It’s five weeks into your first year of college. How’s it going? Too much homework? Or perhaps you’ve skipped the homework to do other things? You’re an independent college student now. It sounds fun, but it can also get a bit crazy. Thankfully, we have some great people from this very campus who are ready to give you the 10 best ways to have a fantastic freshmen year.

 

1. Plan ahead

Your life will be much easier if you properly arrange your daily schedule. Block out your free time during the day so that you can start homework in a timely manner. Junior Kyle Meserve suggests printing out class schedules and posting them in different locations – near your bed, near your desk, in your locker room. You’ll never forget this way. Plan ahead, and stick to your plan.

 

2. Be friends with professors

It’s true: the professors here are our biggest fans. They are the ones helping us understand the class material, metaphysically supporting us when we’re on the in list and cheering us on at sports games. They want to see us succeed, and they will help us. It’s up to us to initiate this communication, though. Send an email or stop by during office hours.

 

3. Say ‘yes’ to cool opportunities

It is Meserve’s third year, and he has successfully completed a new activity every semester: drum lessons, violin lessons, tennis lessons, Frisbee, production, an abroad and more. There are so many things to choose from, but it’s all about deciding to jump in and join.

 

4. Don’t be afraid of the library

The Marshall Brooks Library may sound daunting, cold and uninviting. However, it can be really fun. There’s even a little machine where you can get hot chocolate for 25 cents. In all seriousness, though, finding a quiet place to study in the library helps reduce the hours you spend on homework. It’s also a great place to go between your classes to get a start on assignments.

 

5. Give gratitude

Junior Tory Silver recognizes the responsibilities that build up in college. “What do you do in a stressful situation? Grab a cheese stick and watch ‘30 Rock’?” she asked. “No. We can give gratitude.” Whether it’s for friends, family or being at a school like Principia, there are an infinite number of things to be grateful for. Silver also suggests giving gratitude for yourself: not in a cocky way, but humbly to God. Don’t forget to remind yourself that God loves you very much, and you can give gratitude for this.

 

6. Change things up

Senior Jamie Rybak’s expert advice is as follows: “Don’t listen to the same music everyday. Say hello to people in different languages. Don’t eat too much; don’t eat too little. Learn how to dance. Try a video game every so often. Play catch outside before it gets cold. Once it gets cold, make a snow angel. But most importantly, do what you love, and balance out your favorite things in life with new activities and interests wherever you can.”

 

7. Read Science and Health

It’s a long book, but you don’t have to read it all to get inspiration. You can also find spiritual insights on campus. Besides Sunday school and church, there are quiet time talks, Tuesday testimony meetings and hymn sings. The atmosphere at Principia is supportive of prayer, and you will never feel out of place while studying. So pick up your Science and Health and start reading.

 

8. Develop irreplaceable friendships

The friendships made at Principia will last a lifetime. This is what Principia is all about. These friendships are solid, substantial and never-ending. Talk to any coach, teacher or parent who went to Principia College, and they will tell you about the lasting relationships they built while attending here. And don’t forget that these friendships go beyond your classmates. Principia is a community full of people who are worth meeting. From the offices, the athletic department, and facilities and dining services, every person here at Principia is truly amazing.

 

9. Play Monday night Frisbee

Simple, right? Pencil it in your schedules, because here is where you will find new friends and have a really fun time.

 

10. Use lemons to make lemonade

Yes, we live in the middle of “nowhere.” The nearest big city is almost an hour away. However, you are living in the middle of nowhere with a bunch of fantastic people. You are creative. Do a photo scavenger hunt, play zombie tag in the Science Center or travel to Alton for your weekly IHOP visit. There are always things to do and people to enjoy.

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Freshmen, take advantage of every moment you have here. The time really does pass quickly, and we should all want to make the most out of our time. So have fun and enjoy our beautiful campus.