As I prepare to begin my junior year of college, I have been thinking back on the last two years, and how much I have grown since my first day at Ohio University. I was excited, scared, hesitant, and wondering what the next four years were going to have in store for me. With that being said, after completing half of my college experience, here are a few pieces of advice I have for any incoming freshmen, including the me of two years ago.
- It's Okay to Be Indecisive
First, it’s okay to not know exactly what you want to do for the rest of your life. In my junior year of high school, I went on a college visit and was asked not only what I wanted my major to be, but exactly what position at exactly what company I wanted to be at after graduation. Being just shy of 17 years old, I had no idea. I could answer what I wanted my major to be, but even that was more complicated than meets the eye. In college, you have to figure out specializations and minors and certificates and focuses. All I knew was that I wanted to study journalism! Three years later, I have figured (some of) it out and parts of my plan are totally different than I originally thought. Which, I now know, is totally okay! I personally did not switch majors, but I know plenty of people who have and they are doing just fine academically, and are way happier pursuing a career path they actually love. So, if you’re coming in undecided, or apprehensive about your declared major, that’s okay. You have plenty of time to figure it out still, even though nobody tells you that.
- Sign Up for Everything!
Even if you have no plans of actually attending that club meeting or being involved with that organization, if it interests you at all, sign up. On my first day on campus, I had to attend a journalism-specific involvement fair and was very reluctant about going. Even more so, I was very nervous to write down my name and email for organizations. But, I told myself that I could always *not go* to the meetings. I did that for a couple of things, and for others, I gave it a try and found out it wasn’t my thing. But there was this one organization, the table at the involvement fair had the nicest girls working it and they gave me free sunglasses, so I put my email down. Lo and behold, it was Her Campus! I have remained involved since that first day and even just accepted the Twitter manager position for the upcoming year. So, take it from someone who was less than crazy about signing up for things: do it, do it, do it. You never know which one(s) you’ll actually enjoy!
- Be Present
Finally, try your best to be present when you get on campus. It is both normal and okay to be homesick and miss your high school friends, but don’t let that stop you from being fully present at OU. Athens is a special place, and if you really give it a chance, you could grow to love it and the people you meet here. I have met some lifelong friends at OU, and I wouldn’t have done so if I didn’t let myself experience college.