As a current senior in college, seeing all the freshman on campus and is…well…somewhat nostalgic. While I’m happy to be an upperclassmen and growing up, with the start of the school year I thought a freshman year mini-guide would be a fun post! Check out my Freshman Year of College Tips and advice I wish someone had shared with me 3 years ago!
Freshman Year of College Tips:
You don’t need to know your major.
Coming in, I had no idea what I wanted to major in. But I swear the first day of introductions everyone else seemed to know their major and career path. However, in due time I learned the first year is all about exploration so it’s okay to not know. Oh and 75% of people turn out to major in something completely different than their freshman declaration.
Doing nothing is okay.
Living with 5 other roommates and constantly surrounded by people and activities to do, I rarely ever justified “me” time. Sometimes a great Saturday night can be catching up on a good book and a much needed vacuuming session.
Don’t waste time on people who don’t want your company.
The truth is, in freshman year you’ll meet tons of people and go through many friends. Some stick around, other are part of a passing phase in life. Focus time and effort on those who want you to be in their life. Don’t waste time on those who could care less.
Wearing your lanyard around your neck is not a good look.
Step outside the campus bubble.
Now don’t get me wrong, taking part of campus activities is a great experience. But part of the fun of going to school in a city is stepping out and exploring new neighborhoods.
Don’t lose touch with high school friends.
While 90% of high school friendships fade, the other 10% are really here to stay. Our lives may be different now, but there’s comfort in familiarity.
Take a language class.
Okay, so this might not apply to everybody but one of my big regrets is not learning another language. After studying abroad, I found it amazing that most people in the world are at least bilingual. Looking back, I wish in the past few years I took the time to learn a language!
Invest in business casual clothes. You’ll need them.
In high school I never had to dress up, and informal dress was the norm. However in college you’ll be interviewing for jobs, going to career panels etc. so owning a few business casual outfits is important. I remember frantically running to Macy’s to find clothes the day before an interview.
Don’t compare yourself to others.
Living in a place where people come from all different backgrounds, it’s easy to get caught up in comparisons. It doesn’t matter whose got a better grade on an exam, whose parents have more money, or whose already gotten a fancy internship the fall semester. Self-growth is key.
Build bonds with professors.
Office hours actually aren’t scary and almost all professors want to know their students, especially in big lectures. Make yourself stand out by taking initiative to meet with them. I wish I had done more of this freshman year. And not to be cynical, but it will totally pay off down the line. Besides recommendations, it’s nice to have an adult to discuss things with, such as careers and life in general.