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My Advice for Incoming College Freshmen to Enjoy Your First Year to the Fullest

As my freshman year comes to a close, I have been reflecting on the experiences I have had here at IUP. Never did I imagine how much I would have grown in my first year of college!

I have gotten involved and experienced more than I ever could have imagined: I joined a team for a sport I had never played before in my life, ran for an executive board of a student organization I am passionate about, got baptized, found a community of writers and amazing, strong women through Her Campus, and so much more.

I entered college with the mentality that I would follow my passions and not allow my own fear or self-doubt to stop me. This is the best advice I can possibly give to incoming college freshmen: follow your heart and your passions!

In high school, I allowed my hesitation and fear to control me at times. Looking back, there were so many opportunities I missed out on because of this. 

College is a fresh start and a new chapter in your life. No matter what college you go to or what your major is, there will be limitless resources available to pursue your interests, hobbies, and passions. Even if there is not an organized group for your interest, many colleges allow students to create new organizations to expand the opportunities available for students.

Prior to college, I ran cross country and track. I was terrified of playing a sport that involved a ball, puck, or any moving object. I started to form an interest in ice hockey, however and reached out to the women’s team captain at my school. Not only was she friendly and encouraging, but she also introduced me to an adult hockey league that I have now been playing on for seven months! 

Another important thing to remember freshman year is that every other freshman is pretty much in the same boat as you: nervous and eager to meet people and make friends, join activities, and start classes. I felt anxious that I would not make friends, but in my first year here I have met amazing people that I am now lucky enough to call my best friends.

Even if you are not sure if you will like something, try it out. Attend your school’s orientation and activities day, and sign up for a few organizations or groups that interest you. It is a great way to meet new people, find community, and form connections. And who knows, maybe that club that seemed slightly interesting will turn into your greatest passion!

Freshman year can be hard and nerve-racking, but think of all of the countless opportunities that you will discover. I know I sound like a cliche orientation leader saying “get involved!” but seriously, give it a try and you will see all of the amazing experiences that will come your way.

Lover of pumpkin pie and curiosity. IUP Nursing 2024
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