COLLEGE SAVINGS 101

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8 things to know going into your freshman year of college
http://www.savingforcollege.com/articles/8-things-to-know-going-into-your-freshman-year-of-college-963

Posted: 2016-08-25

by Lulu Curiel

Itís the moment youíve been waiting for. All of your hard work from the past four years has paid off. Now, you embark on a new phase of your life Ė college. And just like high school, these next four years will fly by. From our experience, itís important to maintain perspective as you enter this transition into adulthood.

To help ease anxiety and any woes you may have, weíve created this list of advice to help prepare you for your freshman year of college:

1. Utilize campus resources

In addition to providing access to learning centers and tutor resources, all colleges offer opportunities for students to conduct research, participate in internships, or assist in large-scale academic endeavors. These resources open up a world of connections and insights that may not otherwise have been available to you.

2. Select professors, not courses

As a first year undergrad, youíre often forced to focus on taking your prerequisite courses. Even if this is the case, instead of searching through your course guide based on what sounds interesting, try to also focus on finding the best professors on campus and enroll in their courses.

A good professor can transform a prerequisite course from fundamental to intriguing by bringing a new light to the subject. Before finalizing your course selections, make an effort to visit several classes to help you settle on your final schedule. Think about it like this, you only have roughly 40 courses during your entire time in college. You donít want to waste your time or energy by settling into an academic environment that doesnít provide value to you.

RELATED: A guide to applying to scholarships

3. Embrace campus life

As a focused and diligent student, it will be tempting to seclude yourself with your studies. But remember, youíre going to college to get an education and half of that education is outside the doors of the classroom. Getting involved in academic clubs, social organizations and professional associations are all great opportunities to enhance your college experience. Even if this means stepping outside your comfort zone, student interaction will help you make new acquaintances, avoid homesickness, and allow you to feel more connected to your university.

4. Find a spot to study

Loud dorm halls and other nuances of shared living spaces can be distracting. We encourage you to explore campus and find a spot or two that you can escape to when you need to focus. It could be a spot in the upper stacks of the main library, an unoccupied classroom, or outdoors under a 100-year-old oak tree. Find a spot that provides privacy, great lighting and space for you to have concentrated, quiet time.

5. Meet with your professors

Believe it or not, your professors care a great deal about you and they want to get to know you. Professors will offer designated times per week when you can come into their office and speak with them about almost anything. We highly recommend going to their office hours early in the semester to introduce yourself. Professors often have hundreds of students coming in and out their classrooms per day, and meeting you face-to-face will not only show initiative on your part, but will also help you stand out of crowd.

Their office hours are also a great place to discuss projects and to seek more advice if you come into any issues later in the semester.

RELATED: 4 tips to make the most of scholarships

6. Be confident in your abilities, donít compare yourself

Whether you are an international student or simply feel a bit intimidated by your fellow peers, try to remain confident in your abilities. Universities donít make mistakes when they admit students. They chose you to join their community because they believe you are a valuable part of their culture. Appreciate your strengths and use this experience as an opportunity to grow and learn from the extraordinary students and faculty surrounding you.

7. Get to know your academic advisor

Students are assigned an academic advisor based on their major. This person, along with your professors, is available as a resource. More specifically, academic advisors can help you choose or drop courses, decide on majors or minors, or can be the person you turn to when you have academic conflicts. In some scenarios, students may not click with their advisor. If this happens, donít be afraid to request another advisor.

8. Take care of you

In your first semester, or even first year of college, you will learn that college life is a balancing act. You may find yourself overwhelmed by coursework and social activities. Be sure you set aside time to enjoy yourself, but not to the point of losing sight of your goals. One aspect of college is learning how to take care of yourself. This means managing a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting sufficient sleep. You need to take care of your mind and body in order to be successful academically.

RELATED: 10 financial aid myths: What you donít know can cost you


Lulu Curiel is the Founder and CEO of†Ivy Advisors, a leading Admissions Consulting company that helps people with their application process for college and graduate school. Lulu has helped over hundreds of people construct their application strategies and gain admissions to their respective dream schools. Prior to Ivy Advisors, Lulu worked at Apple and Deloitte Consulting. She has an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Boston University.

