Advice To College Freshmen from a college senior

Advice To College Freshmen from a college senior

There are important things that you won't go over at orientation.


Dear College Freshmen,

First of all, congratulations and welcome to your first year of college! High school is officially a thing of the past, and now it's time to look ahead to all of the new adventures awaiting.

I'm sure you are all busy purchasing all the items you need (or think you need) for the next four years. Or perhaps you've barely given thought to your college shopping list? In either case, the start of the fall semester is quickly approaching, and the stresses of moving away (if you are) and/or starting at a new school will begin to pile up. You'll wonder about new friends and how your professors will be: kind and supportive or evil and demeaning. Let me just tell you that there is no in between. College is an experience like no other, especially if you've elected to go to a 4-year institution.

I am one of those people, by the way. I am entering my senior year at Endicott College, and I'm a criminal justice/psychology double major. Even after months of thought in high school and three years spent taking classes in each of these subject areas, I honestly am not 100% sure of what I'd like to do with my degrees. Truthfully, I'm not sure I ever will be. This is where my first piece of advice comes in: if you still have no idea what you want to pursue in regards to a major or after graduation, it is OK! DO think about it. DO spend time finding internships and other opportunities to help you peel back the layers until you hit the core of what your interests are; this not only will help you build your resume for future jobs, but it will also point you in a less zig-zagged direction. As you might imagine, thinking deeply about the answers to these life-altering questions can be overwhelming. But DON'T stress. There are people who take 40+ years to finally nail down what their passion is, while others have it figured out at the age of 5. It's a spectrum! Be open to things you feel you don't like because it may just be that you end up loving it. However, on the flip side of that, if you feel you have your whole life planned out and picked a career, avoid sticking to it so much that you miss out on other valuable opportunities. PSA #1: Going into college with a "plan" is silly because it will change. Just saying!

In addition to the futuristic aspects of college, you're probably worried about your roommate(s) and whether or not you'll be able to live with them for a whole year (even if you already know them)! My freshman year I was in a quad, and there was a roommate that three of us didn't care for. Still, we got along and stuck it out. We put in the effort to make it work and respected each of our differences. There were things I didn't like about all of my roommates, but I'm sure there were things they didn't like about me either. This balance is hard to find, but it is possible. Be respectful while also standing up for yourself. If your roommate starts hogging the whole closet speak up! If you don't, he/she will assume it doesn't bother you and probably start hogging other things too. The bottom line is this: (PSA #2): feelings will be hurt, fights will be had, arguments will arise, and blood will be shed (kidding). On a serious note, just be aware of your habits, be open, and be mindful. College is a huge adjustment!

My last major piece of advice has to do with the transition from high school to university. High school may have been a breeze for you. If it wasn't and you had to work hard for what you accomplished, this advice may not resonate as much. But for the people who showed up to class, gossiped, passed notes, failed to pay attention, can't remember anything they learned in any of their classes, never had to study: this one's for you. College is HARD. Classes are HARD. Professors don't care that your alarm was never set, or that your roommate was in the shower when you had planned to do so. Some professors will confront you about missing class to make sure you're okay and don't need anything from them; these are the professors who have your back and might cut you some slack if you let them know about conflicts ahead of time. The professors you need to worry about most are the ones who act like skipping class isn't a big deal, who don't ask you where you were, who don't concern themselves with your absences. These professors are the ones who will dock your overall grade on attendance. They pay attention, even if they don't ask where you were. Do not be fooled! Of course, skipping class once in a while is inevitable, but don't be that student who never shows up. Beyond attendance, be alert in class! What's the point of being there if you aren't going to engage or pay attention? Like I said, college classes are not like high school. Maybe the prerequisite courses/general ed. courses will resemble high school, but once your course load is comprised of all major-specific courses, you will notice the difference. Be prepared to have to put in effort. Be prepared for the realization that there are no teacher's pets anymore. Kissing up is not an option. This is the last step before the real world, and your professors will treat you as such. PSA #3: College is NOT like high school!

