Quarantine has given me a lot (and I mean A LOT) of time to reflect not only on myself but on my college life. As I brace for my last semester of college online, I wanted to share some of my wisdom with any freshmen or other college students. I’ll share some tips ranging from all of the cliches to things I wish I would have done as a freshman. Although we’re in really weird times right now, I hope that I can still be helpful in any way that I can.
I was inspired to write this from my favorite Youtuber, Nicole Rafiee. You can check out her video here: Nicole Rafiee - no bs college advice
JOIN A CLUB!!!
I promise this will be so beneficial for you and one of the best decisions you will ever make in college. Find a club that you’re interested in. Attend Mean Green Fling. Joining a club will help you make connections and maybe even find your forever friends. I wish I would have joined Her Campus sooner because I’m living my best life here! If you’re shy, joining a club may seem daunting, but being in an environment with other people that share the same interests will help break your shell. Trust me.
2. Pick a major that will make you happy
I’ve changed my major 3 times and changed my mind multiple times on a minor. It’s okay! College is all about finding what you love and having a great time doing it. Don’t pick a major that you’ll regret or only pick it solely for the money. Don’t feel pressured to do anything you don’t want to because, at the end of the day, it’s your life.
3. Talk to your professors
Now I am totally guilty of not doing this, but there is so much benefit in doing so. Yes, you hear this all of the time, but even just reaching out to clarify a question or to say “hi” will go a long way. It’s those connections that you may need for either a job or a recommendation for grad school that will come from your connection to a professor.
4. Don’t do anything you’re not comfortable doing
This kind of goes back to my advice on majors. This is a code I live by and tell all of my friends to follow. There’s a difference between getting out of your comfort zone and feeling pressured into doing something. At the end of the day, it’s your choice and your body. Its good to go out and explore places and meet new people, but never push yourself outside of your limits.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
I personally struggle with this since I feel as though I should be doing everything myself. However, asking for help is not a weakness. There are more people out there that are willing to help than you think. The sooner you realize this, the easier it gets. College is the time for growth and improvement, so if you’re having a hard time, ask a friend, a professor, a parent, a counselor, heck, even a stranger.
6. Please don’t live with friends
You’ll hear this a million times and think, “that will never happen to me!” or “I’m the exception”. But don’t. Every bad thing you’ve heard is true. As much as you love your friends, living with them is a whole other story. Communication is really key and if you and your group don’t already have a good system resolving conflicts, then living together is not going to work.
7. It’s okay if you don’t become best friends with your roommate(s)
There is no rule that says just because you’re roommates you have to be best buddies. It’s great if you do! But establishing boundaries in the first few days with save you a year of heartache. Being nice and cordial is ten times better than being enemies.
8. Take care of yourself
Your brain, body, and soul are going to scream at you if you pull too many all-nighters. Take a breather anytime you feel overwhelmed. It’s not worth ruining your mental health if you run yourself to the ground. Take a spa day. Treat yourself. Exercise. Hang out with your friends. Do something relaxing that can help take your mind off of your busy schedule, especially coming back to school during a pandemic.
9. Stay organized
Taking a semester fully online is frustrating and daunting. However, it’s not going to help if you don’t create a schedule of some sort. Use a planner. And tasks and reminders to your phone calendar. Better yet...sync the Canvas calendar to your phone so you have all of your due dates. No matter the way, being organized and having a consistent routine this semester is more important than ever.
10. Do what is best for you!
At the end of the day, you only know what’s best for you. If things get too much, reach out to someone, and ask for help. If you need a change, go out and get what you want. You are the only one that is in charge of your life, no one else. I’m rooting for you and can’t wait to see what you do next!