Freshman Life Hacks: A How-To Guide to a Great First Year

Hello everyone! My name is Nadia, and I’m from Indonesia.

It has been a month since the end of my first Spring semester here as a Biology student in the School of Agricultural Sciences, and summer is in full swing. Looking back, freshman year was definitely an eye opener; it was a pleasant experience all in all, although it did not feel that way when I was knee deep in stress.

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At the Nature Club Trip to Jigokudani, Nagano to see the snow monkeys!

Thus, here’s three tried and true tips on how to make the most out of your first year in Nagoya:

Know that this is YOUR College Experience, and You’re Not Competing with Anyone Here but Yourself

G30’s an exclusive program. A lot of the people you’ll meet here are ambitious, talented, and passionate—just like you! Sometimes, in an attempt to stand out, you might get caught up comparing your progress with that of your peers, which may lead to feeling unsatisfied with everything you do. It is important to keep in mind that college is your best chance at diving deeper into what you love to learn as well as to sharpen your skills.

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At the Science Trip to Nakatsugawa – We were trekking by the lake

Surround Yourself with Positivity

Being a freshman is a unique time where the transition to adulthood begins.

Simple things such as remembering to pay your bills and being healthy can become a chore when the workload piles up. Life is surely easier when you have a friend to lean onto for support. Granted, he or she might not be able to solve your problems, but at least you don’t have to bottle up your troubles to yourself.

The fact that most of your classes in freshman year are conducted together increases the chance that someone out there might be facing similar issues too. So, be proactive and try striking up a conversation with the people around you!

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Christmas party at the dorm’s common room with the Bio friends- a thing we plan to make a tradition for the years to come

Don’t forget to have fun!

This may sound very cliché, and yet a lot of people tend to dismiss this. I admit, I myself tend to forget, especially in the thick piles of schoolwork.

Instead of simply going through the motion, it’s best to slow down, and enjoy the process. Take advantage of Japan’s exciting culture and make Japan’s many cities your playground. There are quite a few interesting places in and around Nagoya to explore, and traveling is feasible even on a student budget.

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With Indonesians friends on our last day of the Spring Semester’s Japanese class

I know my tips may not cover every aspect of freshman life, but fret not! Your seniors as well as professors are always here to support you. Best of luck for the year, and many years to come!

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