Tips on surviving freshman year

Graduating from high school is as exciting as it is stressful. You're closing the door on one four-year experience while you anxiously wait yet another just around the corner. Many students in our cohort area going to be freshmen all over the country starting in the fall, and I sat down with a Syracuse University professor and PhD student, Rachael Shapiro, to get her insight on how to be the best underclassman you can be.

One of the biggest culture shocks about university life is the difference in scheduling. In high school, you were in one building all day and knew what to expect. As many of you gear up for your first few weeks of college at the end of the summer, it's important to think about time management skills. This is especially important because for the first time, many of you are going to be choosing your own schedules independently.

"Think about your personal rhythms," Shapiro said. "For instance, a person who works well in the morning should be sure to attend to homework then, whereas night owls should block off later hours for work."

Unlike in high school, college students often have breaks in between classes that can last anywhere from 20 minutes to five or six hours. Take advantage of this time, but also be careful of the myth, "I'll get it done on my break."

"Don't put off large projects until you have large chunks of time to attend to them, since sometimes those never comes-instead, maintain a list of large and small projects and use the 10, 15, or 20 minutes between engagements to get started on those items," Shapiro advised.

Having roommates in the dorm room can make studying difficult for some, so it's important to become familiar with your campus right away. Scouting out quiet locales is an important tactic for those who need to get work done undisturbed.

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