Advice I Would Give My Freshman Self

Coming into college can bring a mix of emotions; being nervous to meet new people, to the excitement of being out of your parents’ house. In the hype of getting your schedule together, feeling out your roommate, and deciding what events to go to and what to wear some freshman lose sight of why they are really here. At times I fell under this umbrella but I always bounced back and realized my purpose for being in college. Now that my college career is coming to a close I have a moment to reflect on the past few years I have spent in school. With all of the experience, mistakes, and successful strides I’ve taken here are a few things I would tell my freshman self.

Be open to letting go of high school friendships/relationships

Transitioning from high school can be difficult for some because of the bonds and relationships we develop over the years. From our high school sweetheart to our childhood best friends, once college rolls around often time we go our separate ways. Distance sadly doesn’t always make the heart grow fonder but these people are hard to let go of. College is the place where you should grow, evolve as a person, and find yourself… sometimes this involves letting go of old relationships because we grow out of them. You don’t have to look at this growth as a negative thing, it allows you to open up more space for the amazing connections that are in your near future!

Put your pride aside and ask for help!

Maybe it’s the fear of standing out a freshman or not knowing exactly what to ask but everyone has been in your position before. There is no reason to struggle through your classes or not know which professors to take, everyone knows something and has no problem sharing a bit of insight. Email your professors to set up appoints just to introduce yourself and get one-on-one time before major assignments are due. Attend forums and events on campus that are catered to freshman, that information is specifically for you!

Take your classes more seriously

That would require you to actually go to class! Knowing whether your professor requires attendance or not may be the qualifying factor for most, but you literally pay to go to class… so why not go. I’ll be honest there are plenty of reasons not to go; it’s raining entirely too hard, those drinks last night gave you the worst hangover before your 8 a.m. class or maybe your memory foam padding knows your body better than anyone! No matter the reason, before you text your friend and tell her to sign you in because you just can’t make it, prioritize your life and go to class!

Get involved

Now that you have your class schedule down, your next move would be to get involved on campus. There are hundreds of organizations catering to every demographic and interest you can think of. And lucky for you there are plenty of events that showcase these organizations so you’re sure not to miss out on any opportunities. Events such as The Happening allows organizations and local businesses and restaurants to market themselves to you, plus there are free goodies! It never hurts to grab some information and attend a meeting, you could open the door to new opportunities and connections.

The importance of networking

Having a connection with your professors and organizations catered to your interests/major give you the ability to network. There is nothing like setting yourself up to be successful after graduation. That includes attending department events, securing an internship or two, and even shadowing someone in your field that has the expertise you’re interested in.

 Know the requirements for graduation

Although you are just starting out, the whole reason you are in school is to gain as much information as you can and make the right connections so you can graduate and go off into the world ready for what it holds. In order to do that you have to know the requirements for graduation; are you taking the right classes, do you have a high enough GPA to get into graduate school, is the internship you are applying for geared towards your career field? Networking and staying in close contact with your advisor will help you keep track of these requirements to make sure you’re on the right path!

The next four or more years will be a rollercoaster of self-evaluation, emotion, and probably contemplating dropping out and moving back home with your parents. But that’s what college is for to push your limits, expose your weaknesses and develop them into strengths, and overall help you grow from a fearful freshman to a secure senior!