After working hard for over a decade, most students are ready for the freedom that comes with the freshman year of college. However, that freedom also comes with many temptations and distractions which can hurt your chances to make good grades and start off with a successful first year at school. Drugs, alcohol, late nights, partying, and skipping classes are all things that can affect your performance and grades, so it’s important to have a plan in mind on how to combat these activities before your first semester begins.
Read on to find out how you can prepare for a successful freshman year and avoid falling into some of the traps that many college students are tripped up by.
Situation One: Your roommate is pressuring you to try drugs with him
Solution: In this instance, it’s important for you to think about all the “what-ifs”. Many college students start doing drugs not for recreational purposes, but because they need a boost of energy to pull an all-nighter, or to feel like they can keep up with their friends. Peer pressure is a huge factor in many students’ lives, no matter what year they are in school, and being prepared can help you think on your feet and say no when the time comes. A good way to do this is to think about what the consequences would be if you started doing drugs;
- falling behind in classwork
- possibly failing a class
- disappointing your family
- being kicked out of school
- incarceration from engaging in illegal activity
These are just a few of the ways your life would be irrevocably changed. Do you really want to risk your school career–and possibly your future–because your friend pressured you?
Think of some ways you can firmly and sincerely say no when you’re presented with drugs. You don’t have to burn any bridges, especially if the individual is your roommate or someone you’ll see every day. However, sticking to your guns and showing that you’re serious is the only way you’ll keep that peer pressure at bay.
Situation Two: You’ve gotten distracted and are now falling behind in classes
Solution: It’s nothing to feel bad about; it happens to the best of us, especially during freshman year. Maybe you have a new relationship, or you’ve made new friends and have invested more time in hanging out than doing homework. Things may still be salvageable, so don’t give up hope. Depending on how late in the semester it is, you might be able to go to your professors and explain that you’ve fallen behind and ask for a little help. Some instructors might not be as forgiving as others, however, so don’t depend on that. Instead, buckle down and cut out any distractions that will keep you from focusing. This means turning off the television and your smartphone while you’re studying or doing homework, and letting your friends and significant other know that you won’t be able to go out for a while.
Situation Three: You aren’t getting enough sleep due to stress and time management issues
Solution: Time management is a huge part of being a student, especially in college, because the professors won’t hold your hand; you’ve got to keep up with your assignments and testing dates. Set aside a certain amount of time for studying every day and minimize all distractions during that time.
It’s also important to take care of yourself. Eat well-balanced meals, get 8 hours of sleep every night–yes, it’s possible–and exercise daily. College life can be very demanding, but it’s imperative that you remember why you’re there.