Itís the moment youíve been waiting for. All of your hard work from the past four years has paid off. Now, you embark on a new phase of your life Ė college. And just like high school, these next four years will fly by. From our experience, itís important to maintain perspective as you enter this transition into adulthood.

To help ease anxiety and any woes you may have, weíve created this list of advice to help prepare you for your freshman year of college:

1. Utilize campus resources

In addition to providing access to learning centers and tutor resources, all colleges offer opportunities for students to conduct research, participate in internships, or assist in large-scale academic endeavors. These resources open up a world of connections and insights that may not otherwise have been available to you.

2. Select professors, not courses

As a first year undergrad, youíre often forced to focus on taking your prerequisite courses. Even if this is the case, instead of searching through your course guide based on what sounds interesting, try to also focus on finding the best professors on campus and enroll in their courses.

A good professor can transform a prerequisite course from fundamental to intriguing by bringing a new light to the subject. Before finalizing your course selections, make an effort to visit several classes to help you settle on your final schedule. Think about it like this, you only have roughly 40 courses during your entire time in college. You donít want to waste your time or energy by settling into an academic environment that doesnít provide value to you.

RELATED: A guide to applying to scholarships

3. Embrace campus life

As a focused and diligent student, it will be tempting to seclude yourself with your studies. But remember, youíre going to college to get an education and half of that education is outside the doors of the classroom. Getting involved in academic clubs, social organizations and professional associations are all great opportunities to enhance your college experience. Even if this means stepping outside your comfort zone, student interaction will help you make new acquaintances, avoid homesickness, and allow you to feel more connected to your university.

4. Find a spot to study

Loud dorm halls and other nuances of shared living spaces can be distracting. We encourage you to explore campus and find a spot or two that you can escape to when you need to focus. It could be a spot in the upper stacks of the main library, an unoccupied classroom, or outdoors under a 100-year-old oak tree. Find a spot that provides privacy, great lighting and space for you to have concentrated, quiet time.

5. Meet with your professors

Believe it or not, your professors care a great deal about you and they want to get to know you. Professors will offer designated times per week when you can come into their office and speak with them about almost anything. We highly recommend going to their office hours early in the semester to introduce yourself. Professors often have hundreds of students coming in and out their classrooms per day, and meeting you face-to-face will not only show initiative on your part, but will also help you stand out of crowd.

Their office hours are also a great place to discuss projects and to seek more advice if you come into any issues later in the semester.

RELATED: 4 tips to make the most of scholarships

6. Be confident in your abilities, donít compare yourself

Whether you are an international student or simply feel a bit intimidated by your fellow peers, try to remain confident in your abilities. Universities donít make mistakes when they admit students. They chose you to join their community because they believe you are a valuable part of their culture. Appreciate your strengths and use this experience as an opportunity to grow and learn from the extraordinary students and faculty surrounding you.

7. Get to know your academic advisor

Students are assigned an academic advisor based on their major. This person, along with your professors, is available as a resource. More specifically, academic advisors can help you choose or drop courses, decide on majors or minors, or can be the person you turn to when you have academic conflicts. In some scenarios, students may not click with their advisor. If this happens, donít be afraid to request another advisor.

8. Take care of you

In your first semester, or even first year of college, you will learn that college life is a balancing act. You may find yourself overwhelmed by coursework and social activities. Be sure you set aside time to enjoy yourself, but not to the point of losing sight of your goals. One aspect of college is learning how to take care of yourself. This means managing a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and getting sufficient sleep. You need to take care of your mind and body in order to be successful academically.

RELATED: 10 financial aid myths: What you donít know can cost you


Lulu Curiel is the Founder and CEO of†Ivy Advisors, a leading Admissions Consulting company that helps people with their application process for college and graduate school. Lulu has helped over hundreds of people construct their application strategies and gain admissions to their respective dream schools. Prior to Ivy Advisors, Lulu worked at Apple and Deloitte Consulting. She has an MBA from the Harvard Business School, and a B.S. in Computer Engineering from Boston University.

 

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