Below are ten tips directly from a 4th Year Student aimed at giving an edge to a first year. Whether you are only starting your course or degree in the second semester this year or You’ve already knocked one back and are returning for ‘Round 2’ take these tips in and let us know if there any more you would add?

  1. Have an Open Mind. University is the time to explore the world, learn new things, and expand your horizons. Change your perspective a bit, walk a mile in someone else’s shoes – you get the idea. Just make sure you’re always respectful.
  2. The ‘Freshman Fifteen’ totally exists and if you aren’t careful, it turns into the Freshman Twenty. Watch the amount of processed food and starches that you eat. Try to add healthier snacks and meals to your diet once in a while.
  3. Pizza – hope you like it, because you will be eating a lot of it over the next few years. Try not to go overboard with it though – you’ll get tired of it quick and add on a ton of weight.
  4. Don’t do anything stupid (translation: illegal or dangerous). Having to call your friends or your parents for bail money is so not cool. Nor is getting suspended or expelled from school. Or kicked out of a program. Or having your scholarship taken away. Think about the consequences before you act and decide if it is really worth it.
  5. If it comes down to taking out a loan or quitting school, take out the loan. An education is a beautiful thing and so important in our growing economy.
  6. Keeping number 5 in mind, don’t take out more than you need. You have to pay that stuff back.
  7. Register for classes as early as possible – with budget cuts, many schools are offering fewer and fewer sections of particular classes and it is easy to get waitlisted or unable to get into a class you need.
  8. Get involved on campus. Meet people. Have fun. All work and no play is boring.
  9. But remember moderation. Too much socializing is a recipe for bad grades.Take advantage of your college’s counseling center. Often times, these places are free or super low cost. Such a great resource for when you start to feel overwhelmed, going through a breakup, or feeling super stressed. There is nothing wrong with getting help.
  10. Most campuses have free tutoring – take advantage of it sooner than later. If you invest in tutoring early, you could save your grade rather than trying to scramble just before finals.