Dear Freshmen: Advice from Upperclassmen

The school year is less than 24 hours away. For some, this means saying goodbye to summer, and welcoming a new schedule of courses. But for some of you, tomorrow you will be waking up to your first day as an official college student. It’s going to be nerve-wracking, terrifying, but most importantly, it’s going to be unlike anything you’ve ever experienced. So take a deep breath, hold your head high, and attack this new experience. With the help of some great friends (you’ll make those, too!) I have put together some advice you’ll want to keep in mind for your first day.

“Don't take yourself too seriously. You're old, but not that old, so remember to laugh at yourself and smile through things that feel impossible.”

  • Sydney W., Senior

“There is NO shame in asking questions, it’s more shameful to fail a class over a question that you were too scared to ask.”

  • Chris M., Super Senior

“Ask everyone questions. Like, every single person. And ask them real questions, and when they answer, really listen! This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to live with, eat beside, study, work, (and party, with a DD!) with, and learn from literally all over the world, from all walks of life. I think I put so much pressure on myself to learn from my classes, which obviously is so important...but now that I'm in the real world I wish I would have asked my professors more REAL life questions (USE OFFICE HOURS...for real....), and asked my classmates and study buddies more about themselves and their perspectives, and less about the lab reports or excel spreadsheets we made together. College lessons mostly happen outside the classroom, and I wish I would have soaked them in more.”

  • Lauren M., Recent Grad

“If you've chosen a career path for the money or because it's something someone else wants you to do, take a breather to figure out what you love most. We're too young to be racking up regrets that'll last the next 80 years.”

  • Channing, Grad Student

“Some days are going to be awesome and some days are going to suck. Most days are going to have a lot of both. Don't worry when you feel like you're not "having the time of your life" every single day.”

  • Katelyn H., Junior

“Find people that you enjoy hanging out with. They may not be your friends from high school, but if you find a close knit group you'll have a ton of fun throughout college.”

  • Anonymous, Junior

“Do everything you can. Get involved in any club that interests you - you can always quit and it never hurts to broaden your horizons. Go to the gym. You literally have to pay for the gym as part of your tuition, so you might as well take advantage of it. Same goes for football games or any other athletic events. They're included in your tuition, but it's easy to forget that when you graduate you'll have to pay for these things and it'll definitely hurt your wallet. Most importantly, ditch the high school boyfriend for at least your first year, especially if you end up at other schools. I know this sucks, but a relationship will do nothing but hold you back from experiences. Live it up while you're young so you don't eventually resent each other for missing out on cool opportunities. And find comfort in the fact that if it's meant to work out, it will. :)”

  • Hunter G., Recent Grad

“Go. To. Class.”

  • Jordan, Senior

“Don't take yourself so seriously. Do well in school, but never think you're too cool to try something. Have fun being silly and corny, you'll look back on that moment and be happy you did that ridiculous halftime promotion at a basketball game.”

  • Emily C., Recent Grad

“Trust your gut while out. Enjoy every moment. School will come first most of the time but it's okay if you choose yourself once in awhile.”

  • Anonymous, Recent Grad

“There are many other places to buy textbooks other than the university store. Amazon is a great one. I also usually choose to wait to buy textbooks until I know for sure that I will need them/benefit from them in that class before I buy them.”

  • Conner, Super Senior

“Always take advantage of free food.”

  • Anonymous, Super Senior

“Go to class! Seriously, don't skip. Skipping is a slippery slope. You're not paying tuition to sleep in or hang out with friends.”

  • Emily, Grad Student

There you have it. Enjoy this experience, find joy in the little moments, and don’t forget to call home now and then. And if all else fails, ask an upperclassman for some advice. Good luck tomorrow. Let’er Buck!