7 Essential Tips For Surviving Freshman Year (Ep. 12)

College Info Geek PodcastHide yer lanyerds and throw your drawstring bags over a bridge – school’s back in session!

Honestly, I never got the whole thing about not wanting to look like a freshman. Entire blogs have been dedicated to this goal, and yet, being out of college, I honestly wish I was a freshman again.

Sure, back then I was super poor and had to deal with old people asking me, “Which one is the Start button?” – but it was a ton of fun. Two words: mattress jousting. Don’t tell your RA that I gave you that idea.

I’ve been getting lots of emails from students just now starting college lately; if you’re one of them, well, welcome!. 🙂

Hopefully you’ll find College Info Geek to be a helpful resource through your college years. After listening to this podcast, you might want to check out the Start page to learn more about the site.

For those of you who have been been around for a while, don’t tell the newbies about that one time with the thing at the place. Seriously.

Anyway, today’s podcast is dedicated to freshmen. I’ve put together a series of tips I believe you need to know, so if you’re a freshman, definitely download this episode.

If you’re not, you may find it helpful anyway!

Items Mentioned in this Episode:

I mention a lot of things in this episode, so I’ve split them up into categories this time around:


Articles for Building Your Personal Brand:

Other things:

Blogs Mentioned:

Things You Should Do After Listening

Yeah, I’m giving you homework. Deal with it.

  • First and foremost: As detailed in this episode’s last tip, take some time to sit down and try to write out your true life goals – not just career or school-specific ones.
  • Read some of the articles linked above on personal branding, and start building your personal brand.
  • If you liked this episode subscribe in iTunes and write a review! 🙂

If you’d like to get more great content, plus some exclusive resources to help you build your personal brand, subscribe to the CIG newsletter using the box below!

Thomas Frank is the geek behind College Info Geek. After paying off $14K in student loans before graduating, landing jobs and internships, starting a successful business, and travelling the globe, he's now on a mission to help you build a remarkable college experience as well. Get the Newsletter | Twitter | Instagram

Hey there! Please note that some links in the article may be referral links, meaning that if you buy something through them, I'll earn a commission (at no extra cost to you). This helps to support CIG, but please don't buy anything unless you truly believe it'll benefit you! You can learn more here. Thank you :)

Want to Earn Better Grades?

Did you find this article useful?

Over 150,000 awesome students are learning how to dominate their classes, get more done, and land the jobs they want - and you should too.

Join in, and I'll also send you a free copy of my book on earning better grades!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. I couldn’t agree more about getting a job in college. I avoided getting a job for a long time for all those B.S. reasons you mentioned (time, stress, all that stuff). I wish I had gotten one sooner.
    I got my first campus job through helping a professor with her WordPress site. I was doing it to be nice and help her be better prepared to help her students, but it led to her offering me a job in the department computer lab. I have learned more about the Adobe Creative programs by helping others with their problems in the lab than I ever learned in class!
    The increased contact with professors also led to me being offered a job at the campus tutoring center providing one-on-one tutoring for an HTML & CSS class. Again, my knowledge has increased greatly because of this as well as my ability to teach others!
    Sure, the money is nice (and higher than minimum wage!), but the practical experience I’ve gained is far more valuable to me.

    • That’s awesome, Andy! I totally agree that the money isn’t really the biggest benefit of working in college. It’s nice, but the skills you gain and the connections you make are much more valuable.

  2. Hey there! Thanks for the advice. I’m in my third day of classes as a first year student. I have been working hard to keep everything in the cloud and really utilize evernote for organizing notes and random “paper” in my life. I really think it would be great, at least very useful, for you to post the way you specifically used Evernote in college and use it currently. Perhaps obvious or more subtle tips and tricks that I might have overlooked or not found on their website!

  3. Great episode, finally got some time to listen to the full thing (I can definitely relate to the sardine can schedule comment).

    More people definitely need to hear #7 as well. Too many students I talk to don’t have a clue what they’re doing after graduation, and even as freshman and sophomore that should be at least a medium priority in their lives.

    • I think it should be high priority, honestly. It’s not just “What am I doing after graduation?” It’s more a question of how you want to live your life in general. This should shape every decision you make; if you aren’t thinking about it, then you’re doing things at random – or, just as bad – simply because other people tell you to.

      Your priorities and life preferences will definitely evolve as you go through college, so you don’t have to worry about committing to a particular goal whole-heartedly. However, you should at least give yourself an idea of how you’d like to live, and seek experiences that will let you find out whether or not you actually like living that way.

  4. I would definitely sign up for a class where all we did was read the Harry Potter series and talk about it all day. I know you read a little bit of fan fiction, so here’s a recommendation–Estora’s “journals and ice cream” series on AO3. It’s nothing like Methods of Rationality, but it focuses on older Draco Malfoy and Golden Trio, has spot-on characterization and made me laugh out loud several times per chapter. /shameless plug

    Since I’ll be a freshman next year, I’ll definitely keep these in mind! It’s a really nice condensing of content that’s spread throughout the site. Thanks for the definition of a personal brand, too, since I wasn’t too sure about what exactly that meant.

    I would like to request a blog article/podcast, although feel free to ignore it: Bad decisions you definitely should not make in college.

    • Thanks for commenting! I may have to give that fanfic a look when I have some time.

      Glad I was able to explain the meaning of personal branding well. Hopefully I’ll be able to help make that term more well-known in the world.

      As for bad decisions in college… I might be able to make an article out of that. I’d have to exercise quite a bit of restraint in order to avoid making it an article solely about missing opportunities and/or sounding like a mother – “Don’t binge drink!”

      • Two things come to mind: mattress jousting, and eating a giant hot dog covered in cheese and crushed potato chips at 2 a.m.

        I’ll do a post if I can remember a good amount of other things.

// Read This Next

How To Build The Ultimate Hanging Loft Bed

Want more? Join over 150,000 students and grab my free book on earning better grades  →