoy the journey, too. Here are 50 tips to make the most of your first year away.

1. Be a joiner. Don’t get lost in a sea of thousands! Find like-minded friends by sharing your passion within a club or organization.
2. Cheer on your team. It isn’t whether you win or lose; it’s whether you’re part of the action.
3. Road trip. Plan a road trip with your new pals on a long weekend. Use SignUpGenius to make sure you don’t forget any essentials.
4. Take in the local sights. Don’t get so wrapped up in college that you miss checking out the local fare.
5. Snap a photo. Then snap a few more. Your college years will be gone in a flash. Don’t miss the chance to capture the moments in pixels.
6. Call your mother. Enough said.
7. Attend class. Internet classes are great if you can’t be there. But if you can, go in person.
8. Live on campus. It isn’t glamorous, but it is part of the experience.
9. Ditch the freshman 15. Mom was right; you need to eat your veggies. If you don’t watch what you eat those freshman 15 could even become the freshman 20.
10. Ditch the freshman 15 (part 2). Most schools offer a free gym. Don’t think about it, just go. And go often.
11. Group study. Studying can be lonely, but it doesn’t have to be. Organize a weekly study session with SignUpGenius and you will soar to the top of the class.
12. Play hooky. Not every week or even every month, but once or twice go ahead and skip a class. Just make sure you do something totally awesome to make it worth it.
13. Scrap it. Don’t have time to make a full-blown scrapbook? Go digital. Online photo services make creating a photo book to capture those memories a breeze.
14. Schedule accordingly. Not a morning person? Don’t sign up for the 7 am class, you won’t go.

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15. Laundry 101. Don’t mix that red shirt with your fave white top, it will be pink. Likewise read the label; if it says don’t dry, don’t.
16. Be one with nature. Take your books outside, sit under a tree and study in the shade.
17. Talk a walk. You probably won’t have a choice about walking around campus, but don’t always be in a great hurry. Enjoy the sights and sounds as you stroll to class.
18. The Girl Scouts were right. Make new friends, but keep the old.
19. Budget. It is an ugly six-letter word, but sticking to one will help you avoid its uglier four-letter cousin – debt.
20. Be a good roomie. Kindness and courtesy go a long way toward living together in a 20x20 room.
21. Try something new. Art, sports, yoga – now is the time to expose yourself to new and wonderful talents you never knew existed.
22. Study abroad. Ok maybe not in your freshman year, but make plans now so you don’t miss out on the opportunity to do so.
23. Don’t procrastinate. There are a million fun things to do, but don’t put off your studies until the last minute. There’s time for everything.
24. Free activities abound. From concerts to movies, you will find all kinds of free activities if you look. Take advantage of them.
25. Do something good. Become an active volunteer. You will feel fuller knowing you made a difference. Use SignUpGenius to recruit your friends to join you.

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26. Ask for help. Struggling with a class? Talk to your professor and get a tutor before you fall behind.
27. Don’t get lost. Find your classroom before the first day of class. Don’t want to be that guy who walks in 15 mins late and all outta breath because you were lost.
28. Superstar. Top of your class? Become a tutor. You will help others succeed and possibly earn a little extra spending money.
29. Be social. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Foursquare, etc. let your networking wings spread.
30. New vs. Used. Buy used books. Every time.
31. Laugh out loud. Often.
32. CTRL S. Have you ever had your computer die while you are working on it? Yeah, the computer ate my term paper excuse doesn’t fly with professors. Back up your work.
33. Be safe. Don’t do anything stupid, and by all means don’t go out alone at night. Use the buddy system you learned in elementary school. It will serve you well.
34. Intern. If you want to be competitive in the job market when you graduate, work in your field now. It’s never too early for an internship – even if you just get coffee.

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35. Shower shoes are not an option. Wear them, always.
36. Sleep. Sounds silly, but between studying and having fun a lot of late nights lie ahead. Listen to your body and make sure you also get enough sleep.
37. Be open. New people, new opinions and new walks of life. Take them all in and be open to learning something new and wonderful along the way.
39. Dr. Mom. The first time you are sick it will hit you that mom isn’t there to take care of you. Call her and listen to her if she tells you to visit the clinic. She still knows best.
40. Flash your ID. Many retailers (and movie theaters) offer student discounts. Always carry your student ID and always ask about a possible discount.
41. Take notes. Lots of them. Then don’t just let them sit, review them.
42. Be kind. Always.
43. Extracurricular activities aren’t just fun. They are also your chance to dip your toes into something you might want to do for a career.
44. Ouch. Keep a simple first-aid kit on hand with Tylenol and bandages. You never know when you or a friend will need them.
45. Lock your doors. Most people wouldn’t dare mess with your stuff, but there are others… Just lock your doors.
46. Do laundry with a friend. Sitting in the laundry mat is boring. Grab with a friend while you wash your duds to pass the time.
47. Get organized. You cannot miss deadlines. Get a calendar, write everything down and get organized. You can thank me later.
48. Minutes count. Know your cell phone plan and don’t rack up a huge phone / texting bill. Mom isn’t there to monitor you, so you have to be smart.
49. Get Weather Smart. Freezing your butt off isn’t cool. The simple solution, watch the weather.
50. Have fun! Just not too much fun.

Jennifer Burg is a flip-flop wearing, Gator-loving, picture-taking, deal-hunting Florida gal. As an overachieving mom of two awesome daughters, making to-do lists helps her remain calm and (somewhat) organized. When she's not planning events and party sign-ups, you can find her blogging at