22 Tips for First Year Students

Advice from Mac Students for Mac Students

red phone1. CALL YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS

I called my family and friends more first semester than I thought I would. Just because you are in college, doesn't mean you have to do it all on your own.

2. GET ENOUGH SLEEPsleepy

You DO have enough time for sleep. All-nighters can usually be avoided.

clean sheets3. WASH YOUR SHEETS MORE THAN ONCE A YEAR

Trust us on this one.

4. EMBRACE GOOGLE APPLICATIONSgoogle docs

I was really hesitant to use Google Docs at first, but now I write all my papers on them because I can access it anywhere, and don't have to carry my laptop around. It’s also great for group projects. If you have to write something with three other people, Google Docs allows everyone to see the work progress and collaborate.

cold people5. MINNESOTA GETS COLD!

Don’t be afraid to wear hats, scarves, mittens, boots, and a heavy coat: whatever it takes! It’s better to look like a dweeb than be cold.

6. GET OUT OF YOUR ROOM!campus lawn

Deliberately spend time in public spaces like your floor lounge or the Campus Center. You have to make Mac into your home, and that won’t happen if you’re locked up in your room.

concert7. BE ADVENTUROUS

Plan ahead, but don’t let your To-Do list hold you back. College is the time to try new things and gain new experiences, so don’t hesitate, whether it’s taking a Zumba class, seeing a band, joining an org, studying abroad, or asking someone out.

8. GIVE YOUR CLASSES A CHANCEclassroom

You have more freedom now than you’ll have later on, so now is your time to explore different departments. You have plenty of time to think about graduation requirements after fall semester.

professor9. BUILD RELATIONSHIPS WITH YOUR PROFESSORS

Be friendly and go to office hours. When they ask about your life, ask them about theirs. Get to know them as people.

10. SPEAK UP IN CLASSstudent in class

Make sure you participate within the first week of class. Otherwise, it’ll be easy to go the whole semester as that kid that doesn’t really talk.

tea garden11. FAVORITE EATERIES AROUND CAMPUS

Food: Italian Pie Shoppe, Punch Pizza, The Cheese Shop, Shish, St. Clair Broiler, The Blue Door Pub, Everest on Grand, Indochin
Coffee & Tea
: Dunn Bros, Tea Garden, Cahoots
Ice Cream & Fro Yo
: Grand Ole Creamery, Izzy’s, Menchies

12. MAKE THE MOST OF ORIENTATIONstudent group

I participated in lots of icebreakers and social events during orientation and Welcome Week--they may seem silly, but they really do help you find a starting place in a totally new social environment.

daily piper13. STAY CONNECTED AND KNOW WHAT'S GOING ON

Read the Daily Piper. . . daily! It’s full of fun events and opportunities.

14. GO WITH THE FLOWroommates

You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate to make things work.

involvement fair15. BE BOLD

Don’t feel like you have to change yourself, but try new things because college is a fresh start.

16. AVOID STUDY DISTRACTIONScomputer screen

Do homework on public computers. You’ll be too embarrassed to stalk your crush’s Facebook on such a big computer screen. Also, Download SelfControl and use it. It's an app for your computer that will ban you from visiting specific websites for a certain amount of time. I have Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube blocked whenever I'm doing work.

kagin commons17. GET HOMEWORK HELP

In high school, there was kind of a stigma against tutoring. But in college, it’s really common to visit preceptors or professors’ office hours. The MAX [Macalester Academic Excellence] Center  is also helpful if you want someone to look over your paper.  

18. JOIN AN INTRAMURAL SPORTS TEAMstudents playing frisbee

I wasn’t into competitive sports in high school, but joining intramurals expanded my friend circle and was a great stress-relief.

students in class19. EMBRACE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN YOU AND YOUR CLASSMATES

Always be asking yourself, ‘What can I learn from this person?’ You can learn just as much from your peers as you would in a classroom.

20. GIVE YOURSELF A BREAK!B plus

You will work hard and may not do as well as in high school, and that’s okay. It takes time to adjust to the expectations and the self-regulation of college. Getting a ‘B’ is not the end of the world!

weight room21. USE THE LEONARD CENTER

It’s often hard to make myself exercise, especially in the cold, but 30 minutes of working out makes me happier and more motivated.

22. GET OFF CAMPUS!mississippi river

*Some of students' favorite spots:
a. Uptown, Minneapolis
b. Lake Calhoun, Uptown area
c. Mississippi River Trailsmidtown global market
d. Univerity Avenue
e. Como Park and Zoo
f. Minneapolis Institute of Art
g. First Avenue for concerts
h. Midtown Global Marketminneapolis institute of art
i. Summit and Grand Avenues
j. The Science Museum