7 College Tips for Freshman | The Best Practical Advice

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Essential Survival Tips for Freshman in College

Incoming students can quickly prepare for the next chapter in life with these college tips for freshman.

Simple, uncomplicated advice for an awesome freshman year.

woman holding up peace sign

Any type of change can be overwhelming, but transitioning from high school to college definitely ranks up there near the top. It’s important to be as prepared as possible for what lies ahead so that you can hit the ground running and not suffer during your first semester.

Preparation is a fine line, though.

It’s easy to overthink it when there are thousands of tips for college freshman. And overthinking often equals extra (and usually unnecessary) worrying…

Which only adds to stress levels around back-to-school, and no one needs that.

That’s why:

We kept these college freshman tips to just the essentials.  

We’ll cover seven pointers that professors, college admission offices, and college students all recommend for achieving success during your freshman year and beyond. If you’re willing to be diligent and take advantage of them, you’re sure to have an amazing college experience.


7 No-Nonsense College Freshman Tips

college study group using laptops

1) Join a Study Group

This first college tips for freshman is crucial for ongoing success.

One of the best ways to get the most out of your classes is to join a study group. Make sure, though, that you’re actually studying!

Whether it’s a more formal group put together by the college or an informal gathering of friends that you’ve assembled, take the time to compare notes and fill in the missing pieces.


Even with a computer, you won’t be able to catch everything that your professor says in your notes. But with a couple classmates, you’ll have the vast majority of all the important information.


You can take the time to discuss the important material for upcoming assessments. Explaining is an excellent way to make the material “your own,” if you will.


In case you decide to enroll in an online school, don’t be discouraged by thinking that you won’t find a study group to join. Most online schools have programs that can help you connect with other online students.

woman checking the time on smart watch

2) Learn Time Management

Out of all the college freshman tips I have for you, I can’t stress this one enough.

Time management is one of the most important aspects of college.

You’ll have assignments in a variety of different classes due at different times, which is why you need to learn how to prioritize. Don’t wait until the end of the semester to start working on all of your larger assignments no matter how tempting it may be!


Learn to avoid the procrastination bug. At college you’ll see many people procrastinating, but resist that if you want success in college.

Just work on the assignments that you have in the order that they’re due (and prioritize the big ones your grade depends on).


Don’t try to have fun and study at the same time. Neither will get done well. It’s always better to whole-ass one thing than to half-ass two things.

If you actively manage your time well, you ‘ll be able to have fun without stressing.

More quick advice for freshman in college:

Don’t take too many classes, especially upper level classes and writing intensive classes, and don’t pull all-nighters. It’s no surprise, but studies have found that all-nighters lead to lower grades.

Finally, and this goes without saying, but do the readings, turn in your assignments, go to class, read the syllabus, and pay attention in class!

group of women learning from one

3) Talk to Your Professors

This definitely isn’t going to be the cool thing to do, but your professors are a great resource. Be willing to reach out to them and ask for assistance.

Try going to office hours for more than just help on an essay or homework.

Professors can:

  • help with deciding what classes are going to be right for you
  • talk to you about internships and other opportunities
  • and give great personal advice.

Plus, they will be the ones writing letters of recommendation, so you’ll want to make a good impression. Don’t overlook this college tip for freshman!

group of girls laughing together

4) Get in a Good Crowd of People

If you want to do well in college, you want to get in with a good group of friends.


Your buddies will have an immense impact on your college experience. But make sure that you don’t waste time with tons of partying, something you’ll regret later in your 20s.


Make friends with some people who are going to study (but who will have a good time once they’re honestly ready for the next week).

houses overlooking waterfront in Europe

5) Take Advantage of the Opportunities

Many college tips for freshman revolve around school work. Class is only one part of the college experience, though.

Just remember that:

As a college student, the world is your oyster.

Take advantage of all the opportunities available to you: studying abroad, internships, college programs, clubs, and trips.


It’s not a bad idea to broaden your horizons by taking some classes outside of your major. You might find a new life-long interest!

man alseep with book over face in chair

6) Have a Good Balance

Probably the best advice for freshman is making life balance a priority. 

The saying often goes that you can only do two things well in college—social life, academics, or sleep—and you have to pick one to abandon. Many people opt to lessen their hours of sleep, but the best option to pick is a slightly reduced social life.

Even though you’re young:

You still need your sleep, and four hours is just not going to cut it.

Do yourself a favor and get at least seven hours of sleep a night. Your success in college will be heavily influenced by whether or not you can master the balancing act.

woman wearing college graduation cap

7) Remember Why You’re There


Remember that going to college is an great opportunity, so don’t take it for granted.


Be grateful that you’re there.

Pick your major carefully, as it will have a significant impact on your life later on, and try to spend your limited money well so that you can graduate as close to debt-free as possible.



Conclusions on college advice for freshman…

Remember that freshman year isn’t 13th grade. Take it seriously, think about your future, and you’ll be good to go.

Utilize these 7 college tips for freshman for a smooth college experience from beginning to end. 


Have any college advice for freshman that you want to share?

Leave a comment below!



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7 College Tips for Freshman | The Best Practical Advice

1 comment
  1. These are great tips for new college students. I’m glad you mentioned time management because this is one of the biggest problems I’ve seen new students have.

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