An Expert's Guide On How to Survive Freshman Year

Nothing is more exciting than your freshman year in college. The change in atmosphere, the opportunity to make new friends and most importantly you finally have the opportunity to prove to Mom and Dad that you can be the responsible adult they raised you to be, or so you think.

According to the NCES the total number of undergraduate enrollment is projected to increase by 14 percent between now and 2005. That will bring total enrollment numbers up to 19.8 million. With the increase in enrollment comes the number of freshman's entering onto the campuses of universities across the nation with large aspirations, great ideas and no clue what really awaits them.

When attending exciting events such as orientation, campus tours or other enrichment programs prior to your freshman year you may be given very brief guidelines of what to expect once you arrive on campus. Some of those guidelines may include types of linen, items to bring for your dorm and even supplies you'll need for class but no one has ever introduced the gut-wrenching truth on how to survive your freshman year, until now.

Stay Away from 8:00 AM Courses

If you are not a morning person stay away from 8:00 AM courses. Unsure if you're a morning person? Here's a tip: if you rely on your parents to wake you up in the morning, you my friend are not a morning person. Many freshmen make the mistake of signing up for early morning classes because they feel that they are capable of getting up early, after all they've done it for the last 13 years of their life. Once you step onto college your sleep habits change. You no longer have someone telling you when to wake up or when you should get home. This newfound freedom can have you feeling as if you're superman at night and super dummy in the morning when you realize you have an exam at the crack of dawn. Choose wisely.

Don't Invest in Microwaveable Meals

Microwaveable meals are super convenient especially on days that you don't feel like walking across campus to the cafeteria. It is also super convenient on those days that you forget to eat lunch or dinner because you were lost in your homework assignment. Despite how convenient microwaveable meals are a complete waste of money especially if you're already paying for a meal plan (I don't care if it's not your personal money being spent on the meal plan it is still money that you're wasting). The interesting part about most microwaveable meals is that they are carbs and if you know anything about carbs they only fill a temporary void so 9 times out of 10 you'll be hungry again in a few hours. Sacrifice a little time and head to the cafeteria, you'll be glad you did.

If You're Able, Bring Your Own Mattress

When you agree to live in a college dorm you give a lot of luxuries you probably had at home. You no longer have a private bathroom, you no longer have a bedroom to yourself (unless you have a suite) and you no longer have the luxury of a king or even queen size bed. While it is evident that you have now lost a ton of your luxuries, sleep is still just as important. Some universities offer the opportunity to bring your own mattresses and linens. While bring your own mattress may seem absurd, it is amazing how one small luxury can really make your dorm room feel a little more like home now that you're further away.

Talk to Your Professors

Remember when it wasn't cool to be the teacher's pet? Throw that logic out the window. One of the greatest assets you have on your college campus is your professor. They can give you the necessary insight on career and internship opportunities and can also give you a little extra assistance at the end of the semester if you're on the edge. Professors aren't there to destroy you they are there to build you up.

What tips do you have for those rising freshman trying to survive freshman year?