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College Admissions: 8 Things They Won’t Tell You in Freshman Orientation

Monday, September 01, 2014


As families pack suitcases and head off to the first week of college, there is a whirl of excitement. At the same time, freshmen (and their parents) face a host of questions and new challenges, not all of which are dealt with in orientation.

Here are a few tips to help make the transition easier:

1. Check out your professors before you sign up for courses. There are many online resources today, including Rate My Professor. Having a good professor can make all the difference, so choose your classes with insight!

2. Buy used text books or rent them, if you are trying to save money. Check out Campus Bookstore other online text book resources to rent or buy books, and avoid the high prices in the campus bookstore.

3. Join at least three clubs on campus. Be open to new ideas, types of people and experiences. Your best friend may not end up being your roommate or the person next door, and that's OK. Clubs offer you an opportunity to meet people with similar interests who might be more your style. So, join an intramural sports team, the school newspaper, outing club, student government or a community service club.

4. Make sure that you know where the campus health services offices are and the nearest hospital. All families should have a health-care proxy in place so parents can receive information from a doctor or hospital about their child in case of emergency.

5. Resist the temptation to text/call home every day, and parents resist the urge to know everything that is going on in your child's new life on campus. Also, students should try to embrace new friendships and be careful not to fall back too heavily on high school friends. It can hamper your adjustment to college life if you are constantly texting people from home.

6. Visit the campus tutoring center and understand what services are available to you before you need them! From biology tutors to writing centers, most colleges provide an abundance of support.

7. Be careful of drugs and alcohol. Although most freshmen are underage, many will be exposed to situations in which there is heavy drinking and perhaps drugs are present. Caution in party situations is necessary (never put your drink down or leave it unattended) and remember that alcohol poisoning can be deadly. Also, know that drugs and "herbal" substitutes (like Spice) can have critical consequences. The bottom line is that you DO NOT KNOW what is contained in any pill, powder or other substance that is offered to you.

8. Don’t walk alone at night (young men or women), call campus security or walk in groups, and be careful of running in early morning hours when the campus is not yet bustling. Sadly, college campuses can attract unsavory characters, and too many students have been assaulted or gone missing when alone at odd hours.

Freshman year marks an exciting new chapter of life. Take the time to embrace all that is new, explore your passions and soar to new heights, but be careful in the process.

Cristiana Quinn, M.Ed. is the founder of College Admission Advisors, LLC, a Providence-based educational consulting firm which provides strategic, individual counseling for college-bound students.http://www.collegeadvisorsonline.com


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