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Tips to start your freshman year off right

Suzi Milovanovic has been a mother of all kinds: stay at home mom, work from home mom, and go-the-office working mom. She blends all these perspectives in her contributions to various local and national print and online publications, tel...

Fresh start for freshmen

So you thought you were the big man (or woman) on campus: Class president, prom queen or homecoming court, all-star athlete, etc. Throw all that out the window, because you're headed to college, baby! Congratulations -- You start at zero, along with every other entering freshman. While the situation may seem grim at first glance, you can make sure your freshman year starts off on the right foot with these important steps.

College Freshman

go to orientation

The faster you know your way around, the better.

Get organized

Download all the tools and apps you need on your smartphone or PDA, or invest in a day planner to keep track of assignment due dates and exams. College profs won't remind you the way your high school teachers did.

7 Best iPhone planner apps >>

Go to class

While hitting the snooze button a few extra times may seem tempting, be sure to drag yourself to class whenever possible. Other than learning the subject matter, you'll also be in the know when it comes to any date or assignment changes for projects, quizzes or tests.

Foods that boost your studying brainpower >>

Meet with your professors

College professors spend hours on the course material and associated syllabus than high school teachers; take the time to familiarize yourself with it and meet with your professors ahead of time to go over any questions you may have. This is also a good time to break the ice before the first day.

Surviving the first year of college >>

Get involved on campus

Combat homesickness and meet new friends by getting involved in the organizations that interest you, such as activity clubs, sororities, fraternities and sports teams.

How to meet people at college >>

Know where campus study resources are

Know where to go in addition to the library if you need extra help, such as from a teaching assistant or on-campus tutoring program. Be sure to check out online forums as well.

The college student's survival kit >>

Balance your time

While college offers the opportunity to spread your wings and do things on your time, you must learn how to balance your academic and emotional needs. Both are equally important.

Think about a career

With the amount of classes required for graduation at an all-time high, the faster you can decide your major or discipline, the better. That way, you can register for the classes that count toward that major.

Mental health benefits of your college education and career >>

Stay healthy and eat right

You've heard of the freshman 15, right? Gaining extra pounds the first year is a very real phenomenon that many college rookies have to overcome through exercise and proper diet.

Why college freshman gain weight and tips to stay slim >>

You've worked hard to get to college, so start your freshman year on a high note and get the most out of your college experience.

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