Opinion

Freshman Advice Column

Question 1: How do I manage all my classes and homework while maintaining a social life?
In college, it can be really easy to get sucked into academics and have no social life or to get sucked into your social life and have poor academics. The biggest thing is organization in your schedule. You have a limited number of hours each day when you are not in class; use that time wisely. You should also set goals that are realistic when it comes to what you can get done daily and weekly. If you have a paper due at the end of week, spend some time on it daily, and then you won’t have to isolate yourself for hours finishing it at the last minute.
When you get invited to hang out, say yes if you know you can spare the time. If you do all your work and studying during the day (in between and after classes), then you leave the evenings free to hang out with friends. Remember that you came to college to get a degree, not just to party, but don’t forget to go out and have fun with friends too. It’s good for the soul.

Q2: How do I manage a long-distance relationship in college?
Managing a long-distance relationship in college is hard. There are many odds against it lasting, but there is possibility if you follow these pointers. First, set boundaries. Have a serious conversation about what you agree you can and can’t do. Discuss what you’re comfortable with your partner doing and not doing.
Communication is key. You need to always have open and completely honest lines of communication, or it’ll lead to jealousy, resentment and other issues. Talk about your fears, insecurities and feelings and let each other know when you have concerns and doubts. Use everything at your disposal: FaceTime, Skype, texting, calling, etc.

Finally, keep your spark. You both need to feel wanted and loved, you know? Send each other cute little gifts like food, flowers, letters, care packages—whatever you want. Have dinner and coffee dates over Skype. Make plans to watch something together. Send selfies. Ask for input when you’re making decisions. Get creative. Especially during holidays and birthdays.
Q3: How do I maintain and create strong friendships throughout college?
Many people say college is where you make lifelong friends. Many upperclassmen advise joining clubs or committees that have to do with your interest, hobbies or major. This allows you to meet people with similar interests, which gives you both something to talk about. Letting go of nerves and just talking to people by introducing yourself and starting conversations helps. When you go to the DC and you see people sitting by themselves, sit at their table, introduce yourself, ask them about their major, and talk about yours.
You just have to let your guard down and be willing put yourself out there. College is a fresh start when it comes to building relationships, and sometimes that can be scary. Letting go of the very popular social anxiety faced by college freshman is the best thing you can do to get your foot in the door to long-lasting friendships.
If you would like a question answered anonymously in the next issue, please feel free to email me at mccoyk2@huntington.edu.

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