By Sierra Williams, CBSDFW Intern

Going off to college? Well it seems like yesterday when I had my first college life experience. The nerves, the excitement and the wonderful experience of going away from home. The feeling was enormous and there was nothing like the first year of college. So I made sure to do all I could to make my first year super exciting.

My First impression: “Oh my, This school is beautiful.” The first sight of college freshman year was a dream, seeming unreal. New people, new environment this will be fun. But most of all I can hang out way past my high school curfew, because now I don’t have one.

I thought about my choices, sometimes twice. Okay I admit it, I partied.

Not a wise idea, stay focused on your goal.

Don’t party too hard. You do not want to flunk out of college, not only does it look bad, you will still have to pay for your loans, and if you try to re-enroll it will be tough. The parties will always be there so make sure your school work is completed first. Peer pressure is still alive. Don’t think it is over when high school ends. You will go through some sort of peer pressure your entire life.

Luckily, I chose the quieter dorms. So i didn’t have to worry about “quiet hours”. I usually went to the louder dorms when I wanted more excitement.

Choose housing wisely. Your study habits determine your success as a student. Just like any place out of your comfort zone it matters a lot when and where your study. Dirty places and loud music made it uncomfortable for me to study effectively. An Uncomfortable setting could make it difficult.

Gain your confidence. This is the opportunity to make your own choices and your choices determine your future. Trust me, I’ve gained a lot from my experiences as a freshman and it was well worth it. After not making Dean’s list by 1 point I was terribly upset, from then on I had to make sacrifices. I learned and I gained confidence. I became a leader.

I made the Universities dance team, joined the gospel choir, volunteered and I had a lead role in the school’s production of Peter Pan where I played Tiger Lily. I was very busy but life was grand!

Get active. You should make it a goal to get involved with college life, there are numerous on-campus activities. Audition, try-out, attend, participate join in as many things that you can. The more you get involved the better your college experience will be. Don’t skip the freshman orientation you’ll never get that chance back, have fun and enjoy yourself this is the beginning of a new chapter to your life.

I Would always get involved with college activities. From freshman orientation, to our very own fall dance.

Network. Get as much networking opportunities that you can there will be plenty of juniors and seniors that will take you under their wing and show you the ropes. Stay open minded and make sure you show strong potential. Stay involved in everything, volunteer and ask if anyone needs assistance. Everyone loves a freshman who is ambitious.

In the beginning studying was not my favorite hobby, but I had gained a close friend in class. We studied together which made it a lot easier to do.

Study. Most important this is the part of education where it primarily comes from your parents pocket so make it well worth it. You will learn your craft and should be able to function effortlessly, you must study to be successful, it is vital. The more you practice good study habits the easier your 3 years will be. Trust me, it gets harder.

As an active member of the dance team we had bi-weekly grade checks. If you had bad grades you would sit out of a game. I never wanted to sit out so I made good grades and it really paid off.

Aim for a high G.P.A. All A’s should be your goal. Freshman year is almost a replay of high school, but study habits are definitely beneficial. This is the year where your G.P.A should be the highest. Mostly general education classes (i.e. History, Math, Science, Writing) are during your first year.

My Grandmother made me research sex offenders and felons around my school area. This made me think twice about going out alone.

Never walk alone. Although you may feel safe and security is active you can never be more careful. It’s like any other place away from home, keep your guard and make sure to have some type of legal self defense item.

Call home. Make sure you keep an open relationship with your family. Your family supports you and they want the best for your educational needs, not to mention they will be your support system for the next 2-4 years. Plus it’s the’responsible’ thing to do.

Care packages were my ultimate favorite.

I hope my experience will inspire you to be active and get involved. Don’t get caught up in bad habits it’s not worth it. This is the prime of your life. I have been enjoying mine and continue to keep the same enjoyable spirit throughout the rest of my years. Would I do anything different? I wouldn’t! I have learned so much from each year which made me ready for my future. No regrets.

A few wise words. What you practice in college you will keep as habits. Make wise choices and enjoy yourself. Welcome to College!

Sierra Williams is an intern for CBSDFW.COM

(©2012 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

Also Check Out: