Tips to help freshmen conquer their first year of college – the ionian features

If you did not attend the involvement fair, it is not too late! Head over to Iona’s Clubs and Organizations web page and join a group that seems intriguing to you. If nothing catches your attention, consider applying for one of the Office of Mission and Ministry’s mission trips, which are centered around college students providing domestic or international community service to the less fortunate. If you are interested in applying for a mission trip, go to the Mission and Ministry webpage on Iona’s website.

You declare your major in the spring semester of your sophomore year, so as a freshman, you have plenty of time to experiment and take a few courses to judge whether or not you love a specific major. If you are undecided, do not compare yourself to other students who declare boldly that they know what to major in.


We are humans. We constantly change our minds. In fact, it is perfectly fine to change your major during your first year. For example, Garcia was planning to double major in Physics and Mathematics, but now she is double majoring in Sociology and Psychology.

Senior Gabriella Federowicz changed her major four times before officially majoring in English and minoring in Mass Communications. Federowicz started off as undecided, but she kept an open mind, tried new things and soon discovered what her passion was. Do the same. Take advantage of your first year by examining your interests, skills, abilities and values. Talk to professors and upperclassmen from the major you are considering and get their perspectives on it, and then figure out what careers are associated with that major. Finally, talk with an advisor at the Center for Advising and Academic Services (next to Amend Hall) who will go over the course requirements for that major with you.

Do your assignments on time. For the busy bees out there who have a job or other responsibilities after school, get a head start on any research paper or lab report during your free time. Don’t just sit on the Spellman steps and people watch. If you didn’t have the best study habits in high school, use college as an opportunity to improve how you work!

As college students, we are young adults. Open a bank account if you haven’t done so already. Get a part-time job if your schedule allows. If not, do some side jobs like tutoring, babysitting or mowing a neighbor’s lawn to earn some extra cash. Apply for a credit card to start building credit. Most importantly, do not waste your money every day at Starbucks. Learn to save and create a budget for yourself.

Go on Amazon to buy a wall calendar to put in your room, get a planner or download an app where you can write important events, reminders, to-do lists or due dates for assignments. This will keep you on track and prevent yourself from putting off a task. Also, after your professor hands you a course syllabus, begin writing down the due dates for assignments in your planner or calendar so that you are prepared. Professors don’t want to hear “I didn’t know it was due today” when it clearly said so in the syllabus for the entire semester.

Not getting enough sleep can affect how you function when you’re awake—you can start easily forgetting things or your mood can be affected. Getting eight to nine hours of sleep every night is vital to your health. Pulling all-nighters will not do you any good. Plus, exercising and eating nutrient-rich foods will help decrease stress and boost your energy levels. If you want to work out, try out the gym at Hynes Athletic Center.