Advice for first-year students

Liz Stephens, Columnist

Almost every student who is a sophomore or older could vouch for new students that the first semester is the worst and is full of adjustments. 

My first semester at Eastern was nothing to be proud of, but I learned a lot of good lessons that benefitted me down the road in my college career.

I came up with a short list of things I have learned so far that could benefit an incoming or newer college student. 

1. Don’t try to force yourself into being a morning person if you aren’t a morning person.

The beauty of college is having the freedom to pick your own schedule to an extent.

If you aren’t a morning person, don’t choose to have 8 a.m. classes all semester and end up sleeping through class every day.  

2. As long as you show up to class, your grade will be at least a letter grade higher than if you skip class frequently.

This is a lesson I learned the hard way my freshman year.

I skipped class all the time when my marine boyfriend was home from his deployment and ended up failing most of my classes that semester because I was never there for an attendance grade or for assignments.

Definitely always show up to class, because you will have more wiggle room at the end of the semester if you want to take personal days. 

3. Take advantage of student discounts during college.

Hulu, Spotify, State Farm and even Apple give discounts that are something almost every student can use during college.

When I bought my MacBook Pro from Best Buy, I got $200 off my MacBook just for being a student. I also get a nice discount from State Farm for my car insurance for being able to prove I have good grades.  

4. Always return your textbooks on time.

I don’t know how many times I have forgotten to take back my books on time and have ended up paying hundreds of dollars in fees.

When I went to Lake Land College I paid about a $1,000 for my books because I was five minutes late returning them.

The woman sat outside the bookstore waiting with a smile to tell my best friend Carley and I that I was stuck with them and would receive a bill.  

5. Don’t overload yourself with classes and work to the point your grades suffer.

I made this mistake this semester.

I decided to work 30 hours a week and try to balance an 18 credit hour load.

I ended up being forced to move all my work hours to just weekends so I could try my best to save my grades and be able to enjoy student life.

It may suck to be broke or not have as much income, but you will be grateful that you aren’t overworking yourself in the long run.  

Liz Stephens is a junior journalism major. She can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].