Dear College Freshmen,
Congrats on making it through four years of high school in order to get to graduation—you guys are the true MVPs. All your nights of studying for SATs, cramming for a perfect score on the ACTs or even understanding what information to omit from your index card have paid off. However, don’t get too excited for this is only the beginning. You still have another 4, 5 or even 6 years of college ahead of you.
As as senior in college, there are often days in which I reflect on my freshmen year and if there were anything I should, could or would have done differently. It’s easy to say “no” but honestly, I think we all get to a point in life where we view things from a different lens—but if you haven’t gotten to that point, maybe you should change your prescription.
Whether you’re leaving home for the first time or only going to school down the street, your first year matters. Read on for tips on mastering your freshman year of college and I promise, everything will be okay.
- Be you: Understand that it is okay to be yourself. It is also equally as important to respect yourself, establish morals and have something to stand up for. You may be a freshman but that doesn’t mean you are powerless or weak.
- Explore the Unknown:Your first year is really a year of journey and discover. It is okay if you don’t know exactly what kind of major you want to stick with or how you plan on mapping out the next four years. Use your first year to try new things and discover new possibilities.
- Embrace change: College professors are different from your high school math teacher. In college, you have to hold yourself accountable for everything you do. Don’t expect professors to spoon-feed you throughout your undergraduate career.
- Have a working resume / cover letter: Whether you worked at your local ice cream store or dog walker, those are all experiences! Most colleges have individuals who work in career services, so use them. When it comes to this, a little bit goes a long way.
- Network: Most college professors have connections throughout a variety of industries. Show you care about your field by not only being attentive and doing the work but also asking your professor about any and every question. If you do great academically and build a report with your professor, this will have a huge reward later on.
- Seek balance: College is a marriage between social life and academics. Balancing the two can be tricky but it’s important to find ways to better manage your time. If you are having trouble with academically, don’t hesitate to seek out help.
- It’s okay to call home: Sometimes a call home will make your day great. Although you’re at college, don’t forget to call home here and there. Everyone needs some kind of advice to get them through.
All in all, your first year of college is everything that you make it. To quote my former high school basketball coach, “How you practice is how you play.” Make your first year count. What are some tips that helped you through your first year of college? Let us know in the comments below!
photo courtesy of Tumblr*
somewhere in a sushi restaurant.
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