We asked current students to think back to their freshmen year and what they wish they had known. Their advice is below.
Figure out your study method and habits.
My advice would be to start early on assignments and do a little bit of work each day, even if it’s not for the next day. By working ahead you can allow yourself time to get dinner with friends, take a nap, etc. and avoid unnecessary stress.
Complete assignments as soon as they are assigned, so you are not loaded with work last minute.
Always pace yourself. It might seem overwhelming at first, but you can do it. Just make a plan, stick to it and enjoy the journey. You’re going to learn a lot of amazing things.
Use your down time during the day – it’s much easier to get a paper written or reading done when you aren’t half asleep.
Plan, plan, plan your assignments.
My biggest pieces of advice would be to study and do homework in between your classes (especially morning classes), utilize all of the different resources (professors, tutors, writing center), and do your work as soon as possible. Doing or starting work the day it is assigned clears up your schedule helping you time manage, and it takes away the stress of worrying about an assignment last minute.
Start out quickly. It is easy to build your GPA at the beginning rather than the end of your college career.
It will seem like you have more free time than you had in high school, so use it wisely! Try to think of your “daytime” hours (in-between classes, before dinner, or first-thing in the morning) as “work” hours — get your work-out done, get your readings done, get help from your professors, work ahead on papers and assignments, visit the Writing Center or Math Center, find a good place in the library to concentrate on your studies, etc.. Don’t be tempted to “hang out” during the day, because inevitably you’ll later find out about opportunities to “hang out” with friends in the evening and you’ll be stuck doing your homework then, when it could have been done earlier!
Editorial note: The comments have been minimally edited and grouped together for coherence. In come cases, comments were combined with others. When we had students responding with the same advice, we repeated it for emphasis. In the event a student offered advice that ran counter to what Wake Forest advises, it was not included. These comments represent the views of the student commentators, not the views of the Parent Programs office or Wake Forest.