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What Every Incoming College Freshman Should Know

If you're looking at attending college this fall, it won't be long until your first semester begins. There are probably a lot of details and priorities crossing your mind for when you hit campus. But there are a few things that every freshman should know before they kick off their South Dakota State University college experience.

Here are a handful to get you started.

You have academic support

High-quality academics are a given when you enroll at SDSU—but to truly get the most out of your first semester, make sure you know the tools at your disposal. After all, your study habits are going to have to be even more on point than they were in high school. Check out SDSU's tutoring and academic support programs, and take advantage of access to your academic advisor. They're there for a reason!

You can be open

Living with dozens of people your own age may be a new experience for you. But as our own SDSU students often suggest, it's okay to be open. This means that the best way to engage with your fellow new residence hall neighbors is to keep your door open when you're at home studying or relaxing. This makes it easy to meet fellow students for study groups and finding out about clubs and organizations you may want to join.

You can earn and learn

When you start college, you'll be spending the bulk of your time attending classes, practices, rehearsals, study groups and campus events. But if having some fun money or some extra cash to put toward your school expenses is a priority for you, the opportunities are relatively endless. SDSU offers work-study positions for students, and the Office of Career Development can help you discover other part-time work options.

You can get your hands dirty

The hands-on learning opportunities aren't restricted to just graduate students. Undergraduates—even freshmen—can get involved in research, internships programs and study abroad opportunities. Talk to your professors about chances to get involved in your biggest study areas of interest. Your learning doesn't have to be restricted to the classroom!

You can stick around

When you arrive on campus, don't forget to immerse yourself in college life. Upperclassmen will all tell you—there's no better way to get the most out of your SDSU experience than by sticking around during the weekends your first semester. It's the best way to quickly get to know the people with whom you'll be spending your next four years. Plus, there are several weekend activities to keep you entertained throughout your first few months—and SDSU Student Activities keeps activities going throughout the entire school year!

You can talk to your professors

One key element of every successful student's freshman year is this—don't fear your professors. The faculty is committed to giving you the best possible academic experience, and they offer office hours for a reason. Take advantage of them! If you have questions on assignments or lectures, reach out—whether it's in person or via email. SDSU professors are welcoming and ready to listen.

You can get involved

At SDSU, there's definitely no shortage of clubs and organizations—from interest groups to service organizations to academic clubs. Your freshman year is a great time to explore which ones truly interest you. And there are hundreds from which to choose. As one current SDSU student advised, "Get involved with one club that's major-related, one you love and one that scares you." It's the best time to challenge yourself, learn about new things and meet new people.

And speaking of meeting new people, one great way to get involved in the SDSU social scene is to attend some Jackrabbits sporting events—there are always plenty of home events on the schedule, so join the cheering section!