Every school is different, however every incoming freshmen feels the same. Anxious, nervous, and excited. But don’t you wish that the tips from Ned’s Declassified School Survival Guide existed for college students? Trust me, I wish someone told me this. College can be scary and very overwhelming. Well, here are 11 tips for incoming freshmen heading to UH Manoa.
1. The first few weeks of school, jump out of your comfort zone and be a social butterfly! Go to all the events hosted by the housing department the first week of school, and don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to someone random and make new friends!
2. Get to know your RA well, and go to the floor meetings. You’ll meet so many amazing people and possibly form a new friend group! Your RA’s are always there for you if you need help, whether you’re feeling down one day and wanting someone to listen, to wanting advice, to even helping you get a bee out of your room! #what? (it actually happens)
3. Don’t expect you and your roommate or roommates to be best friends. It’s easy to think that your roommate and you will get along, but no relationship is perfect. Your patience will be put up to the test as you both accumulate from living individually to living with a complete stranger. Be patient, build trust, and learn each other’s boundaries! Building a roommate agreement is always a good idea for you both to talk about what’s okay and what’s not okay.
4. Go easy on your schedule, don’t over due it! It could be easy to say that you can handle 17 or 18 credits, but just know it gets harder down along the road! Taking 14-15 is the ideal amount, and if you think you can handle more go for it! #challengeyourself
5. Freshman 15 is a real thing! Be careful with what you eat at the Hale Aloha cafe or any cafe on campus, because it’s easy to get carried away. Especially on pancake nights! Remember that there is a gym on campus, free for students. Get that work in!
6. Try not to actually miss any classes, because all the weight is on your shoulders! You could either go to class and do well, or choose the beach over class and learn nothing. Remind yourself that you’re paying for college for a reason, to learn. Partying on the weekends is fine, but remember that your parents are paying a lot for you to go to class, not to miss classes to party or go to the beach. Get your money’s worth! The opportunity to party will always be there!
7. Find where your classes are before school starts so that you aren’t late and you can figure out a map of how to get from class to class the quickest! Some classes can be scheduled super close or very far apart, so finding a system that can get you to class the quickest is definitely important!
8. Learning to be independent and living on your own can be difficult at first because it’s something you’re not used to. Eating by yourself isn’t a bad thing, alone time is something you might actually crave since you are living with a roommate. It’s okay to be homesick, it’s totally normal. A facetime call or phone call home every week is the exact medicine what the doctor ordered for homesickness! RA’s, counselors, and friends are also perfect for talking about homesickness because everybody’s been there!
9. Take advantage of office hours and build a relationship with your professors and TA’s. It’s extremely important to ask questions and take initiative to visit professors during office hours (that is what they’re there for)! All teachers are happy to help an student who is willing to ask for help, remember- teachers will only help if you ask for it!
10. Learn the bus and shuttle system! If you are an incoming freshmen, it is important to learn the shuttle system that UH Manoa provides for students to get around on campus! It makes it easy to take the shuttle back to the dorms during a rainy day, rather than walking back in the pouring rain! Plus, the bus system is essential for all students to get around the island, especially freshmen because most students (mostly underclassmen) don’t have cars, so taking the bus everywhere is the main ‘go to’ over uber. (since we college kids are broke and we get to ride the bus for free!) The bus takes you everywhere on the island, including Safeway, Waikiki, Ala Moana, North Shore, Diamond Head, and etc. #hellyeah!
School in general is hard, but moving away from family and friends is even harder, especially to an island! Hopefully these tips are helpful to guide you into a smooth transition from high school to college at UH Manoa!