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Advice for College Underclassmen From Senior, Stephanie Hernandez

Meet Stephanie Hernandez, a senior majoring in Management of Information System. She’s a member of ChickTech and Girl Development in Philadelphia. Some of her interests include playing video games, tech blogging, and staying up to date with the latest trends. In her free time, one can find her working watching Ted Talks, reading philosophy and botany books, and twitch streaming. 

I asked Stephanie if she could share any advice she has for college freshman. She did admit that she wished she could do things different during her earlier years of college. Here’s what she had to say:


Meet as many people as you possibly can. Making connections is possibly the best possible thing you can do in college. The friends you have now all won’t be there in a year a two. People will transfer, some will drop out, and others will migrate to new friend groups. Having a large group of friends and making connections will prepare you for when friends start to go their own ways.


Go to class. I cannot stress this one enough. My freshman year I never missed a class, but my sophomore year I began to slack a little and found myself snoozing my alarm instead of going to class. Once you skip once you’re going to want to keep skipping. My grades began to suffer and I ended up missing out on a lot of in class assignments and you have to remember that there are millions of kids who wish that they had the opportunity for a college education, and to not care is honestly selfish.”


“Talk to your professors. They’re a whole lot more understanding than you’ll think. If you’re overwhelmed and don’t have time for an assignment, talk to them about it. Chances are that they are going to be understanding and will let you turn it in the next class. Also, don’t be afraid to get to know them personally. There could possibly be a time when you need a job reference or an internship later. Talk to them while you can.”


“Call your mom. Or your dad. Actually, call both. They love you endlessly and miss you more than you think they do. Times can get stressful while at school, but don’t get so busy that you forget to call your parents. My freshman year I was so involved in this new environment that I often forgot to call home, and I regret that a lot. College won’t always be there, but your family will be.”


“Don’t fret about picking a major. There’s no reason to stress over choosing the right major. Just remember to trust your gut. There is always the option to transfer into a new program. Think of college as a way to grow and seek out new interests and opportunities.”


“Update your resume. Make a resume if you don’t have one yet. Learn how to write a cover letter. Sign up for a mock interview if you have time. Research helpful interview tips. Watch what you post on social media. Buy some nice business clothes. You may be having fun now, but the time will come where you need to apply to internships and/or find a real job. Get started now while you have time.”


I singlehandedly agree with every piece of advice Steph gave me. Life is full of regrets, but learning to grow from it and helping others not make the same mistake is the best way to cope with them. Hopefully you were able to take some of her own advice or pass it along to a friend. Thanks for reading! 

21 years old. Social media manger for HerCampus IUP. Comm media major. Photography, flannels, iced coffee, dogs, feminism, and dairy-free ice cream. 
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