LESSONS FOR EVERY COLLEGE FRESHMAN
from recent grads...
1. Your freshman year can mean everything, yet means nothing at the same time.
Of course if you are sleeping with Joe, Jack, Tyrone, and Miguel, and they are all teammates or hang out in the same circles, you may be put in the jump-off category for at least a year and a half. Simultaneously though, but not ALL of the time, the chicks you meet your freshman year will be memorable to you throughout your college career in some aspect, but not all of them will be your best bud after the first semester, but that’s okay. Also, let NO one hold you back in no way shape or form in college. It is not worth it. The guilt you might get from neglecting them will be short lived, and everyone will forget and forgive, at some point before you graduate. With that being said, Be Selfish.
2. Do not NOT work.
Unless you are a student-athlete and have good prospects to become a professional athlete and you don’t have time to work, work! Or intern. Why not make money, or get some experience, while in school? Yes, college is a time to have fun and focus on school, but it is also a time to prepare you for the real world. Don’t forget the current “real world” and “real world” jobs aren’t that simple to get, even for college graduates with great GPAs. You have to do as much as you can to even be in the competitive playing field. There is no reason no too. You have the free time, and why not make your own money from it.
3. Take advantage of all the breaks.
Fall, Thanksgiving, Winter, Spring, Summer Break. Travel, travel, TRAVEL, do community service, study abroad, and just plain ole DO STUFF. You’ll regret it later when you realize that you easily had the time and opportunity to do so, without having to take off work or had to work while travelling. You will have an abundance of carefree fun and interesting things to talk about in interviews if you do purposeful work during these breaks. To put it simply, use your time in college wisely. You’ll never have that easy time for possibilities and flexibility ever again.
1. Don’t get lost!
Finding yourself is a lifelong journey but don’t forget to just be comfortable being you. You are going to meet so many people and have experiences that you will remember forever but in the midst of all that, don’t lose the values and morals that you’ve always had.
2. Do your best!
Apply this to any area of your life that you see fit. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with college because you are steady looking for a balance (To me, it was the hardest thing to do!). Don’t discredit yourself, don’t judge yourself, and don’t make excuses for yourself. Of course, there will be days when you don’t do your best but make an effort…try to always do your best.
3. Have a plan but not really!
Have a plan for your college career but don’t have plan for your college career. I say that because I think it is important to have an idea of what you want out of your college career and after but don’t allow that plan to take away from your college experience. If that plan(s) falls through you are left with disappointment which can be very damaging if you allow it to be. So of course, have an idea of your future but honestly I say just go with the flow. Once again, apply this to any part of your life that you see fit.
1. If you need help, ask for it.
This is probably the most important thing I can impart. College can be harder than it has to be when students don't take advantage of the resources available to help them flourish. No one is going to hold your hand through the process but if you reach out, you will find that people will begin to invest in your success. I was tutored in a number of courses throughout my tenure and at first I struggled with feeling inadequate but I also graduated with honors, see how that works? Mental, emotional and spiritual well being is vital and often times unaddressed. College can be scary, overwhelming, taxing and even disappointing. Staying whole and healthy is more important than graduating on time, keeping up with the status quo, and gaining the approval of your parents. Never be afraid to talk to someone about the pressures and expectations you are trying to balance and certainly don't hesitate to take the steps to better your situation.
2. Protect your reputation.
Everyone has a reputation whether they know it or not it's just that we usually only hear about the bad ones. If you work hard, people will know. If you're only good for a turn up, people will know. After about four or five years your peers will become your professional network. Don't be the person that always wants to put their name on everything but never contributes, don't be the person that shows up for a party but not for class, don't be the person more concerned with appearances rather than service. The goal is to be celebrated not tolerated and after the thrill of undergrad wares off and the real work begins you may end up with a popping instagram but no one willing to forward your résumé. It's all about balance... have fun but also have purpose.
3. Learn something new everyday.
By the time you graduate college you will not have all the answers and that's fine. However, the worst thing you can do is graduate without direction. College should be a learning experience outside of the classroom just as much as it will be academically if not more. Learning about yourself and growing into your adult identity is a significant change that should take place as you're earning credits. This comes from building meaningful relationships with your peers and getting out of your comfort zone. Be yourself as you get to know her, love her unconditionally and do not apologize for it. You may have the same group of friends from Freshman Week and you may not. Embrace your maturing ideologies, new perspectives and concrete passions. Don't limit your education to the books and don't limit your classroom to the campus.