Leaving home for the first time and moving off to college can be a daunting task for any 18-year-old. The prospect of living on your own, away from the watchful eyes of mom and dad is both frightening and exciting. Everyone will have a different experience during their first year in college, but there are certain steps you can take to ensure that you make the most of this new period in your life without sacrificing the grades. Live In a Dorm One of the most important things any freshman student can do is make an attempt to live in an on-campus dorm for his or her first year. They will most likely be old, smelly and have communal bathrooms that never seem to be clean or have hot water, but it will be the best time of your life. When sharing a hall and bathroom with 30 or 40 other students, you have no choice but to make friends, and those friends will last the rest of your life. You'll meet plenty of people in classes and at other social activities, but those whom you live with in a freshmen dorm will be your first true long-term college buddies. Just remember, they're all in the same boat as you: fresh out of high school, on their own for the first time and trying to figure out just what this college experience is all about. Live with them for a year, and chances are you'll figure things out much better as well.