Campus News

Five fresh tips for freshmen

Gerald Sastra/The Cougar

Last year, UH welcomed more than 5,000  freshman and an equal amount of transfer students

Whether you’re new to college or just new to UH, adjusting to university expectations can be a daunting experience.

But have no fear! The Cougar is here to provide you with five fresh tips to make your first year at UH a good one. 

Get involved through GetInvolved

Getting involved in student organizations is a great way to meet new people and gain valuable experience in your field of interest.

With over 500 organizations, UH has something for everyone. Whether you’re interested in professional development, Greek life or are just looking for a social club to join, membership is usually just a few emails away. 

Students might think they have too much on their plate to get involved right away. But the earlier students get involved the more experience is gained and this can lead to career growth and compensation. 

For students interested in joining a club or organization that matches their interests, visit GetInvolved for a list of groups that may intrigue incoming freshmen.

Don’t get overwhelmed

Depending on the schedule and courses, classes can be quite demanding. Add student organizations and jobs into the mix, and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed.

Take a step back, and breathe. Think about your journey through college as being made up of a thousand tiny steps. Take things one at a time, put one foot in front of the other and keep moving. 

If assignments begin to pile up, make a checklist of everything that needs to be completed. Start with the easiest one first, then work your way from there. Sometimes just getting started can be difficult. This process can limit stress.

Things aren’t as serious as they may seem. Getting a 4.0 and making the dean’s list is an amazing accomplishment, but in the workforce no one is concerned about GPAs. 

Stick to a Schedule 

A solid foundation is key to building good habits and a requirement for maintaining balance between school, life and work responsibilities. 

The first step is to make sleep a priority. Good sleep can improve brain performance, mood and promote good health. Be consistent, create a sleep schedule and stick to it the best you can. There will be nights when you don’t get as much sleep as you need, that’s a guarantee in college. Ensuring it does not become a habit, however, can be the difference between succeeding and falling behind in school. 

One study found that sleeping for six or fewer hours a night correlated to a lower GPA than those who slept for more than six hours.

Go get that internship 

Some people think internships are for only juniors and seniors. Many more may not even know about the importance of an internship. 

In many fields, a bachelor’s degree, perfect GPA and dean’s list appearance are not enough to get hired right out of college. Experience and a history of working in positions inside or adjacent to the field your seeking a job in is what will put you ahead of the competition. 

Internships give you valuable experience in your field and boost your resume. Interning at nationally-recognized companies can directly lead to jobs out of college. A good goal to shoot for is to have at least two internships completed before you graduate. This will ensure you are fully prepared to enter the workforce in your chosen career field. 

Know your resources

As the old saying goes: It takes a village to raise a child — even more to raise a college student. UH goes beyond education to help students succeed not only in school but career development and personal growth.

For students dealing with depression, mental health problems and more, Counseling and Psychological Services are available to all students, faculty and staff. Though the department emphasizes short-term triage and care, Counseling and Psychological Services is an invaluable resource for students experiencing emotional or mental distress. 

The UH Wellness program is a health service on campus whose mission is to promote a healthy lifestyle.

The Cougar Cupboard is a service on campus that helps combat food insecurity by providing students with nutritious food to sustain a healthy lifestyle 

The Writing Center is a resource students can use for excellent one-on-one appointments with trained students and faculty to help improve their next paper. 

Bottom line

For many students, college is a new beginning, an opportunity to iron out the kinks and become the person you’ve always wanted to be. Trust yourself, try new things and be prepared to adapt to and learn from changing circumstances.

Congratulations, be proud you made it this far. Believe in yourself because you got this!

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