Extra! Extra! Be All About it: The First Year College Experience

College is no easy transition…for anyone! New place, new people, new opportunities! The key: never let the door close…always OPEN it!

Now that you know how to tackle your anxiety and manage your time, you can certainly MASTER your first year of college. Here are a few tips to guide you to the top (academically, professionally, and socially):

1.Check your email! The first week of school is PRIME time for clubs and activities to solicit you to join them! Actually READ your email! You never know if you only read the subject line! *Personal example: First week of school, I checked my email and found out about SIFE(Students in Free Enterprise) which soon granted me the opportunity I have today working with TestSoup!

2. Read your school’s newspaper/magazine. Even if you only scan the top story headlines, at least you will know what is going on around campus. If you have mastered planning, it is likely that your friends will look to you for plans and or advice around school. You can be the one who is the responsible source for information.

3. Form relationships with your professors up-front. Make it a point to attend their office hours to introduce yourself and do not be shy: ASK QUESTIONS! Professors are passionate about learning and even more passionate about students who crave the same educational success they do. Students can also help professors and educators improve their teaching style and influence the way they approach topics.

4. Always be ahead of the game (sometimes even the professor!) Never wait until the last minute to complete an assignment! Always do it as far in advance as possible, this way if any confusion arises, you can clarify it! You may also save the rest of the class (and maybe the professor) from making the same mistake you did (ie. Typo or unclear directions).

5. Do not be shy as a freshman, or any college student with inexperience. In college, drive matters more than age. Just because you are a freshman, it does not mean you cannot be a leader. Go the extra mile and put yourself out there. If something interests you and you feel passionate enough about it, go for it! *Personal example: September of my freshman year, I became Project Manager overseeing 5 teams (20 total people) working on 5 of Wasabi Ventures, LLC startup companies (TestSoup included!). It was great experience and led me to become co-President of SIFE for the upcoming academic year.

6. Participate! In class, especially in a bigger school, make sure the professor and classmates know your name! A name to a face is very important now and down the road. Participation also demonstrates confidence. A student with confidence is one to admire.

7. Communication is KEY: with friends, professors, advisors, etc. Socially, keep in contact with friends and develop relationships. Relationships and your own support system are very helpful in college when discussing goals, personal lives, and during stressful exam times! Academically, keep in touch with your most talented and influential professors-you never know when you will need a reference or a friendly face to chat. In terms of advisors, especially if you hold a leadership position of any sort, retain contact and always encourage new ideas and never stop developing new ideas. Most of all, don’t forget about your forever-supportive family at home :)

8. Back to Planning is Proactive: PLAN AHEAD! Bring an umbrella, always have your graphing calculator, and highlighters are MUST! Most importantly, combine your Time Management skills with these new skills and prepare for ALL EXAMS/Quizzes/Papers AHEAD of TIME! For example, by Junior year (if not sooner) start planning for Graduate School. Create a favorites folder in your web browser for top B-Schools, Med Schools, or one of your choosing.  In accordance, plan for your admissions by seeking references, editors/critiques for résumés, and admissions essays. Last but certainly not least, prepare for ENTRANCE EXAMS such as GMAT, GRE, or even AF PDG in advance! Your best resource is for this kind of test prep is TestSoup. TestSoup provides AFFORDABLE, FAST, and ACCESSABLE test prep with its web and mobile based flashcards: BlackBerry ready(iPhone and Android coming soon!) Check it out! Try 25 Free today! www.testsoup.com

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