By Joshua Grizzle
Marketing Coordinator, Georgia’s Path2College 529 Plan
October 19, 2015

5009141550_86b9bbcf2e_b_dAs the semester midpoint draws close, most college freshmen are probably experiencing what I call the “freshman freak out.” Symptoms include mild to severe panic attacks over that chemistry midterm, the pit in your stomach feeling when you decide to change your major for the third time, and the ensuing Netflix and Ramen Noodles binge when you realize that college is not as easy as the movies make it out to be. In fact, it’s quite the opposite of the movies and you have so much to do that you just lay in your bed contemplating what you got yourself into.

It is okay! As a survivor of the freshman freak out (and all the other that follow as you approach graduation), I can tell you that it will all be okay and that going to college is the best decision you ever made. You were accepted into college and your journey can and will end with a cap and gown.
The freshman freak out may be inevitable, but here are a few tricks that I learned during college that can help:

Get your sleep

As valiant as all-nighters may sound, they don’t really help you in the long or short run. Running on 3 Starbucks double shot expressos will send you crashing around 10 AM which is about the time your exam will start. It is much better to plan your study time out about three days before the exam and be rested.  A rested mind is working one. Your body will thank you, and so will your GPA.

Call a close friend or family member

If you are freaking out, call someone you are close to. I don’t know how many times I called my mom on the verge of tears the night before a paper was due. She would listen to my delusional story about the unrealistic chain of events that would happen if I didn’t finish my paper on time or if I didn’t get a good grade. Looking back, my stories seemed a little ridiculous and quite humorous, but my mom always listened intently and always told me “You can do this.” All you need is a little bit of encouragement from someone close to you. You will be surprised at the difference it will make.

Start a part-time job

Although this may seem counter-intuitive when you have so much school work, I found that when I started working part-time, my GPA actually went up. Working in college teaches you valuable lessons in time management.  Apart from having some extra cash, working also teaches you the value of a dollar. Put a portion of that money in your parent’s 529 plan. It will show them you are serious about your education and graduating.


The last trick to just breathe. Go take a walk on campus, go to the gym, and just get out of your dorm room. It will all be okay. You will survive the freshman freakout and you have what it takes to graduate.
Now all you have to worry about is that freshman 15 pounds!

About the Author
Joshua Grizzle is a Marketing Coordinator for Georgia’s Path2College 529 Plan.  Joshua has been with the Plan for nine months and works with the plan’s integrated marketing efforts in grassroots outreach and graphic design.