Being a freshman is always hard.
It’s that time for you to leave your home, family and friends. You have to move all alone to a different city or even the other side of the world. You have to deal with all the homework and housework while you are trying to find your place in the middle of a huge community of talented musicians. Freshman year is challenging but there are ways to make it easier.
But don’t panic! In life, everything that is new is tough, but even more so at Berklee. So much to do in very little time and too many activities that you’d like to join, but you can’t, could make you feel frustrated and overwhelmed. Even having some time to do things like sleeping or feeding your stomach could turn into such adventures.
This is my sixth year of university, although I’m in my first semester at Berklee, so let me share some of the skills I have learned from my previous college experience:
1. Find some time for yourself
Taking care of oneself is one of the most important things you should remember. No matter how much work you have. Just save some time in your schedule in order to do things that make you feel good, for example, exercising, going to the cinema, or spending time with your friends. It will be a great way to forget about your responsibilities for a while and will make you feel good about yourself.
2. Use your student planner
It could seem to you that you don’t need to write stuff down because you have a good memory, but one day it could put you into trouble. Better to be safe than sorry is a good statement to keep in mind!
Doing your homework as soon as it is assigned and doing what is most urgent first rather than doing the task that you enjoy the most, such as playing your instrument instead of doing harmony homework, is not the best way to organize yourself. Prioritize the tasks that have the closest due dates and everything is going to be alright!
4. Ask for help if you need it
It’s completely normal to have lots of questions and difficulties in your first semester at a new institution. Don’t be afraid to ask your teachers, classmates or advisors about your doubts and share your feelings with them if you feel you need support. They are here to help you in your transition into the college!
5. Attitude determines altitude
Don’t be afraid: If you were accepted at Berklee it is because you deserve it, so work hard in order to reach your goals. A teacher once said to me, “What you put into it is what you get out of it”. So just dedicate time and effort to your class projects and you’ll receive lots of knowledge and skills in return. Freshman year doesn’t last forever. You won’t be the confused new person for long.
I hope that these five tips will help you in your first month as a freshman. Here are some motivational words when you feel upset, think about the lyrics of ‘Jimmy eat world’ by The Middle:
“Hey, don’t write yourself off yetIt’s only in your head you feel left out or looked down on.Just try your best, try everything you can.And don’t you worry what they tell themselves when you’re away”. –The Middle Jimmy Eat World