Freshman year is a brand new start – a time of fresh opportunities and to set the foundation for your university years. Here are some tips for you to get started on the right foot.
Watch Out for the Freshman 15
The Freshman 15 is a term more commonly used in the US. It refers to the amount of weight – usually around 15 pounds – that a student gains in their first year of university.
There are a few reasons for this. Firstly, in secondary school, junior college and even polytechnic, there were compulsory physical education classes to keep your fitness levels and metabolic rate up. In university, however, staying fit is up to you. Secondly, being in university might be the first time you are living alone and manage your own meals. The temptation to snack on fast-food and live on instant noodles for the sake of convenience, would most likely increase.
So to avoid sudden weight gain, do remember to try to eat healthy at least some of the time, and maybe squeeze in some time for physical activities to keep your health in check!
Attend Orientation Camp
The flexibility of a university schedule means that you might see different people in all of your classes. It could become difficult to get to know people and make friends - especially at the beginning. To expand your social network and make friends, try to attend orientation camps specific for your faculty, a society, club or sport that you are interested in. You will meet likeminded people from the incoming cohort, who may end up as your classmates, group mates, and hopefully, lifelong friends.
Plus, these camps are a good place to get to know seniors who have been there and done that – you never know what valuable tips they will be able to give you on how to navigate through your first semester.
Keep Up with Your Classes
Your university results are not like the GCE “A” and “O” level examinations. You do not have the luxury of time to wait until the last year and let one big examination define your future. So tempting as it may be to head out for another night of partying, or to sleep in and skip your 8am lecture, do not.
Exercise some discipline, especially when you have projects or papers due, or if examinations are just around the corner. Every little bit of effort will count in the long-run.
Which brings us to the last point …
Be Realistic About Your Commitments
Many freshmen get ambitious about all the things they are going to do and want to do.
Do not schedule a 14-hour day for yourself just so you can keep your three-day week. Especially, if you know that you would be so tired that you skip most of the classes at the end of the day. Also, read up on course requirements. For instance, if you are not comfortable with public speaking, you might not want to choose a module that has 50 percent weightage on a presentation. In addition, if the professor recommends the module for year two or three students, it might be best not to plunge into the deep end, assuming that you will figure it out eventually.
Finally, if your university uses a bidding system to allocate classes, think twice before you throw all of your bidding points into one class. This is only your first year! You may want to avoid a situation in your later years where you have no bidding points and no choice.