Tips To Prepare For Freshman Year

This fall will mark the start of college for many incoming freshmen across the country. From new friendships to new responsibilities, freshman year is an exciting and challenging time.

US News recently offered a few tips to help incoming students to prepare for their big year and make the transition as smooth as possible.


Your freshman year will be filled with academic and social demands, which can add up quickly if you aren’t prepared. Experts recommend utilizing digital apps to help optimize your time and organize your schedule.

“I always encourage students to think about things that help them maintain their focus, have a little bit of self-care, but also to have fun,” Josh Stern, vice president for student services and dean of students at Gwynedd Mercy University in Pennsylvania. “They need time to blow off steam, to take care of stress, and there’s lots of resources on campuses to help them do that.”


For many students, freshman year will be the first time away from home. Stern recommends students to set expectations with their parents for how and when to communicate, especially for important matters like grades, bills and financial aid.

“It’s important that they have a conversation with their parents about how often they’re going to be in touch, not just to ask for money or to come home to do laundry,” Stern says. “What are the parents’ expectations for their student in terms of communication and sharing information?”


Your course schedule will determine your workload and responsibilities for the entire year. Unless you’re in an accelerated or dual degree program, experts suggest most students to stay within the recommended number of credits and courses per semester.

“The college recommends a certain number and a certain number of credits for a reason,” Sara Harberson, founder of college consulting firm Application Nation, says. “All the students who take more than that really do struggle for the most part academically, and then it cuts into everything else they want to take advantage of on that college campus – the social opportunities and the extracurricular opportunities.”

Sources: US News, US News

Questions about this article? Email us or leave a comment below.