Last year Hanna at The Millennial Next Door did a post with her advice to college freshman. I really liked this idea and filed it away in my head as something I wanted to do this fall. Now that classes have started across the country for college freshman, it seems time to break out my own advice to college freshman.
Choose Your Electives Carefully
Once you leave college your opportunity to spend time learning about things unrelated to career or family really starts to get squeezed. It can be tempting to only choose electives that are deemed as an “easy A” or make you giggle (*cough*humansexuality*cough*), but most colleges and universities offer so many interesting classes. Take advantage of this opportunity to learn about things outside of your major. It’s likely you’ll have to choose from a list of required electives so go with the ones with which you’re most interested. I took a class about Venice, one about Buddhism, and another about women in the Bible (in this historcal context, not religious).
It’s Your Decision to Go to Class
Once winter rolls in and Richmond has the smallest dusting of snow or ice I always see angry comments on Facebook towards VCU for not canceling class, embarrassingly usually from parents. As hard as it is for these parents to let go, ultimately it’s your decision as a student to go to class. If you feel circumstances make it too dangerous to go, then don’t go. Once you get into full-time job world, it will be unlikely that work will be cancelled unless it’s a serious weather event. So when it snows or ices, it’ll be up to you to decide if you go in or not.. and if you don’t go in, you’ll likely have to use up a vacation day. Missing a class here or there is fine, but you’ll be expected to show up to work so why not make showing up a habit now?
Find the Activities that Interest You
Everyone has their own interests and their own things they want to explore in college. There’s nothing wrong with Greek life just like there’s nothing wrong with student government. There’s also the option of getting involved with activities outside of your college in the local community, even if it’s a part-time job. Just find some activities that interest you and go for it!
Take a Summer Class
If you stick around campus for the summer, take a class (or two). In my experience, summer classes were more laid back and it was nice to stay in somewhat of a routine. The tiny bit of homework over the summer isn’t a big deal and it’s less classes that you have to take during the regular semester which is a nice bonus.
College can be stressful at times. It’s the first time you’re really out on your own figuring things out while trying to complete a degree. Trying to balance work and play can make papers and test seem more stressful and make simple decisions seem so complicated. Try to enjoy college as much as possible. Don’t beat yourself up about a bad choice, learn from your mistakes, and enjoy the freedom of staying up late and going where you want when you want while you can.
I could go on and on, but those are a few pieces of advice. What would you add?