Back of young White woman walking on sunny campus with backpack

7 Things You Must Do Your Freshman Year of College

There are certain things you shouldn't miss out on during freshman year. Get involved early and find great opportunities throughout college with this advice!

College is about so much more than continuing your education. Don’t get me wrong, studying is important, but there are a lot of other things to experience and do in your first years away from home. Of course, you (usually) have four years to see and do it all, but there are some preliminary things you should do as a freshman that can help you find other great opportunities during the rest of your college career.

1. Do something that’s totally not “you”

College is all about stretching yourself, and what better way than to try out new events on campus? Whether it’s going to a play, a lecture in a different major, or just playing video games with your new dormmates, you can learn a ton from trying new things. Plus, you might find something you really enjoy that you never would have tried otherwise.

Related: 6 Important Ways to Get Involved on Campus

2. Attend a sporting event

Whether you went to a lot of games in high school or not, college sports can still be fun to watch. Depending on the athletic conference and size of your school, college sports can be a much bigger deal than high school—and a lot more exciting as a result. It’s also a great way to bond with your new friends or even support them if they’re playing. Get a group together, grab your favorite school spirit shirt, stop by the concession stand, and have fun supporting your favorite team.

3. Take advantage of free stuff

One of college students’ biggest concerns, besides going to class and keeping their grades up, is keeping track of finances when they may not have a regular income. Fortunately, many events and businesses that cater to college students know this. That’s why events on campus (and even some off campus) like guest speakers, sports games, theater productions, and concerts are usually free or heavily discounted for students. This doesn’t even count free swag and free snacks. There may never be another time in your life where you are this close to this much free entertainment—or free food—so take advantage while you can.

Related: Where and How to Find Free Events in College

4. Spend a day really exploring campus

Whether this means hanging out at the student center, taking yourself on a tour the first week to get to know your new school’s layout, or looking for fun activities at the gym, there will be lots to see and do on campus. A college campus can be intimidating sometimes, but you can speed up the process of making it feel like home by digging in and getting to know it just as well as (if not better than) the upperclassmen.

5. Explore the local area

Going to college is a great opportunity to get to know someplace you’ve probably never lived before. Whether you’re in a big city, small town, or somewhere in between, there is always something new to explore. Most college towns will have events and resources geared specifically towards students, but you can also look into your town’s tourism website or office to see what they recommend to newcomers.

Related: Great Colleges If You Want to Live in the Big City

6. Join at least one campus organization

Remember everyone preaching at you in high school to get involved? Well, for better or worse, that doesn’t stop in college. There are plenty of ways to get involved with organizations on campus no matter what your interests are. In addition to something that looks good on your résumé, student organizations can help you figure out what you want to do for a major or career, build relationships with those who have similar interests, and make friends you may or may not meet otherwise.

7. Pick up a new hobby

All the new things you’re trying in college don’t need to be academic or social. Whether it’s something you’ve always wanted to try or something you read about yesterday, starting a hobby is a cool way to meet new people with shared interests or just to kill time with something you really enjoy between classes. It’s also a great to take with you when you go home for breaks or when classes are cancelled when Mother Nature shows up with a foot of snow (or a tropical storm or whatever she’s up to that day).

Related: How to Turn Your Hobbies Into Scholarships With Ease

The real way to have the best possible first year of college is to stop overthinking everything. Nothing will be perfect. You’re going to make mistakes. And there will be a lot going on all at once. As long as you’re doing your best, having fun, and getting involved on campus in one way or another, you’re going to lay a strong foundation for the next four (or more) years of your life.

Have the best freshman year possible with all the advice in our blogs and articles for first-year students

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now

Tags:

About Emily Rogan

Emily Rogan is a student at Morehead State University, where she's studying Communications and Theater. When she's not in school, she is an actor, musician, singer, and writer.

 

Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Lu Diehl

Lu Diehl

High School Class of 2022

I never would have found the college I plan on attending without CollegeXpress! I've always been a person of ambition and have been dreaming of studying and working on my passion for law, legal studies, and political science. Washington College is where I plan on pursuing my career. My journey with my education has been difficult, and oftentimes, I was told I would never amount to much, but now I'm dual enrolled at Caroll Community College and have had experience in the fields I am dedicated to. Without the help of CollegeXpress (even in its early days), I would never have found Washington College and the information I need to apply and become a part of their community.

Khush

Khush

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress is a multi-maneuver platform that has been helping students in their college applications and scholarship hunt process. For me, CollegeXpress has been a boon. I've been able to find my dream university via CX, and I've also been able to apply to thousands of scholarships through it. All the thanks to CollegeXpress for doing such a great job for free. I express my sincere gratitude to you for doing such a wonderful job. I recommend CollegeXpress without any reservations.

Monica

Monica

High School Class of 2023

Being a sophomore in high school, I never really worried about college. I thought it wasn't important to worry about until senior year. Through this program opportunity I came across, I realized how important it is to start looking at colleges early and start planning ahead. CollegeXpress has opened my eyes to what colleges require, what colleges are near me, and what they offer. The daily emails I get from CollegeXpress really help me look at the different options I have and what colleges I fit into. Without this website, I would not be taking the time out of my day to worry about what my future will be nor what opportunities I have. I could not be more grateful for such an amazing and useful website. It's thanks to CollegeXpress that not only me but my family now know how much potential I have in to getting into these colleges/universities that we thought were out of my reach.

Casey Kammeyer

Casey Kammeyer

$500 Refer-A-Friend Scholarship Winner

I love the site CollegeXpress; it has been very helpful finding colleges and getting them to send me information. It has also been very, very helpful with finding tons of scholarships. Also, I told many of my friends about it and they love it as well!

Hailey Riddile

Hailey Riddile

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress has helped me find scholarships to apply for and look into more colleges. While there are many websites similar to CollegeXpress, every website is different, and I've found a lot of good insight on this website. Receiving emails from CollegeXpress about scholarships is extremely useful, and getting insight about colleges near, far, and anywhere in between helps me narrow down my choices to what I want, which is also super helpful. The articles are always really good reads, and I can't stress enough how helpful this website has been to me. Anything related to college is beneficial to me as a senior, and I have learned lots of useful things to help me on my college journey this year.

College Matches
X

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Samford University

Birmingham, AL

University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, OH

Stevenson University

Stevenson, MD