Back To College: Advice To College Freshmen from A College Senior
I've really wanted to do a post like this for a long time, but I never felt like I had enough wisdom to share in the past.
And now that I'm a senior in college, it suddenly feels like I'm ready.
So if you are a freshman, whether you are in college or not, check out my advice to you below. I specify college, but really, it works for high school as well :)
Push out of your comfort zone.
College is a great place for you to try things that you never had the courage to try before. For me, I wasn't confident enough to try student government in high school, but then I did in college, and I loved every minute of it.
It felt great to be able to try something that I've been dying to try, and know that I won't regret that decision.
It all comes down to whether or not you will regret not trying something. And if you know you might regret it in the future, just try it.
Learn things you are genuinely interested in.
I have those parents who push me into learning something 'practical'. While that is important, if you are not passionate about the practical class, then it makes it hard for you to want to learn.
So if you want the best of both worlds, do a bit of both. But just make sure that you are happy and motivated to learn about whatever subject you choose.
TIP: Do NOT take a class because your friend asks you to if you know you don't care about the class/topic. I had people tell me this when I first got to college, and I genuinely thought they were kidding - they were not, and I am not. It's not worth being able to sit next to your friend in class.
Don't be afraid of making mistakes.
I don't think you'll ever meet a college student who's never made some sort of mistake in college. (I am talking about the wide range of mistakes, not just academics). But it's okay to make those mistakes. Because it is those mistakes that we learn from, and then grow from.
Those mistakes are necessary, so embrace them when they happen, and then move on.
Ask loads of questions.
Don't go through college without asking questions. Questions are what helps you learn, and what challenges you and your mind.
If you are wondering, my boss calls me the question child. I am the one she can always count to ask loads of questions, and I'm not shy about it. You shouldn't be either.
College is what you make of it.
If you go into college not trying very hard to make friends, and then graduate college with no friends, you can't blame anyone but yourself.
College is what you decide to do. Kind of like high school - you reap the rewards of what you sow/do. Do what you gotta do to do well at school, but don't forget that if you want a good time in college, and make 'college the best four years of your life', you gotta go get it yourself.
Don't be intimidated by upperclassmen - we've all been there, and we understand.
I had first-years last year timidly ask me questions when they needed help, and any time they did that, I felt an immediate kinship to them. I wanted them to understand that whatever problem/question they had, I had it to, or am still having it.
Upperclassmen know their way around the system, the college, the resources, so don't be afraid to reach out. And if we don't know the answer, we will be able to find you the right person to give you that answer.
We promise we do not bite!
Use your college resources, because they can take you places.
Seriously, use the resources available to your school. I really do recommend checking out them before you arrive on campus, because then you know what to look for when you are wandering around.
But also, use your upperclassmen! Because they will know the ins and outs of those resources better then what the college website says.
As I am entering my final year of college, it's all starting to hit me, and I wish I had someone tell me these lessons. To be fair though, I did most of these coming into college, and it's worked out for me.
If you have been through the system, or a current college senior, what other advice would you give college freshmen?