The top 5 tips for college freshman from a bestselling author

Many college freshmen will be dropped off at campuses in the next couple of weeks.
Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 5:15 PM EDT|Updated: Aug. 19, 2022 at 9:42 PM EDT
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(WFBS) - Many college freshmen will be dropped off at campuses in the next couple of weeks.

College means new friends, classes, clubs, and a ton of independence.

It can be a major adjustment.

Channel 3 spoke with bestselling author Harlan Cohen to get his top five tips for college freshmen.

“I really felt alone. And I thought I was the only person going through this,” Cohen recalled.

Cohen said he quickly realized that he wasn’t alone. College freshmen every year wonder “what am I doing?”

“I didn’t know how to make friends,” he said. “I didn’t know how to find my places.”

He said he figured it out. Now he dishes out expert advice to college students and parents.

He even wrote The Naked Roommate, the number one bestselling guide to college life.

More than 55 percent of students nationwide felt hopeless in 2019, according to the American College Health Association.

Cohen gave Channel 3 his top 5 tips for college freshmen.

His first tip sounds simple: Want something.

“Whether it’s academic or social or emotional,” he said. “What is it that you want? Because if you want something, then you have a goal and something to hope for and works towards.”

Tip number 2: Getting comfortable with the uncomfortable, and he wasn’t just talking about 8 a.m. times.

“This is a change,” he said. “To rename this ‘the getting comfortable year’ is really powerful. You give yourself permission to really feel how you’re feeling and know that this is normal. If it’s supposed to be the perfect year or the best year, you’re going to your dream school, and everything’s supposed to work a certain way. If it doesn’t work out that way, you could really question yourself. So, I really love renaming the first year ‘the getting comfortable year.’”

Cohens’ next tip involves one of the first people freshmen will meet. Their roommate doesn’t have to be their best friend.

“They can hope they can be a good friend, but they should enter this relationship knowing that we’re just sharing a space and friendship is a bonus,” he said.

College students go out at night. It could be a new scene for freshmen.

Cohen’s next tip: Be smart about being stupid.

“Have a plan for going out,” he said. “Everybody who goes out together comes back together. If you are in a place where you aren’t [with] people [you] feel comfortable being around, get a ride home. You can call an Uber or a Lyft.”

Cohen’s final tip for college rookies: Get help before it’s needed.

“Go to your professor get help,” he said. “Go to the teaching assistant. Go to the tutoring enter. The academic support center. A lot of students don’t realize there’s free help. There’s free tutoring. There’s free resources.”

Freshmen can find more tips from Harlan Cohen on his TikTok account.

He gives them out to his half a million followers.