By Yasmine Goodner —

Ah, freshman year. It’s an exciting time in every young adult’s life — a time of newly found freedom. With the independence that comes with living away from home for the first time and having less restrictive class schedules, it’s no wonder why many college grads say their freshman year was their favorite year.

In all of this excitement, however, it’s easy to make mistakes your first year of college. Here are a few tips to make sure your time as a freshman is a success.

Get involved

Yes, it sounds cliché, but getting involved is extremely important in easing you into campus life. Whether you choose a club, sport or intramural team, joining some type of school organization is highly recommended. There are over 500 groups listed on OrgSync, including Greek, religious and cultural organizations. Every student is bound to find something to sparks their interest. Getting involved on campus can help a student make new friends in a school that may otherwise seem big and scary.

Use your meal plan wisely

Flex points and meal swipes are a convenient way to buy food on campus. That’s why it’s important you don’t use them all before the semester is up. When you first come to campus, it can be easy to find yourself spending most of your meal plan because you have direct access to restaurants on campus at all times. However, you should try not to get carried away. Pace yourself and spread out your meal plan so when December comes around, you’re not begging your friends to buy you food.

Utilize your resources

There is a plethora of campus resources to help you become a successful student. Need help on an essay? Go to the library and get some assistance on research. Need to practice a speech? The Speaker’s Center in Strickler Hall is there to help. For just about every concern a student could have, there is sure to be a place on campus to go for assistance. Utilize free tutoring services, as well as your professors’ office hours. They are there to help make your transition to college easy and painless.

Attend class

This seems obvious, but go to class. If you get in the habit of skipping class, you’ll be unprepared for exams and other assignments. You might even miss attendance points, if your professor counts them. You come to college to receive an education, so don’t waste the opportunity by not attending class.

Go to the SRC

The Student Recreation Center is your friend when it comes to avoiding the dreaded freshman 15. This modern facility has all the workout equipment, cycling classes and racquetball courts needed to whip you into shape. Take advantage of having such a nice gym just steps from campus.

Don’t stress

College, for some, is the best years of their life. So, when you’re feeling overwhelmed about an assignment, worrying about meeting new people or feeling homesick, remember you are not alone. Every student feels the same way at some point. Just enjoy your years in college because they really do fly by!

File Photo / The Louisville Cardinal