Before I wrap this up, I want to wish you luck. You've made it this far, and college will give you opportunities of a lifetime. Take them! Get involved, be active, make friends, be social, and have pride-- pride for yourself, your school, and your friends. Be smart with your decisions not only academically and professionally, but socially too. College will shape you into the person you are meant to be, and you will meet lifelong friends along the way. Be scared, but be excited too. Life is all just a learning process. I hope all college freshmen find their niche and enjoy their first year. This year sets the tone for the rest! Best wishes through all of the highs and lows that lie ahead.


A Rising College Senior

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To All Incoming Freshmen, When You Get To College, Please Don't Be THAT Freshman

I am pretty sure we all know who I'm talking about.


As we are all counting down the days to return to campus, students are looking forward to meeting new people and reuniting with old friends. And then, there is the freshman.

We have all been there. The eagerness and excitement have been slowly building up through months of summer vacation, all waiting for this moment. I understand the anxiousness, enthusiasm, and insecurities. The opportunity to meet new people and explore a new area is very intriguing. But let's be real, you are here to make memories and get an education. So here are a few pieces of advice from a former college freshman.

1. Don't be that freshman who follows their significant other to college

This is the boy or girl who simply can not think for themselves. The 17-year-old puts their own personal goals and interests aside to sacrifice for a six-month high school relationship. This will more than likely end at an end of semester transfer after the relationship has been tested for a month or two in college life. So if you want to really enjoy your freshman year, make your own decisions and do what is best for you.

2. Don't be that freshman who lets their parents pick their major

"You are not going to school just to waste my money."

This is a statement you might have heard from your parents. As true as it might seem, this is definitely not a good way to start your college years. If you are not majoring in something you can see yourself doing, you are wasting your time. You can major in biology, go to medical school, and make the best grades. But if deep down you don't want to be a doctor, you will NOT end up being a good doctor. When it comes to picking your major, you really have to follow your heart.

3. Don't be that freshman who gets overwhelmed with the first taste of freedom

Yes. It is all very exciting. You don't have a curfew, you don't have rules, you don't have anyone constantly nagging you, but let's not get carried away. Don't be the freshman who gets a tattoo on the first night of living on your own. Don't be the freshman who tries to drink every liquor behind the bar. Don't be the freshman who gets caught up being someone that they aren't. My best advice would be to take things slow.

4. Don't be that freshman who starts school isolated in a relationship

I'm not telling you not to date anyone during your freshman year. I am saying to not cut yourself off from the rest of the world while you date someone. Your first year on campus is such an amazing opportunity to meet people, but people are constantly eager to start dating someone and then only spend time with that person.

Be the freshman who can manage time between friends and relationships.

5. Don't be that freshman who can't handle things on their own

It is your first year on your own. Yes, you still need help from your parents. But at this point, they should not be ordering your textbooks or buying your parking pass. If you need something for a club or for class, YOU should handle it. If you're having roommate problems, YOU should handle it, not your parents. This is the real world and college is a great time for you to start building up to be the person you want to be in the future, but you can't successfully do that if your parents still deal with every minor inconvenience for you.

6. Don't be that freshman who only talks to their high school friends

I know your high school was probably amazing, and you probably had the coolest people go there. However, I believe that college is a great time to be on your own and experience new things. Meeting new people and going to new places will allow you to grow into a more mature person. There is a way to balance meeting new friends and maintaining friendships with childhood friends, and I am sure you will find that balance.

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Am I Ready For Employment?

Theoretical isn't employable.


University doesn't last forever and at some point, we all need to enter what everyone calls, "the real world". Reading books, taking tests, and studying notes throughout your college career helps you feel like you're progressing semester by semester. Despite all this, does anyone truly feel prepared to obtain a job in their field of study?

It's hard when all you study is theory and general statements to feel like you can fill a real role in society. We all know that employees are, for the most part, expendable. Competing with other potential employees is the ultimate battle for success, that being said, what happens when broad knowledge and theory compete against practical, industry-based training?

People always say to improve on your own time, but how can you find time when every class assigns work as if it is the only one being taken by students? Expending your rare free time by improving your skills is depressing, as it feels like you never get a break, but if you want to truly prepare yourself and outdo others, you must go above and beyond what is expected.

Research training programs are online where you can watch videos and chat with professionals. None of these things are difficult and are widely available all over the internet, it simply takes minimal effort on your part to open millions of doors.

Don't let grass grow beneath your feet, fight for the future you want and seize success.

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