As a freshman, you’ll get more options across a range of things than you’ll know what to do with. From scholarships, resources, topics, classes, friends – it’s an entirely new environment to which you have to adapt to, whether you like it or not.
Now, you don’t have to go out partying with your frat buddies every day, but you do need to take your academia as seriously as possible. You need to plan your next move after your freshman year of college passes.
It’s easier said than done, though. Research shows that one in two freshmen feel stressed due to their studies, and most of the reasons behind this are the many new experiences and challenges that college brings.
Worry not, as we’re here to help. Below, we’ll give you a brief on freshmen, common freshman mistakes, how you can get help as a freshman, as well as some fantastic resources for first-year college students. As long as you keep this article in mind, your first year of college will be stress-free.
The Most Common Freshman Mistakes
Freshmen make quite a lot of mistakes, and we've all been through this. Mistakes happen, both personal and academic – and it’s completely fine. Now, why would you learn from your own mistakes when you can learn from the mistakes of other college freshmen?
Well, to make this easier for you, here are some of the most common mistakes that freshmen make:
- Missing out on their classes
- Postponing their studying
- Next to no time management
- Partying too much
- Not sticking to a predetermined budget
- Not seeking out financial aid
That is in no way a complete list, though – it just outlines the most prominent problems that college freshmen face when they are first starting. Sadly, avoiding all of these issues will be hard, especially if this is your first time taking care of yourself and out of the home.
Where to Get Help – Resources on Campus
Now, depending on who you are and what you need, you’ll want to approach a different organization in your faculty. If you’re in a good college, you’ll likely have a wide range of on-campus centers that can help you with a wide range of issues. Some of the best places to seek help as a freshman are:
Before there was the internet, there was the humble library. However, now that the web is full of all kinds of distractions, the library can be an excellent study area. Every college campus will have a library that allows you to focus on your studies and even get help with your tests.
If you're finding it pretty hard to go over the new learning material, perhaps you should solicit a tutor. Most campuses have some sort of tutoring center that will provide either a personal tutor or additional classes to help you with your studies.
Financial Aid Center
Many students can't afford all the expenses associated with college life. Luckily, you have financing and financial aid options, often in the form of an organization on campus. Make sure to make the most out of your academia and get the financing you deserve.
The American Health system is highly controversial, but college students, especially freshmen, need to know that your campus will likely have health services if there is ever an emergency. College health services can help you with minor issues or if you're suffering from a chronic disease.
Many students are so worked up that they forget to eat their three square meals a day. Eating out can be incredibly expensive, which is why you should look at the dining services on campus. These services will get you the meals you need to stay healthy while you study.
Scholarships and Financial Aid for Freshmen Students
We’ve talked briefly about financial aid for students in the previous section, but we need to elaborate on it. College in the United States is very expensive, and just because some can’t afford to pay it out of pocket doesn’t mean that they should be left out of getting a proper education.
Several institutions, on and off-campus, offer financial aid to students based on their income bracket, race, and grades. Some of the most popular financing institutions for college freshmen are FinAid, FAFSA, and CSA/FAP.
As long as you work hard in your studies and do your best in school, you might be able to get financial aid for your studies.
Financial aid doesn't only come in the form of financing for students, as some organizations offer scholarships for first-year college students. Some of the most buzzing scholarships opportunities for first-year college students are:
- American Red Cross – Leaders Save Lives Scholarship Program, up to $2,500
- Bodie McDowell Scholarship, $5,000
- CDPAP Department of Edison HHC Educational Scholarship, $1,000 annually
- Class Endowed Scholarships, $5,000
- Howard L. Aslinger Memorial Scholarship Foundation
- International Student Grant 30% of tuition provided annually
- Jewish United Fund Merit Scholarship Program, $1,000
- Kosciusko County Community Foundation Scholarship
- LGBTQA+ Fashion Scholarship, up to $1,000
- Lutheran Scholarships, up to $30,000
- Mary “Alane” Marks Memorial Scholarship
- National Black MBA Association Undergraduate Scholarships, up to $10,000
- NSA Scholarship Foundation Awards, $2,000
- Undergraduate/Single-Mother Child Scholarship, up to $10,000
- WWF Conservation Leadership Award, $5,000
Now, this is in no way a complete list. Thousands upon thousands of organizations help each first-year college student to get their education – these are just some of the popular options. If you want to find the best option for you, it's best to do your own research.
Additional Resources for First-Year College Students
In this section, we’ll provide you with ten more resources you can make use of as a first-year college student. If a resource is available and free, you should make the most out of it.
Students don't like spending all their days studying, and many of them are aching to get into the business world but have next to no idea how to do that. Well, most campuses have career centers that help students get orientated to find a career that they enjoy. Some of these centers can even score you an internship. Click here and find out the list of traits that employers look for in college-aged employees.
The list of the best budgeting apps – There are on-campus and off-campus tools, resources, and services that help you plan your weekly and monthly budget so you can fit in as much as possible without living off ramen noodles at the end of each month. It’s usually only after freshmen burn through all their money that they start to learn about budgeting.
Cheap car insurance for college students – Many services can help you finance your car insurance and might even give you a discount on it since you're a student. While car insurance is mandatory, and it can be pretty expensive, using such services can help to save your money and to go out and about safely.
Companies that have affordable investment options – There are lots of advantages to start investing in college, though unlike the dogecoin millionaires, it's best to play it safe and learn what you're doing beforehand. Now, while Dogecoin and GME have made their mark on the world of investment, fads like these are not the best long-term investments.
Coupon Lawn is the platform with the majority of popular stores and retailers that have college freshman discounts – just make sure to ask for them. In fact, many colleges have clubs, groups, and services that are all about saving as much money as possible. So it appears that one of the benefits of being a student is that you get discounts on practically everything.
Dorm room Services
DormSmart is a service that offers some top tips on how to accommodate dorm room living for first-year college students without stress. Here you’ll find some advice and services that will help you get accustomed to dorm room living, curing your homesickness, and helping you with your new lifestyle.
College Romances is the best start in case you’re looking for a relationship in college. While there is lots of love in the air on every campus and you’re looking to mingle, you can do so in some of the frat parties, on college campuses, or even dating clubs in the college itself – just keep an eye out.
5 Mental Health Tips is an article that lists practical tips about self-care. Keeping yourself sane during your studies is a challenge, and it’s okay to be stressed. In fact, students are more stressed today than they ever were. You can seek out counselling on campus grounds, or you can work on self-improvement to help yourself stay healthy during student life. If you are suffering from major issues, please seek professional help.
A guide to different college meal plans will help you with choosing the right dieting option for you. It is one of the most important things you need to take care of, especially if you don’t have access to home cooking anymore. Make sure to eat at least three square meals a day, every day.
Federal Student Aid is the official Office of the U.S. Department of Education that offers financing options for students, including freshmen. The internet is crawling with fantastic financing tips for students, so you’re advised to do some research and find more financing tips that would suit you. Alternatively, such options are usually offered by various financing institutions near your campus, so make sure to give them a visit.
If you’re a college freshman, the world must seem far, far scarier than it is. Don't worry about it, though – nothing is out of your reach, and you'll look back on your first year of college as one of the fondest years of your life.