How to be Successful as a College Freshman

Ask any freshman in college and they will tell you that college is nothing like high school. A freshman’s first semester is a lot of trial and error (and many mistakes). In order to succeed in college, freshmen need to find out what works for them and what really doesn’t. Here are examples of some of my experiences as a freshman and how they helped me (or hurt me).

Get close to someone on campus

I am personally close to my work-study boss Ann. I even have her cell phone number. Any time I have a problem or need someone to talk to, I just call or go talk to Ann. All D’Youville freshman are required to do mentorship/work-study for their first semester, called the D’Youville Freshman Experience. Freshmen are paired with D’Youville faculty or staff mentor.  If you like your work-study boss like I do, get close to them! If you and your work-study boss don’t click, try finding another mentor: an older student, a security guard, a lunch lady – anyone who you can talk to.

Find a way to study that works for you

I like to study either alone in the library or in my friend’s room. The 4th floor in the library is a great place to study because everyone up there is always studying. When I feel like I want company I just head to Brandon’s room and study with him and my friend Emily. We always study over a cup of tea and peanut butter & fluff sandwiches.

*One of my friends enjoys listening to piano music while studying, it helps them study.

students studying







My friends and I studying in Brandon’s room….well my friend Emily is taking a solitaire break (busted).

Find good friends

If you’re not a partier and you are trying to be friends with partiers….you have the wrong friends. Try finding people who are more like you. Some people can party and get great grades. I am not one of them (and I hate partying). If you need to study and your friends are dragging you out or stopping you from studying, your grades will suffer.

students posting for a picture


Me, Emily, Brandon, and Sean taking a break from our studies to watch “White Chicks”.

Get good at time management

This is something I am still trying to manage myself. Plan ahead on everything. Write everything out on a calender so you can keep track of it. If you manage your time you’ll be able to study effectively, get everything accomplished in a timely manner, and still have time for friends.

Study=Don’t Memorize

Understand! When you study in high school it’s to memorize. In college you study to understand. I made this mistake in BIO101 last semester. You have to understand the concepts of why something works the way it does. This is probably the one thing that I struggled with the most going from high school to college. My PSY101 teacher Dr. Mattson says that if you can either teach someone else the concepts or relay it back in another version than what’s written, you understand what you are trying to learn.

* College = Learning and understanding

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