By Brandon Vu

No one really knows what’s going on in Freshman Year. If others seem like they do, they don’t. But here are some tips on making yourself seem a little more experienced than the others ; – )


T H E  D O S

Listed from most likely the most important decision of my life TO the not-so-important-but-still-good-advice : – )

1. Being Open to Making Friends

Courtesy of Young Scot (

Hiding in your “shell” won’t let anyone in (trust me, that was me for the entirety of high school), but even saying “Hey! My name’s Brandon Vu. What do you think about this professor?” goes a LONG way.


2. Keep an Agenda

Courtesy of Nina Chen, a good friend of mine 🙂

Now that you’re free from the monotonous sleep-to-school-to-practice-to-dinner-to-homework-to-sleep routine, keeping track of every waking hour is very important. Dates for homework, projects, and exams are scattered all over the board, and you won’t realize that until you visually see how close they all are.



3. Asking for Help

I know who you are: straight A’s, fresh out of high school, with a confident ego (whether you tout it or not); however, college is a major step up from high school. Not only is the information more wide in breadth, it is deeper in depth. So, there is no time to lose spent trying to wrap a concept around your head alone. Ask your friends! Go to office hours! There is absolutely no shame in not understanding something first try. What matters is to not give up!



T H E  D O N ‘ T S

Listed from worst decision of my life TO not-the-worst-but-not-good-either : – )

1. Commuting

Courtesy of WABE (

Saving a few thousand dollars (the freshman dorms are about $6500-6900 for 2018-19!!) might seem like a great idea, but adjusting to the workload and new responsibilities will be very, very, very difficult. Oh and Atlanta is the third most congested city in traffic in the whole of North America.


2. 7 Hours of Class in a Row


Not being able to eat or nap from noon to 7PM (that’s SEVEN hours) is really honestly terrible. Even with “easy” classes, seven hours wears you down, so just don’t do it. Spread out your classes a bit!









Compare these two schedules: In the first one, you’d only get a break from 10:20 to 12:00. The second schedule has a start at 12:00 and a break between 2:45 and 4:30.



3. Cutting Class

I get it. You’re tired. It’s 8AM. You don’t want to walk across campus for some Physics lecture, but attending your classes gives yourself a dedicated time to be exposed to the material or to digest it further. My typical workflow for each class is this:

  1. Always be on the lookout for newly assigned homework.
  2. If that homework is on material that will be covered in lecture more than a week in advanced, then wait on doing it.
  3. Otherwise, if that homework will be covered in lecture in the coming week, start it! Use all of your resources (this includes a textbook!!) to try and expose yourself to the material.
  4. Go to lecture, knowing bits of information on the topics, and weaving those bits together.