Finally the moment has come. When this summer comes to an end, many of you will be leaving home and attending college either far or near. Just having graduated this past May, there are a handful of things I have learned over the last four years and a ton of things I wish someone had told me before heading off to college. I decided to ask recent college graduates advice they would give college freshmen given the opportunity. Here is what they decided to share after reflecting on their past years at college.
“Create and foster relationships with as many people as you can. Those relationships and what you learn from other people can take you just as far, or further, than what you learn in a classroom.”
“Get involved in as many things as you possibly can, because those relationships are very important. I most likely wouldn’t have the job offer and position I have without being involved in the organizations I was in.”
“A complete and thorough education is better than a fast and rushed one. Everyone nowadays wants to get their degree within a certain time frame or as fast as possible so that they can begin working in their desired field. This leads to many people cramming and rushing their education which leaves them with a poor grasp on what they studied. What I am saying is, go at your own pace. You education is your education and you get out what you put in.”
“Don’t be afraid to change majors. You may decide junior year that you want to do something with your life that’s the polar opposite of what you wanted freshman year. It may take longer to graduate, but you’ll be happier with a degree you actually enjoyed learning about.”
“Have a passion before entering college. Use your four years to obtain the skills and tools to turn your passion into a career. No matter how hard the classes might get, never give up on your true passion.”
“Adopt a kitty cat! They come potty trained and don’t have loud sex when you’re trying to study or sleep.”
“Get to know your professors. Introduce yourself and don’t be afraid to shoot them an email if need be. If you’re like me and attended a big university where there can be 300 students in one class, putting my face to my name was really helpful and I felt that the professors looked out for me when they knew more about me (this was anywhere from deadline extensions, letters of recommendation, job referrals, etc.). Also, make ‘friends’ with people in your class even if you don't talk after the semester has ended, it’s good to have a study buddy, lab partner, someone to share notes with, someone to fill you in if you miss class, and especially someone to possibly share an expensive textbook with. Choose these friends wisely!"
“Focus your energies on people. People matter most. Relationships are definitely important for networking, but they’re even more important for shaping the experience had by you and your peers. Say hi to everybody. Grab lunch with as many different people as you can - your roommate, your best friend, the quiet kid down the hall, the really smart kid, the not so smart kid, the jock, the bookwork, etc. … not because it’s good networking, but because transitioning to college life can be hard sometimes and everyone needs a friend. And if you can be that for someone, you absolutely should. Also, if you’re going to exile your roommate more than twice a week buy them chocolate or something because it gets obnoxious after a certain point.”
When it comes to my own personal advice, I have a few college hacks to add of my own. Avoid 8 am classes as well as you can. You at first think it’s doable because you’ve been getting up for high school so early for the past years, but trust me the ability to do that diminishes quickly upon entering college. Make appointments to see your advisor. They are seriously so useful in helping with schedule making and are there to answer any questions you have. Some of the best classes I’ve ever taken were because an advisor recommended them to me. Take general education classes that totally differ from your major. It’s important to expand your horizons in order to figure out what truly interests you. You’d be surprised at the amount of topics and studies that colleges provide classes for, so I advise to do some extensive research.
Editing Note: This article did not filter through the normal EmpowHER editing and fact checking process. It was checked for spelling and grammar.Read more in Being HER