I wish I would have known… (Freshman Advice)

Written By: Janet Haubein

What classes do I take? Where do I park? Who are the best professors? These are some of the many questions someone new to UNF may have coming into Freshman year. Stepping into a new, enormous institution can be overwhelming, but there are a few tips Freshmen can take in order to make the transition a little smoother. There are many things that I wish I had known prior to starting at UNF. Here are some of them:

  1. Take night classes. Avoid the hustle and bustle during the day and take classes in the evening. Class sizes are smaller and the atmosphere is more relaxed. Some think that night classes are for the old farts that attend school after work, but you might be surprised. There are plenty of young folks to interact with too.
  2. Get to school early. Even if you do decide to take the traditional route and attend classes during the day, you are going to want to arrive on campus with plenty of time before class. The parking situation isn’t exactly ideal at UNF, and if you miss your first day of class because you couldn’t find a parking spot, consider yourself dropped. Not cool. Getting to school early also allows you to do extra studying before class, or give yourself a minute to catch your breath before taking that exam you just crammed all night for.
  3. Talk to advisors. They are there to advise you for a reason. If you don’t know what you want to major in, that’s fine. Take the first step by talking to an advisor and they can help lead you in the direction you need to go.
  4. Get involved. There are over 180 clubs and organizations at UNF. You’re bound to find something interesting, join in on the fun! Getting involved gives you the opportunity to meet new friends while enjoying something that you like to do. Extra tip: These are the same peers who will tell you honestly which teachers are cool, and also the ones to avoid like the plague.
  5. Take care of yourself. This is the most important thing you can do in order to succeed at UNF. Making sure that you get enough rest, exercise, and eat right will help keep your concentration levels up so you can get the most out of what you are learning. What’s the point of paying for an education if you’re not learning anything because you slept through all your classes?

Going to a new school is hard enough. Not knowing where to begin can make it seem even harder. Knowing some of the tricks of the trade gives you a slight advantage and helps to give the jump-start you need to succeed in college. And I should know – a professional student – I’ve been here long enough.

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