“It’s your freshman year/ And you’re gonna be here for the / Next four years,” Taylor Swift sings in “Fifteen.” Your first year in college is a huge adjustment period, as you familiarize yourself with new surroundings, take on tougher academic standards, and make new friends. You also begin to know yourself more. Studies are important, but you can also have fun do other things. The tips below will help you slay your first year:

Gather all the things that you need

A college notebook or binder, red, blue and black pens, and highlighters. A yellow legal pad, index cards and 1×1 photos. Don’t forget your registration form or your identification card so you’ll be able to enter the school premises.

Dress appropriately

Different universities have different dress codes. Some let their student express themselves through fashion. Some require uniforms. If wearing a uniform is a must, make sure it’s always crisp and clean. If there is no dress code to follow, make yourself comfortable, but not too comfortable!

Make friends

Yes, making friends during your college years isn’t a bad idea. Some friends will stick with you through thick and thin, some won’t. Some will be around the corner and be there whenever you need them. With that in mind, makes lots of friends and go out with them, but know your limits and priorities.

Join orgs and societies

There are societies that can fall down on what program you belong to, be it journalism, medical technology or computer science. Make sure to list the names down and narrow it down to the fields you really like. Whether the debate team, Red Cross Youth, Rotaract, or theater, make sure you pick organizations you can keep or handle. Don’t pressure yourself by joining all of them. One or two should be enough.

Stop, listen and go

Stop procrastinating and cramming. Cramming doesn’t help us to become organized and it will just tire us from thinking and doing all things at once. Have a notebook with you to track which deadline is near, so that you’ll manage one thing at a time.

Listen to your professors and blockmates. Do your readings and activities. Listening helps students understand texts more easily and decipher difficult concepts.

Go the distance. College is about letting yourself out and to making yourself unique. Attend seminars or workshops to help you learn new things and grow.

Have fun!

College isn’t just about studying for the future. It is about learning while having fun. Once you’re out of the university, that’s it, it’s all over. You have to be an adult. As long as you’re in college, try to make a mark in school and graduate as a mature student whose determination to achieve your dreams never faltered.

It is up to you to make your college life more colorful and meaningful. College is only four years so make the most out of it. But for now, enjoy your freshman year and slay it. (Loraine Villarina)