How to Prepare for Freshman Year as an Honors Student

Blonde GCU Honors College student sits outside

It’s your first year of college. You don’t have a lot of money, but what you do have is a running list of advice. Your first year of college can be difficult, especially when adding honors into the mix! With your soon-to-be all-nighters and gallons of coffee a day, here is some advice from the student worker staff here at the Honors College to help you prepare for freshman year:

Beware Freshman 15!

Many first-year students here at GCU come in with the idea that the “freshman 15” is not real. Let me tell you, it is completely and utterly real. GCU has now transitioned to an all-restaurant campus with no cafeteria. What does this means for honors students? Well, we are extremely busy. We don’t always have time to run to the grocery store and get healthy options, let alone think about having time to run back to the dorm and make something! This is why it is extremely important to understand that gaining weight might happen and if you don’t want that to happen, plan accordingly to make time for the various free gym locations on campus.

Get Involved

GCU’s campus offers a variety of different events and clubs to get involved in. Yes, you are here to study and get a degree – however, clubs and organizations look just as good as a high GPA on your resume. The Honors College offers exclusive opportunities to students in specific fields as well as general opportunities. Someone very wise once told me, “You get out of college what you put in.” This is exceedingly true. College is not only supposed to help you learn, but also challenge you. Prepare for the workforce by being involved in many different projects.

Make Time for God and Time for Yourself

We all know that there are many opportunities offered on campus and as an honors student, there are even more activities out there that will take up much of your time. Before participating in any of these things, it should be important to make sure you have time set both for God and for yourself. By being active in so many things, it’s possible to spread yourself too thin. Having regular Bible study time and time for yourself to just watch Netflix, relax or pursue your hobbies, you can de-stress and not feel as though everything is coming down on you.


Even as a freshman, there is no reason to not network with professionals in your future field. Go to events specifically for your field. Get to know the assistant dean in your degree program. Actively look for internships and job shadowing opportunities. All of these things will help you in the future, but you can’t sit there and do nothing. Be actively looking for connections in your field and this will definitely help you in the long run!

Ask for Help

There will come times when you feel like you should be doing better in a class. You may think, “I’m an honors student. I don’t ask for help – I help others!” This is valid, but there are times when it is not your favorite subject and you don’t want to fail. Ask for help! We have free tutoring on campus for not only every student, but also specifically for honors students.

Take advantage of this time in life. The upperclassmen and alumni at GCU are full of knowledge, especially what they wish they knew their first year in college. Take advantage of this knowledgeable community. Stop by the Honors College in Building 33 for additional advice or use of one of our many resources! We are here for you!

Ready to join the Honors College? Learn more today by visiting our website or contacting us using the Request More Information button.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.