Freshman year is a really fun and exciting time. You can make loads of friends and excel in all of your classes. You can try new things and finally get the independence you’ve always wanted. Or you can just as easily royally screw everything up. Here’s how to avoid some really easy freshman year mistakes.
Socially speaking, the first two weeks of your freshman year are crucial. Most people are coming into UConn with maybe a friend or two at most, so everyone is feeling the void that their high school friend group left behind. That means that everyone is desperately trying to make new friends and form a new group as fast as possible, and if you somehow miss this window then you may find yourself left out. The best way to take advantage of this time is to leave your door open. If you have it open, then some people may pop in and say hello. If you don’t, then you’ll end up being the person who knows absolutely no one on their floor. You should also try and pop into other people’s open rooms yourself. It may seem awkward, but it’s definitely more awkward to avoid eye contact with them in your shared bathroom later. It’s also ridiculously important to resist the urge to go home on the weekends at first. Weekends are when people get invited to things and where you can bond with your neighbors the most. If you skip out on them, a group you may have been working on creating may completely form without you. Invite people to movie nights in your room or see if they’d be willing to join clubs with you. You’ll have a lot more fun in the long run, even if you do miss your parents and dogs at the beginning.
Academically, starting off on the right foot can either make or break your college career, or at the very least, your starter GPA. Make a list of your assignments for the week, or even take the time to make a horrifying master schedule for the semester. It’s surprisingly easy to pass a class if you do all of the assignments. So make a checklist of what needs to get done, spend some time in the library where you can focus and make study groups (they may not be exactly like the one in “Community” but they are a good way to make friends). You should also try and go to most, if not all, of your classes, even if they don’t require your attendance. It’ll help your grade more in the long run.
Don’t stress too much about these things though. Friends can be made after the first couple weeks, it’s just slightly harder, and any GPA can be fixed over time. It’s going to be a fantastic year and you’ll find UConn isn’t the worst place to be. Just make sure to leave your dorm. Take a swing on the tree by Mirror Lake or a stroll through the greenhouse. You’re going to do great.
Rebecca Maher is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus. She can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.