It can seem like you're not ready, and are never going to be, for your freshmen year of college. Transitioning from high school to college life and academics can be difficult, but try not to stress about the change. You'll have plenty to stress about soon enough. Your college campus is going to be your new home so make the most of your time there!
Many colleges and universities require freshmen, and occasionally sophomores, to live on campus. But not all do. Even if the college you are attending offers off-campus options, live in the dorms! Living with fellow underclassmen will give you countless opportunities to meet new people. Most residence halls have "socials" that freshmen are required to attend and will allow you to get involved with campus activities and groups.
Along with opportunities the residence provides, make sure to join a few clubs. It's always a good idea to get involved with a club related to your major. It's never too early to start networking; many of these clubs will allow you to meet faculty and other professionals in the field. It's also a good idea to join a club that has nothing to do with your future career because you'll most likely want a break from school work at some point.
And, while it might sound like a good idea, living with a friend can be a huge mistake. You never truly know someone until you live with them, and often, you learn things about that person you never wanted to know. This causes fights and ruins even the closest of friendships. It's probably best to live with someone new or who you don't know very well. This way, if you don't like each other or don't get along, you don't have to hang out or spend time together outside of the room.
To prevent fights or tension, be considerate of your roommate. Even if you don't like them from day one, try to get to know him or her. This will make it easier to set rules and boundaries from the beginning. If you don't take the time to try to be friendly, you could find it difficult to voice your concerns about trash, dirty dishes, borrowing without permission and unannounced visitors.
Before you head to the university bookstore to purchase textbooks, consider shopping around online, which can sometimes save hundreds of dollars. The bookstore often sells books at retail value and the used options aren't much cheaper. Using online book stores like Amazon, Half.com or Chegg are great options. Get the ISBN number, title, author and other book information from the school website and search for the cheapest available. This is an easy way to save money while you're in college. If the book is for a class outside of your major and you don't plan on using it again, sell it online or back to the bookstore.
For many freshmen, the first semester is filled with general education classes that every student needs to take. These classes are usually large lectures and it often feels impossible to ask questions in front of so many people. But don't be afraid to ask! Chances are, you're not the only one confused and a lot of your classmates will be grateful you spoke up. Your professors will remember that you tried to make better sense of the material instead of staying confused.
Don't be afraid to talk to your professors if you need help. College professors can definitely be intimidating, especially after being taught by the same teachers for years in high school. They also tend to move much faster than most high school teachers and don't always cover all of the material that could be on an exam. If you're nervous to ask questions in class, use the professor's office hours. All professors are required to have them and are in their office whether students come or not. Most professors are also more than willing to work around your schedule if you can't make it during office hours.
If you still find yourself struggling, even after speaking with your professors, get a tutor. It doesn't make you look dumb or inferior to the rest of your classmates; actually, most professors will be impressed that you took the initiative to get help. Most colleges offer a free tutoring service, but if they don't, it shouldn't be too hard to find an upperclassman looking for some extra cash. You don't want to fail a class just because you were too afraid to seek help.
It's also important to meet regularly with your advisor, especially if you're in a competitive and fast-paced program. Your advisor can be your best friend. They will know more about your major, department, faculty and classes than any website. If you meet with your advisor early in the semester and they get to know you, they can be an incredibly useful resource when scheduling classes for the next semester or applying for scholarships, internships and graduate school.
The best advice that I can give you is to relax. Take time for yourself and do things you love doing, whether that's going to the gym, spending time at the mall or watching your favorite tv show with friends. Without giving yourself the occasional break, you'll find yourself going crazy with constant work. Don't forget to enjoy your years at college! They'll be over before you know it.