Off to College: Preparing for Your First Year

Twelve years of school have finally passed and you’ve finished an endless amount of assignments, reports, and presentations.  After writing what may have been some of the most important essays of your life, you finally did it! You got accepted to college and you’re about to begin some of the best years of your life.  Going to college for the first time can be both an exciting and nerve-wracking milestone in your life. There are a lot of new things to adjust to such as being able to pick your own class schedule, making new friends, and maybe even living hundreds of miles away from home.  Here are some tips on how to prepare for your upcoming adventure.

Get Technical 

In college, you will most likely be using technology more than ever before.  Whether it is signing up for classes, doing homework, or turning in an assignment, you will probably be doing it online.  In my opinion, I think that a laptop or PC is almost mandatory. Although these devices may be expensive, they are well-worth the investment.  Once you pick out the perfect laptop for you, make sure you get comfortable with it before you go to college.  This will allow you to breeze through any online work that you may have to do classes begin.

Work on Writing

I have found that many assignments are writing-based.  No matter what major you may be studying, you will have to be able to write formal essays.  Having good writing skills is essential, especially in classes in which your grade is based solely on essays and reports.  For example, in a Korean history class that I took one quarter, simply remembering significant events and dates was not enough.  We had to be able to explain and connect certain concepts such as Neo-Confucianism to events that occurred throughout Korean history. Being ready to write will put you ahead of the game and so you won’t have to rush reviewing the basics again.

Keep Your Eye on the Prize

College is an exciting time for many, and it is easy to fall off track.  It is okay to have fun and make everlasting memories, but it is also important to remember that you are attending college to get an education.  Doing things like keeping a planner for important dates and deadlines can help keep you on track to obtain that degree by the end of your college adventure.


It is never too early to reach out to your friends, family, and professors to learn more about tips they may have and how they became successful.  Do not be afraid to attend networking events or career fairs just because you are a first year. Nowadays, it is not only what you know but also who you know.

Have Fun!

Put yourself out there and participate in orientation activities.  Try something you have never done before or never thought you would do.  College is the best time to do a little experimentation to figure out who you really are and what your ultimate goals are in life.  It is better to learn by trying than regret not doing it. College only happens once, so make it the best experience you possibly can!

With colleges beginning soon, you may feel frantic trying to figure out how you’re going to take on this next chapter of your life.  By following these tips, you’re sure to be on your way to a great year.  Study hard and remember to have fun, too.  Good luck!

Pearson Students: How did you prepare for your first year? Share by commenting below!



Kristi Yamashita is a junior at the University of California, Irvine. She is studying Business Administration with a Management emphasis, and minoring in Psychology. Kristi is a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, Tomo No Kai (a Japanese/Japanese-American cultural club), the LEADS Program (Leadership Experience and Development for Success), and is the Pearson Campus Ambassador at UC Irvine. In her free time, Kristi enjoys playing volleyball and dancing. She also loves to hang out with her friends, drink boba, and try new restaurants.

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  1. Yvonne 8 months ago

    Good luck, Freshers! The greatest time of your life begins! 🙂

  2. Ashlyn Morrison 8 months ago

    it was a long time since I was a fresher! remember despite the nerves, get on and enjoy the best days of your lives.

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