Back to school time is, once again, upon us and that means we'll have a bunch of new freshmen roaming the campuses of Abilene area colleges, like Abilene Christian University, Hardin-Simmons University, McMurry University, Cisco College, and TSTC.

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Your first year out of high school is exhilarating, but it can also be overwhelming, so I decided to put together a few tips for all incoming freshmen.

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Don't Schedule an 8 AM Class

I don't care how great you are at waking up early. Making it to an 8 AM class is dang near impossible, especially during your first year.

Don't Pass Up Free Food

You'll soon learn there's a "club" for just about everything in college. Many of those clubs entice freshmen in by offering free pizza. You'll also soon learn that you never have enough money in college, so free food is a precious commodity.

Do NOT Get a New Credit Card

Refer to the above statement about not having enough money while in college. A new credit card may sound tempting, but a decade down the road you'll realize your crappy credit wasn't worth that $300 you spent at the mall.

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Prepare Yourself for a Little Extra Weight

The freshman 15 is real. For some odd reason, you're going to gain weight your freshman year and you just might freak out. So, prepare yourself.

Learn to Sleep Sitting Up

ACU, HSU, and McMurry all require you to attend chapel each week. Religious preferences aside, chapel is boring and you'll more than likely want to catch a few minutes of shut-eye.

Say Goodbye to Privacy

Many dorms have community showers, which means you'll be sharing that space with others on your floor.

Always Have a Designated Driver

Even under age, many college students like to party. There's no sense in screwing up your life, with a DWI, when you could easily have your non-drinking roommate drive you around.

Participate in Your Classes Often

At some point in your college career, you'll want/need a letter of recommendation from your professors. Even if your grades aren't great, showing that you're trying may endear you to your teachers.

Sleep. Sleep Often

This sounds like a "duh" moment, but you'll find everything will interest you more than sleep. Trust me on this one.

Make Friends with Nerds

If you plan on partying all the time, not sleeping, and missing your 8 AM class, then befriending a nerd might be the wisest way to get through your first year.

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Locate the Nearest Coffee Shop

Remember that talk we had about sleep? Well, you'll soon find that coffee is your best friend in college (and going forward). Don't believe me? Just wait.

Now following those tips won't guarantee a high GPA, but they'll help you survive that first year on your own a little easier.

Oh yeah, since you'll be new, then check out these date night activities you can do right here in Abilene.

LOOK: The Best Date Night Activities in the Abilene Area