New places, new people, more responsibilities- freshman year of college can be a bit intimidating to some, but regardless of whether or not you are extremely excited or a little bit hesitant to start your first year, you will make a lot of mistakes and learn a ton during your first year. Here are some of the biggest things I took out of my freshman year of college:
1) Don't always hang out with friends you might know from high school. There are tons of awesome new people to meet!
2) Develop a relationship with your professors. Be engaged and ask questions. This is especially important in design because the class sizes are low and you will likely have some of the same professors more than once during your 4 years in the program. In a class of less than 20, it is not good if you develop a bad relationship with the professor.
3) Go to your professor's office hours! If you want to get a leg up on a paper, design project, or upcoming test, go talk to the professor at their office hours! Most professors are willing to give you much more help (i.e. answers to upcoming test, specific critique and advice on what to change) during their office hours. Going to office hours also helps to develop a relationship with your professor.
4) Explore! Go out and check the residential neighborhoods surrounding the U and beyond. There are a ton of awesome parks, places to eat, and things to do in the Twin Cities. Take advantage of it! Get around using a bike from Nice Ride or get a U-Pass to take advantage of city wide busing at a huge discount. Here is a cool swing bridge south of St. Paul that I took a picture of while exploring on my bike last week.
5) Join a U of M student group or an intramural sport. The great thing about intramurals is that most people are in it simply for the fun. I had not played soccer since elementary school yet still had a ton of fun playing with a team we formed in my dorm freshman year.
6) Call your parents! I know it can seem a little uncool to call your parents a lot - especially freshman year, but your parents miss you... plus, if your mom is anything like mine, she is more likely to send you packages of goodies when you call her a lot.
That's it for now!