How to Survive Freshman Year as an Art Student: 26 Practical Tips

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How to Survive Freshman Year as an Art StudentAs an upcoming freshman in art college, your goal now is to complete the course requirements and become a professional artist. Before you get to that stage, however, you must undergo your transition from being a high school student to a college freshmen.

College life is an opportunity that you’ve earned. Being a college student will allow you to learn more about yourself, meet great people, unleash your true potential as an artist, and experience a world unlike any other.

Do not waste this opportunity – make the most out of your situation by reading the tips below on how to survive freshman year and pass the course with flying colors!

Taking care of your health

  1. Food Pr0n: Potato and Radicchio Flatbread

    Food Pr0n: Potato and Radicchio Flatbread (Photo credit: drmiggy)

    When you’re living in a dorm, learn how to prepare healthy home-cooked meals. Do not rely on fast food, pre-heated meals, or food loaded with unnatural sugar and preservatives .

  2. Beat the Freshmen 15 – become a member of a nearby gym so you can manage your health, stress, and even your sleeping habits. Here’s a list of awesome tips to maintain your health and fitness in college.
  3. Never deprive your body of sleep! Always find time to get some rest to prevent your body from crashing down. Here are awesome tips on how to sleep better and smarter at LifeHacker. It might also help if you use this bedtime calculator to find out what time you should sleep to wake up on your preferred time.
  4. Do not take prescription drugs to aid you with your studying, regardless of what people say.
  5. Moderate intake of coffee is good. According to the New York Times, four 5-ounce cups of coffee or one Starbucks venti-size coffee helps stave off cancer, dementia, and mild cognitive impairment (the precursor to Alzheimer’s). That, and it helps you stay awake during classes.
  6. Since you will be spending time together with your roommate, learn how to co-exist with him or her, at the very least. Even better, set ground rules with your roommates so both of you will know how act in the dorm without stepping on each other’s toes.
  7. Familiarize yourself with the campus by walking around during your free time. This also lets you get some much-needed exercise.

Managing your schedule and priorities

  1. Mike Rohde's Custom Moleskine Planner

    Mike Rohde’s Custom Moleskine Planner (Photo credit: Mike Rohde)

    Buy yourself a planner to keep track of your priorities and things to do. I suggest downloading the Evernote app so you can write, voice record, and take pictures of your reminders. This comes in handy since everybody’s got their smartphones with them. But if you’re better off with a notebook as your planner, that’s fine too.

  2. Learn how to use sticky notes on a regular basis. Buy different colors of sticky notes so you can categorize your notes according to color.
  3. Always leave free time in your busy schedule so you can get some rest or do something that you’ll enjoy.
  4. Keep track of your expenses and saving while in college. Download the Easy Money app to your Android phones so you can create a budget for the month and lets you record your purchases.
  5. Save money by borrowing textbooks from your library first before buying. If you find the book interesting and a great resource material that you can use in the future, only then should you consider buying. You can also consider purchasing its e-book version at a cheaper price. Lot’s of schools have used book programs or buy them off on-line classified ads.

Choosing subjects



    Don’t choose classes just because you feel they will help boost your career. Instead, choose subjects that you find interesting. This is a way of expanding your knowledge of the world and not just to your field of study.

  2. In relation to the above, don’t take up core subjects during your first year just so you can get them done.
  3. Expose yourself to large and small classes. A class with ten to twenty students is more personal and intimate while a class of over a hundred students are usually handled by compelling professors, thus making the class more engaging and dynamic.
  4. Ask around campus, particularly your advisor, and find out the best classes to take based on your interests. Also, find out which professors hold memorable classes so you can take them later.
  5. Find a schedule for your classes that will suit you well. Normally, students space out their classes to give them time to prepare for the next.  Some students prefer clustering their classes together, leaving little time in between classes, early in the morning so they’ll have their afternoon free.

Dealing with school work

  1. English: A Student of the University of Britis...

    English: A Student of the University of British Columbia studying for final exams. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Find the best study methods for you. Some like to do their work weeks before the deadline, while others fare better when trying to finish a project or a homework  just hours before the deadline. Here are different studying methods featured in Huffington Post that you can try out.

  2. Reward yourself after an exam to get your mind off school. Buy yourself clothes, watch a movie, or spend the evening with friends.
  3. If you received a bad grade, chalk it up as a learning experience. You can also arrange a meeting with your professor for him or her to explain in detail why you got a low score.
  4. Before taking up a summer semester, be sure that you’re willing to take up 16 weeks worth of education crammed in six weeks. If you’re not ready, you might get overwhelmed by the workload.
  5. Engage in two extra-curricular activities to take your mind off school – one that’s for fun and the other one for your career. However, the clubs and organizations you join in should not take time from studying your courses.
  6. Always makes decisions in college based on the demands of your program. If you have  an art project to finish soon, focus your attention on that instead of doing something else.


  1. tex playing video games

    tex playing video games (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    If you’re into video games, play the ones that allow for two or more players. It’s best to play with your roommates or friends you meet during class as a way to bond.

  2. When packing up for college, bring things with you that you can share with your roommate (tools and utilities come in mind). Also, keep in mind to pack light by limiting the items you’ll bring with you to your essentials.
  3. If you’re unsure of whether or not to join a fraternity or sorority, read this.


How about you, college graduates – what are tips that you can share to our upcoming first-year college readers to show them how to survive freshman year? Enter your advice by commenting below!
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