Freshmen entering your first undergraduate year this August — first of all, congratulations! You should prepare yourself for a whirlwind experience. College is filled with exciting chances for growth and also mistakes. As of now, I am finally an alumni of my university. My freshman year was four years ago, and a lot has happened in that time. I have learned many things that I wish I did not have to. However, the lessons I have reflected on have made me into a much more capable person than I was coming into my first year of college. Here is some advice for freshmen from a college graduate!
1. Make yourself a priority.
Acquiring a boyfriend or girlfriend may feel like everything to you as of now, but you should realize that college is not a time to give most of your time or even a lot of your time to anything but yourself or your studies. Also, you will be making a bunch of new friends. Some of them will have good intentions, and some will be false. Make sure you listen to your intuition always.
2. Join at least two clubs.
Extracurriculars are more important than you think. They offer you leadership experience, which is a huge deal when you are looking for a job. By your junior year, you want to be in lower level leadership position. By senior year, you should be running at least one club. Extracurriculars also give you real world experience. For example, if you work with your school’s newspaper as a journalist major, getting an editor position would be amazing on your resume.
3. If you want the best grades possible, live on campus for as long as you can.
I decided to live off of campus my junior and senior year. And honestly, my grades went down pretty significantly my junior year. It was difficult adjusting to paying more than one lump sum bill, and living far away from campus did not make it easy to show up for class on time. Even though living off campus provides you with more freedom, it also gives you more time and ability to slack off.
4. Look for an internship now.
I know the world of internships seems quite hard to get into, and it is definitely new territory for people just leaving high school. You may have also have heard people telling you that you do not need an internship until junior year. This is not true. Having multiple internships throughout your college career will show that you are a versatile employee. You can ask your advisor about internship opportunities. For writers, “Odyssey” offers writing positions and also leadership positions. For all types of majors, lookup the VSFS internship with the federal government. I just recently finished up with this online internship and I definitely learned a lot from this opportunity.
5. Create a strong relationship with at least one professor.
Having a good relationship with one of your professors in your major’s department will help you immensely throughout your four years. They can help you find what you are truly interested in and tell you what classes and teachers cater to those interests. They can also be great references for job applications and graduate school!
Upcoming freshmen — you have four years to fly or fail, and it is all about what you make of your college experience. Here are some last pieces of advice: listen to your mother, speak out in class, and never let anyone tell you cannot be where I am today, a graduate!
Published by Odyssey Online on May 30, 2016