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.

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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.

Sincerely,

A Rising College Senior

Cover Image Credit:

https://www.pexels.com/photo/architecture-building-campus-clark-hall-207684/

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10 Things Someone Who Grew Up In A Private School Knows

The 10 things that every private school-goer knows all too well.

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1. Uniforms

Plaid. The one thing that every private school-goer knows all too well. It was made into jumpers, skirts, shorts, scouts, hair ties, basically anything you could imagine, the school plaid was made into. You had many different options on what to wear on a normal day, but you always dreaded dress uniform day because of skirts and ballet flats. But it made waking up late for school a whole lot easier.

2. New people were a big deal

New people weren't a big thing. Maybe one or two a year to a grade, but after freshman year no one new really showed up, making the new kid a big deal.

3. You've been to school with most of your class since Kindergarten


Most of your graduating class has been together since Kindergarten, maybe even preschool, if your school has it. They've become part of your family, and you can honestly say you've grown up with your best friends.

4. You've had the same teachers over and over

Having the same teacher two or three years in a row isn't a real surprise. They know what you are capable of and push you to do your best.

5. Everyone knows everybody. Especially everyone's business.

Your graduating class doesn't exceed 150. You know everyone in your grade and most likely everyone in the high school. Because of this, gossip spreads like wildfire. So everyone knows what's going on 10 minutes after it happens.

6. Your hair color was a big deal

If it's not a natural hair color, then forget about it. No dyeing your hair hot pink or blue or you could expect a phone call to your parents saying you have to get rid of it ASAP.

7. Your school isn't like "Gossip Girl"

There is no eating off campus for lunch or casually using your cell phone in class. Teachers are more strict and you can't skip class or just walk right off of campus.

8. Sports are a big deal

Your school is the best of the best at most sports. The teams normally go to the state championships. The rest of the school that doesn't play sports attends the games to cheer on the teams.

9. Boys had to be clean-shaven, and hair had to be cut

If you came to school and your hair was not cut or your beard was not shaved, you were written up and made to go in the bathroom and shave or have the head of discipline cut your hair. Basically, if you know you're getting written up for hair, it's best just to check out and go get a hair cut.

10. Free dress days were like a fashion show

Wearing a school uniform every day can really drive you mad. That free dress day once a month is what you lived for. It was basically a fashion show for everyone, except for those upperclassmen who were over everything and just wore sweat pants.

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22 Things Parents Should Send Their Children At College, If They Love And Miss Them

We're getting to that point in the semester, y'all.

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Even though college students are just a little over a month into the spring semester, we are already feeling high amounts of stress over tests and papers. Nobody said college was going to be easy, and this statement is ringing truer and truer each day. So, to the parents, grandparents, or anybody else who loves us and cares about our well being, here are 22 things you should send us if you love and miss our presence.

1. Gift cards to the local grocery store. 

Preferably Walmart or Food Lion, since that's all we have here in Farmville, VA.

2. Room decor from the Target dollar section. 

Or anything from Target, for that matter. Some college towns don't have one of these glorious establishments, and we are experiencing withdrawals.

3. School supplies. 

You can never have too many sticky notes or colored pens.

4. Mints. 

Because some people need it after lunch, and gum is disgusting.

5. A cozy blanket. 

For those cold nights spent in the library until 2 in the morning.

6. A handwritten letter. 

These are one of my favorite things to get in the mail, and there is always something so sentimental about snail mail.

7. A giant box of fruit snacks...

Definitely one of my favorite grab and go snacks.

8. ... Or candy, in general. 

Preferably, gummies. But, I won't refuse chocolate candy either.

9. Cash. 

For those late night Taco Bell runs, or just to make us feel a little bit better about ourselves.

10.  A funny movie/DVD. 

There's something so simple and serene about watching a funny movie on a DVD player that brings us back to the less stressful times of our childhood.

11.  Hot chocolate mix. 

I always get random cravings for hot chocolate, but it's never enough to make me want to go buy a box of mix.

12.  Starbucks/Dunkin Donuts gift cards. 

Because the majority of our lives revolve around coffee, and sometimes our Keurigs just don't cut it.

13.  Peanut butter crackers. 

These are so quick and easy to eat between classes (or if you're like me, IN class).

14.  Scent diffuser. 

This can be even better if you send a scent that reminds us of home.

15.  Hair ties. 

For some reason, I only own about five at a time because I am always losing these!

16.  Homemade cookies/brownies. 

These always make me so happy knowing my mom took time out of her busy day to think of me and bake yummy treats.

17.  Gift cards for our favorite online shopping stores. 

What better way to relieve stress than buy clothes you don't need?

18.  Nail polish. 

You can never have too many bottles of the same shade of pink.

19.  Mug warmer. 

These help keep your cup of coffee warm for long periods of time so you don't end up wasting such a sacred drink.

20.  Lysol wipes/hand sanitizer. 

I go both of these things at an alarming rate because some places are just plain disgusting.

21.  Band-aids. 

No one ever really thinks of buying these, but they work for so many more reasons than their typical use.

22.  iTunes gift card. 

For all those "educational apps" our professors tell us to buy. *wink wink*

Every college student loves getting a care package in the mail, so if you really love and miss us, please send one our way!

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