What are some things I need to know about university life as a first year student?

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Answered by: Nora, An Expert in the College Life - General Category
Listen up, because this isn't your mother's guide to university life. There are a lot of things you'll need to know as a first year student. How do I find my classes? Where does all my money go? And why are these bathrooms co-ed?

These are probably just some of the questions you have in your head. Well, my friend, let's take a trip together to begin to learn the ins and outs of what to expect as a first year.

First things first. I know that the chance that you're really anxious about making friends (especially if you're going to a school where you know absolutely no one, like I did) is probably pretty high. The best advice I can give is to be yourself. I know, I know, this is really cliche, but it's true! Talk to your roommate, go on facebook and add everyone you can find.

The thing that most people don't realize is that everyone is in your same position! So just go out there and make a name for yourself! If you're of age, a little alcohol never hurt anyone, just make sure you don't keep drinking and be that person others have to carry home. No one likes that person. I know, I've carried way too many people home in my college career.

Next off, what do you do with your new found freedom? If you're a first year, chances are you're in big lecture classes to complete your general requirements. Most of these classes don't take attendance, and your first impulse may be to simply not go to these classes. I'm not going to lie, I did it many times, but I did it smart.

Are you really good at analyzing Shakespeare but perhaps not the best at understanding Economics? Then take a break from your Shakespeare class occasionally, but make sure you go to Economics. If you have any questions, email your professor. Professors may seem really intimidating at first, but truth be told, they love it when you take the initiative to ask them questions. This subject is their passion! Otherwise they wouldn't be doing this as a career. Trust me on this one--it really pays off in the long run.

You're probably also wondering how to make a little extra cash so you can pay off student loans, go out to eat more, or do what most other college kids are doing and party! Right? Well, if you're enrolled as a full time, matriculating student, chances are your college will have many opportunities for you to work. Granted, working in the school cafeteria may not be the most appealing prospect, but hey! It's cash in your pocket that your parents don't have to put there!

There really is something to be said about truly gaining some financial independence from the parental units. Plus, studies have shown that students with part time jobs tend to perform better in the classroom. Imagine that! Having $400 extra a month AND getting a 3.8 GPA? BRING IT ON is what I say! Oh, and one more bonus? You meet the craziest kids when you're working. It's pretty insane what you can deal with as a cashier at the local lunch joint. Some of them may just become your best friends in the long run. They always say misery loves company, and in a school setting, you'll definitely get some good bonding time in.

There's probably many more questions you have, but that about covers a general guide to university life in my opinion. Let's just hope you remember it amongst all the others things you're going to have to know for that Calculus midterm you have coming up next week!

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