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3 Things I Wish I could Tell my Freshman Self

As September hits and I return back to school, all I can think of is how this is my last year in college! My college experience has flown by so fast that I cannot believe I call myself a “Senior”! I still feel like it was just yesterday that it was the first day of orientation and I moved into my dorm room with a random girl that I have never met before. Now that random girl is one of my closest friends and I have loved every minute of my time at college. Could it have been better? Of course! I had so many mistakes and awkward moments during my first year that I wish I could have changed for the better. With that in mind, here are 3 things I wish I could tell my freshman self.


1.    Join clubs that match your interests.

College is all about experimenting with what you may or may not be interested in. At this point in your life, trying new things comes with little risk and high reward. So get involved and join anything that seems interesting to YOU. If it doesn’t work out, at least you will know and can try something else. This is the part of college that brings the fun memories and introduces you to really amazing people.


2.    Experience has greater importance than grades.

All you worry about in high school is to getting good grades so you can get into a good college. Well, once you are in college, the next step is finding a job that you are passionate about, and you aren’t going to find that passion if you are only focusing on every grade you receive. Go to classes to actually learn the skills and knowledge that might be used in future opportunities. Don’t just study for getting an “A” in the class, study to learn how to apply that knowledge into an real-world experience that could make a great impact on and off campus. This could be useful to utilize in an internship for your dream job or a volunteer opportunity to better the community. Also, get to know your professors and peers. Networking leads to many opportunities for success, whether it is in a future job, graduate school, law school, or medical school. Try to use all the resources your college has to offer to make your college experience great, as well as bring meaningful opportunities after college.


3.    Time management will be your biggest enemy.

I had many worries as a freshman dealing with social anxiety, keeping up with school work, and living away from my family. I was so excited to be in a new school with new people that I kept telling people the word “yes” more than the word “no”. Since I was agreeing to do so many things, I was spreading myself very thin and barely kept up with my school work and sleep. Looking back, I wish I was not afraid to turn down some offers. I was so worried people would stop talking to me or think poorly of me if I said “no” to invitations. But it’s okay to take time for yourself. You cannot do everything in the world, but you can control the controllable. Enjoy time with friends, but don’t forget to schedule time for self care into your schedule.


Danielle Yao

Portland '19

Ain't it a blessing!
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