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Congratulations, you’ve made it!

You’ve finished high school in Dubai and finally stepping into the college world and while you’re reading this you may feel ecstatic yet awestricken; Questions start to storm in your head: Is freshman year of college in abroad hard? [Highlight please] What is freshman year of college like in Dubai? [Highlight please] What I will do during freshman year of college? [Highlight please] How I will start? [Highlight please] Perhaps, the first thing that springs to your mind- what classes should I take in my freshman year of college or should I look for a job?; or feelings such as “maybe I am tired of being a kid, tired of school life”; “I am an adult now and I should be free and depart”. Take it easy and hold your horses. Yes, it is your first great big step into adulthood, however ever wondered why it is called “freshman year”? Basically, it is as I said your first phase in the existence of independent adulthood, it is during the time, you will start your “fresh” “first time” moments, you have to learn more about the world around you especially living in UAE and that what you do in your first year of college will have big impact on the rest of your college years and rest of your life. What defines adulthood by the way? The planner, organizer, analyzer and whatnots… The part of you that urge you to think logically and rationally; The part of you that direct you to decide independently and meticulously; The stage when you are no longer considered a “minor” as commonly known as 18 years of age. Tick your imagination. Can you picture the beauty of your adult self? There’s more to freedom rather than the word alone. Comprehend. Contemplate. Hence, focus and building the WOW adult in you. College year is your first world [transition phase] that you will build the adult in you, it does not mean being random, independent and spontaneous like “study hard, party harder”. It means balance, learn how to balance, manage to learn and endure whatever life brings. How do you survive a freshman year of college? Here are some of college tips that shall guide you a heap. Don’t fraught and avoid pitfalls.
  1. Always go to Class. Attending classes regularly and having notes shall make you better focused and reach excellent disciplinary level.
  2. Know your Professors. They’re there to help you, visit them, and build rapport, converse about a book you read or ask for extra Martial and ask for help implicitly. Mingle and start networking. Remember life is about networking.
  3. Act as an Adult now. Think, analyze, observe, gather information and make a logical decision. You may make wrong ones but we all do, don’t worry just learn from mistakes and move on. This will make you competent and skilled person.
  4. Connect with Career Hubs. As important it is to connect with professors while building your network, it is so important to enhance your network with career advisers; this will be an indispensable resource in the years to come.
  5. Be active in Career fair. Don’t miss any of them, even if you’re first year College, trust me 4 years will just pass, so fast and you will find yourself searching for job. Hence visiting career fair, meeting and talking with recruiter swill give you great insights about the industry, the qualifications, and the physical showcasing yourself. Don’t forget, you are building your network.
  6. Internship [if offered will be great chance], don’t miss it. It will make things easier to get another next year and so on. It will build good professional connection and increase your network.
  7. Become Socially Active. Freshman year trap is like becoming isolated and overwhelmed, this absurd stance won’t help you at all. Instead become social, adults are social humans love to interact. Hence take a speech class to enhance your communication skills, join a club or sport team, participate in college activities preferably the organizational part, speak up in the class and express your opinion that will build your confidence.
  8. Explore your Campus. Don’t be lazy stop asking for information from your colleagues or friends, build the spirit of being GO-GETTER explore the city, be your own guide. Nothing is more gratifying in dauntlessly doing things firsthand.
  9. Be confident. Getting out of your comfort zone, and try new things. College is the greatest opportunity you’ll ever have for personal development.
  10. Get a Job. As tricky as it may seem, but I push you to try it, getting a part time job will build a lot in your Adult self, you will learn a lot of it and it will make you feel good when you start to earn. It will build the balance but most importantly if it won’t affect your studies. Be honest and true to yourself. Stop when you must. My advice is try to find a job the match your schedule, studies. Check your campus; ask for any summer orientation for incoming students.
  11. Family, family and family. I wish I can stress more in this point, stay in contact with your family, and never let physical distance results in separation. You need them more than you can imagine. They know you better than anyone else, hence be open to them and share everything. You never know when things go bad and help will be needed.
  12. School Friends. Don’t let them go easily; when things grow apart we tend to forget people who we used to love. Keep the connection you never know who is your true friends could be.
  13. Choose your New Friends carefully. Get connected to like-minded colleagues, this will help and empower you in your journey. Don’t allow toxic people in your life, they drain you energy and lead you off your road.
  14. The Library. Please read, Don’t Skip. It may sound boring or unreal to go to library and you find yourself dragged to it just to make a research paper, and say I have Google which is a Know-it-All. But going to library will build the following:
    1. Wide resources available more than you can imagine which then enhance your searching skills and build the analytic power in you and the pleasure of exploring and finding facts.
    2. It will empower the silence space, where you relax you mind and be able to focus, if you visit library on daily basis you will discover the core of what I say.
  15. In the Library – magazines, guides to local places, databases, leisure reading, videos, and of course, the books you need for your papers. Learn as much as you can about your library, as soon as you can. Talk with the librarians about the resources available in your field. Check out the resources you can access remotely so you don’t come up stuck when you realize you need one more reference in the middle of the night.
  16. Take it Easy. Stress won’t help trust me, take a no-study day, go for a walk, go to park, beach, etc. Time to charge your self-battery.
  17. Stay healthy. Make use of the gym, avoid junk food as much as you can, use public transportation, avoid caffeine, etc. It may sound silly but you are building yourself brand and having a good physical shape helps a lot.
  18. Be Organized. Keep your clothes clean and neat, keep your room tidy, put your alarm away from you reach to get up on time and stop being lazy.
  19. Embrace Technology. Use it for your future, build the new you, use social media as your communication to tell who you are, what you learn and what is your planned future, start from now and create your linked in profile.
  20. Create a Resume if you don’t already have one, this is your sales pitch, this is what recruiters read and build perception about you, hence create it from now and keep enhancing it.
Final Words to Ponder College Year is the first transformation stage in your life as an adult, focus on building yourself mentally and physically. Don’t underestimate the power of networking-be socially active, good communicator and an excellent speaker. Whether you will join college in a university in Dubai, UAE, and travelling back home or abroad my tips to you shall apply with a fine tune here or where and I wish you best of luck in your life.  


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