What to Expect: A Guide for Freshman in College

What to Expect: A Guide for Freshman in College

The United States has always been a country that international students yearn to study in. When international students first arrive in the United States, the new language environment and campus life habits may cause students to feel uncomfortable and anxious. This article has compiled a guide for freshman in college, hoping to help future college students better adapt to study and life, improve academic performance, expand interpersonal relationships, and enjoy their life studying abroad.

Freshman in college should participate in orientation activities

Orientation, also known as campus welcome activities, is an activity where universities usually arrange seniors to lead everyone to know more about the school’s various resources, including the school cafeteria, library, gym and other campus facilities. At the same time, the school will also organize various campus activities, which are great opportunities for freshman in college to make new friends and learn about campus culture. Therefore, it is strongly recommended that all freshman in college actively participate in orientation activities.

Select courses in time

The timing for course selection differs among schools. Some institutions schedule it before the orientation program, while many require students to wait until after orientation to choose their courses. Regardless of the timing, spots in popular courses fill up quickly once they become available. Therefore, freshman in college should plan their courses in advance and organize their schedules accordingly.

Be familiar with the campus and surrounding environment

Given that most American university campuses are expansive and open, it’s advisable for freshman in college to spend some time familiarizing themselves with the campus environment before the official start of school. They should locate key facilities such as teaching buildings, libraries, gyms, and dining areas. Besides getting to know the campus itself, students should also explore the surrounding area to find places for shopping, relaxation, and first aid. This preparation not only makes daily life more convenient but also ensures personal safety.

Actively participate in class

American schools encourage students to actively participate in class discussions and ask all kinds of questions. The classroom atmosphere in the United States is livelier and more interactive as compared to classes in the Asian pacific. Don’t be afraid of saying the wrong thing. Expressing your opinions and views boldly can help you understand the class content more deeply and quickly improve your English-speaking ability. Teachers usually assign some reading materials and pre-study homework in advance. In order to integrate into the class as quickly as possible, freshman in college are encouraged to preview the materials in advance and actively participate in class discussions.

Utilize campus resources

As a freshman in college, taking full advantage of campus resources can significantly enhance your academic experience and help you succeed. Tutoring Centers offer personalized assistance in various subjects, allowing you to gain a deeper understanding of challenging material. Most universities have writing labs which are invaluable for improving your writing skills. Whether you need help with brainstorming, organizing your ideas, or polishing your final draft, writing tutors can provide constructive feedback and guidance.

Make full use of professors’ office hours

In American classrooms, students are encouraged to ask questions at any time during class, but they typically need to raise their hands to receive the teacher’s permission to speak. For questions about homework or other specific issues, students should make use of the “office hours” provided by the teacher. This is a dedicated time for students to seek help and build a good teacher-student relationship.

Setting the roommate dynamics

Navigating roommate dynamics in college requires clear communication and mutual respect. Begin by getting to know each other, setting boundaries, and discussing shared responsibilities. Establishing house rules about chores and personal vs. shared items helps prevent conflicts. Respecting cultural differences and personal space is crucial for a harmonious living environment. Address conflicts promptly through open dialogue and compromise, seeking mediation if necessary.

For all the freshman in college who are about to start your college life in the United States, the road to studying abroad will bring you various challenges, and it will definitely be the most unforgettable experience in your life. No matter what difficulties you encounter, students should respond positively, enjoy this time, and continue to learn and grow from challenges.

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