It’s weird to say that I will be graduating from college soon. After watching way too many movies, I thought college would have been all about sorority parties and meeting my lifelong significant other (side eye). While neither of those things happened for me, my experience has been a positive one and comes with very little regret. Could it have been better? Absolutely! And if I could improve it, I would do so by telling my freshman self the following seven things.
1. Get Involved and figure out your interests.
College is a time to figure out who you are and where you want to go. At this point in life, failure from trying new things comes with very little risk. So, start the club you’ve always wanted to, join the marching band, create your own space and use your voice. All these things will make you stand out and make your experience way more meaningful. This is the part of college that brings the fun memories and introduces you to really amazing people.
2. Work experience is sometimes more important than grades.
College is the perfect opportunity to learn a variety of skills and gain relevant career experience. Volunteer in areas that match your skill, look for on campus jobs that can give insight to where you’d like to work, register for the internship program at your school and use your summers wisely. This puts you way ahead when entering the workforce, not only in terms of experience, but in terms of salary as well. On the other hand, if you are hoping to go on to graduate school, make sure to talk to your professors and form a good relationship with them early on. Look into research programs and take advantage of any research conferences happening in universities around you. Basically just use this time to ask important questions!
3. Classes will be hard but not impossible.
I look back at myself as a freshman and the endless tears I shed over my papers in my room, the panic attacks that happened when I was certain I would fail a class, and the absolute dread that overcame me when I walked into one of my exams and knew not one answer to any of the questions. However, looking back I can say that I was able to pass all my classes when I got my act together and started using the resources available to me. I started going to office hours, I started using the mentorship center at school, forming study groups, Googling class topics and watching YouTube instructions. All these resources were free and they helped tremendously.
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