This past academic semester some amazing students from the University of Missouri’s TRIO program were challenged to write blog pieces that relate pop culture, student development and leadership. We will be featuring the winners, selected by our Trill or Not Trill staff.

The high school days have finally come to an end. Now, it is time to open a new chapter of your life. Whether you’ve begun freshmen year or are just beginning to start your journey, you get to experience life for yourself. Mom will no longer have a say in what you do! And that means you have to make the best decisions for your success.

College is a very different environment than high school. So it is best to have a plan of success. Try not to go in blind. It’s good to educate yourself about unfamiliar situations. Those are things that I did before going into my first semester of college. It’s time to figure out how to get in formation and slay your first semester of college.

Whatever slaying is to you, make it work and do it BIG!

With me approaching the end of my freshmen year, I want to provide trill readers with some tips on how to slay your first year of college.


  • Maintain the slay mentality
    1. Stay goal-oriented and keep in mind what you’re here to do.
    2. College is distraction galore, so when you get stuck between deciding to go out on a Thursday night, or studying for an exam, make the right decision!
    3. Having a strong mindset will get you through the rough patches when you feel like giving up. It will also keep you grounded when you may have negative influences around you.


  • Stay in formation
      1. Prioritizing and time management is essential!
        1. A. Put the more important things first and save everything else for later. Education should always come first!
        2. B. Keep up with deadlines and exams to give yourself efficient time to study. But remember, sometimes you have to take a break from the world and focus on yourself. Be patient, and make time to relax and de-stress.
        3. Take detailed and organized notes!
          1. It is easier to learn and you get all the information provided in the lecture. Make it to where you can easily comprehend the material in your own words.


  • Get what’s yours, take what’s yours, you’re a star
    1. There are plenty of free resources on campus made just for you, use them!
      1. Never be afraid to ask for help. Tutoring is a great option, and there’s nothing wrong with it. Also, utilize your professor’s office hours.
      2. Utilizing the resources available to you can really boost your grades and your self-confidence to help you achieve what you deserve.
      3. Work hard for what you want no matter what obstacles get in your way.
    1. Focus on doing your very best and do not let your grades drops!
      1. Try to aim for a high GPA your first semester to set a strong foundation for the rest of your college career
    2. Always complete assignments ON TIME. Do not slack and get behind in homework; it will pile up and you will feel overwhelmed!
    3. Cramming is not effective, so make sure you give yourself enough time to finish work and study before deadlines/exams.
      1. Sleep is very important because it is easy to lose track of time. I do not suggest pulling all-nighters. Unless you wait till the last minute to complete an assignment, then it may be necessary. But do not make it a habit.

Queen Bee never disappoints. She provides some of the best advice when it comes to slaying in any situation. I constantly find myself unconsciously applying her lyrics to my life whenever I need. Like last semester. The semester was coming to an end and I felt like I needed more motivation to finish out with a bang! My first semester was great, with a lot of successes. I currently have all A’s in my classes, and am involved in several organizations. Using all of these Beyonce-inspired techniques, I was able to have a successful first semester of college. Make your experience your own, but keep in mind the overall goal. If you stay motivated, you too can achieve your goals for your first semester of college.


Tristian Gassoway