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Advice for Incoming College Freshmen

Countless school visits, research, applications, letters of recommendation, and finally……you have made a decision…you think! Committing to college is one of the scariest and most fulfilling decisions you will ever have to make. In the last week leading up to the ultimate decision day, there are still several questions left unanswered about your top choice colleges. So how do you find your dream school in such a short period of time? Take the advice from an almost college sophomore:

 

Any distance from home is still distance, no matter the travel time. I am from New Jersey and had my heart set on attending a university in Florida for the longest time. A college on the beach with my toes in the sand, and a palm tree right above me seemed to be the most appealing option. However, with more thought and consideration, I realized I would rather make a more financially responsible decision by attending Towson University (only three hours away from my home). The distance is perfect; far enough away but still close enough to my family and friends from High School. Living on your own is the greatest experience, and will teach you more about independency than ever before. When taking distance of a college into account, remember any distance you decide to go-whether it is a plane ride away or 45 minutes down the street- you are still receiving the college experience of leaving the nest.

The professors want to HELP you, not hurt you. I never dreamt I would find a school that is so flexible with all of my goals for graduation. I am in the midst of pursuing two Bachelor Degrees in Mass Communications (Journalism) and Dance, taking a semester off my Junior year to partake in the Disney College Program, and still managing to graduate in four years. With the help and generosity of my advisors and professors, I am going to be able to accomplish these ambitions. I had a pretty difficult time adjusting to the Towson Dance Program at first (due to unfamiliarity with the teachings) and my professors encouraged me every single day to try my best. I am blessed to have such wonderful mentors looking out for me every step of the way on this journey, and you should be excited for the role models you will gain through your professors as well.

Only room with your best friend if you have confidence it is going to work! Random roommate horror stories typically steer students away from wanting to take their chances on a roommate they have never met. So you may wonder, why not room with your BFF?! What students do not realize is being best friends in school and living with them are two completely different scenarios. On rare occasions, you will get lucky and figure out a best friend can be a perfectly compatible roommate. Thank goodness, as this situation happened to me! My best friend and I have shared countless experiences together and made wonderful memories throughout middle and high school. Although we were both on the same Dance Company, we did not hang out too much outside of school. We never had an argument with one another or started drama amongst ourselves. These reasons allowed for my best friend and I to become perfect roommates for one another, which I have been extremely grateful for throughout the past year. The idea of rooming with a best friend can be exciting at first, but make sure you are making the best long-term decision for your friendship.

Lastly, it is important to remember…you will not be able to do everything. As involved as I was in high school, my former experience was no test to how involved I had the potential to become on campus. 24 hours is simply not enough time to complete everything I wish to accomplish, no matter how organized and responsible I am. Adjusting to taking a step back my first year was challenging at first, but it was crucial not to overwhelm myself in the beginning. Once you become more adjusted to college life, the more involved you should set out to become. Colleges are filled with endless class, club, team, event, and service options to choose from, and it is up to every individual student to join what they truly want to join first before dedicating time to any old extra activity. Allowing time for work, extra curriculars, and of course time to breathe, will allow you to get the most well rounded college experience possible!

Amy Phillips is a student at Towson University pursuing a double major in Mass Communications (Journalism & New Media) and Dance. She is a Jersey girl at heart, aspiring to become a News Anchor and Dance Teacher. Amy has a heart for helping others in the community, dreams of dancing in the Disney College Program, as well as becoming Miss America. Follow Amy on Instagram: amy_phillips46
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