Hey guys! So this week was my first week of college, so I’m sorry for not posting as much. Also, one of my blog posts got deleted, so I had to rewrite it. The thing I’ve noticed most about “Freshman Year” blog posts is that there is never any information for commuters. There is literally NOTHING. There are a few posts on commuting, but they’re not really substantial. Since I am a commuting college freshman, I decided to show you what happened my first week along with tips on things you should do. I hope it helps.
//Things That Happen When You Are A Commuter//
//You Will Carry Your Whole Life In Your Backpack
This is unfortunately very true. Especially if you take the train. If you drive to school, you can keep some of your stuff in your car. I, on the other hand, take the train like many commuting college students in Atlanta, so my backpack is filled to the brink. On Wednesday, after my workout, I was crouched over my bag digging out my umbrella because it was raining, and the person at the front desk was asking, “are you okay?” I must’ve looked ridiculous, still in my workout clothes and out of breath. I did manage to make it class on time, at least.
//You Will Have Shoulder Pain From Said Heavy Backpack
You thought it was bad in high school! In college, you have to walk from building to building carrying more stuff than you ever did in high school. People who live in dorms don’t have this problem because they can switch out their stuff at their dorm.
//You Will Feel Socially Isolated
Okay, so maybe not socially isolated because you’ll be around people, but you won’t talk much to others. In class, you’ll be focused on class, people at the library are trying to study, people in the courtyards will have their earbuds in…they’re usually doing their own thing. The socialization part of college happens after class in dorm rooms, so it’ll be a lot harder to make friends.
On the first day, I just sat in a corner of the library and read a book in between classes. I’ll sign up for a club and meet new people soon, but the first week is more focused around classes, so if you’re a commuter, you probably won’t make many friends the first week.
//A Big Chunk Of Your Time Will Be Spent On A Bus Or Car
Dear lord, I spend so much time commuting. It’s almost an hour each way. It’s not bad though because I usually listen to an audio book in the car and read or study on the bus. It really isn’t that bad. This has made me more motivated to save money to live near campus next year because I really don’t want to spend all my time commuting.
//Things Will Get Lost In Your Backpack
I’ve already told you about the umbrella incident. It had gotten so deep into my backpack that I couldn’t find it. Don’t worry. It’s not that bad. It’s just tedious.
//Things That You Need To Do//
This can apply for people who live on campus, as well.
//Fill Out Your Planner
Since the first week is syllabus week, you’ll get a bunch of due dates. Make sure to write down all your due dates somewhere like a planner or google calendar so that you’re prepared for the semester.
//Talk To All Your Teachers
The best way to do this is to sit in the front seat. I sat in the front seat for all of my classes this week, so my teachers were able to talk to me more easily. In fact, yesterday, when I raised my hand, my teacher called on me by name. That’s an accomplishment in my book. It also means I talk too much, but I can live with that.
Also, on the second class for anthropology, I saw my professor at the elevators. I mentioned to her that on the first day, I climbed up the stairs to the seventh floor to get to her class because the elevators were too crowded.
Make an effort to talk with your teachers before and after class. Asking questions and showing an interest will make you memorable, which could boost your grade in the long run.
//Get A Locker
This is more for commuters than anything. Before you have a locker, you will be lugging all your stuff everywhere. As I mentioned before, you will have a ton of shoulder pain the first few days because you don’t have a dorm like other students to keep your stuff. Try to get a locker as soon as possible. You don’t even understand the relief I felt when I only had to carry one notebook to class.
//Order Your Textbooks
Don’t order your textbooks before the semester starts because they could change. The school also sometimes requires teachers to put books on their syllabus so that the bookstore can make more money. The professor will tell you on the first day. They will also tell you whether the edition of a textbook makes a difference. I saved SO much money because one of my teachers said that there is barely any difference between the third and fourth edition.
Make sure to order textbooks as soon as you know because the assignments start rolling in immediately. The textbooks are crucial. Your professor will give you leeway the first week, but after that, you’re on your own.
//Figure Out Your Organization Method
Once you know your classes and what assignments you have, you should create a note taking and studying method. You may want one binder with multiple dividers. You may want a notebook. You may want to take all your notes on a computer. It’s your choice. Whatever makes you more productive will be best.
I personally plan on taking notes from the textbooks on whatever chapters we’re going over before class. Then I’ll highlight and add notes to whatever the professor emphasizes and add notes to the margins. I’ll also answer a lot of questions from the textbooks. This is what works best for me.
Since I went to a college leveled high school, I got to experiment with what works best for me. I know that I don’t do as well when I type notes, but I do do well when I create PowerPoint presentations with my notes as a study guide. I also do better when I quiz other people (not the other way around).
It’s okay if you change your studying method. Sometimes, you have to try a lot of different things and figure things out before you discover what helps you the most.
//Get Any Final Paperwork Stuff Done
You know what I’m talking about. Paying for classes, meeting your financial aid adviser, etc. That way, you won’t have to worry about it later.
//Go To The Gym
I honestly LOVE going to the gym. This is actually one of the things I was excited about for college. Having a free gym. I love taking the classes. I went to the gym the second day and signed something that says I won’t sue if I get injured. I went to a Zumba class on Wednesday, a weight lifting class on Thursday, and just worked out yesterday. Needless to say, my entire body is sore, but I really enjoy having access to a gym.
So far, I feel pretty good about college. The workload doesn’t seem as bad as it did in my high school (which was WAY harder than other high schools). I’m not sure I’ll make really good friends this year because I probably won’t make that a priority. I don’t live on campus, I’m working, and I know I’m being transferred to another school next year, so I don’t feel the need to make new friends. That might change soon, but we’ll see.
I love my teachers. I really lucked out. “Rate My Professor” is godsend. They actually care about teaching. They’re not just there because they have to be, which is awesome. I have a little less than three hours of classes every day, but I’m taking advantage of the extra study time at the library. I’m actually ahead right now.
That’s all I really have to say about my first week of college, other than the fact that I love waking up later. I’ll update again soon, and I hope this post helped you.
How was your first week of college? What did you do? What tips would you give to commuting college students?