Advice for College Freshman
I recently volunteered for a new program my college was trying out. FYI I'm not one to do alumni stuff, but it sounded cool, so why not. They called it a Pen Pal program, and the admissions office mailed me 10 names with 10 cards. All I had to do was write 'advice' to incoming college freshmen. By card #3, my hand started to cramp up and it was probably the only time I desperately wished we had a printer. But as I wrote them, it prompted me to think about what I loved about college and what I'd do differently. Here is what I wrote as my top 3 pieces of advice:
- Use your Resources. Ask everyone everything. Sometimes your 'admissions counselor' or whoever they assign to you doesn't come through. This was the case for me - I forget why. But when I was struggling with passing calculus, I literally went up to one of my marketing professors for advice. It worked - they recommended what I do and who to use for tutoring. They know more than you think, even if it's in a completely different subject. I found it much more helpful asking professors for advice, rather than turning to friends or going through the system.
- Pay attention to what you like doing. If I could go back and do it again, I'd really focus on what I liked doing in each of my classes and making a note of it. Spoiler alert: College is nothing like the real world. But if you can identify what you're really good at, it's easier to hunt for jobs post-college. For me, it was designing small projects in the Adobe Suite. I didn’t want to be fully immersed in a graphic design degree, but it helped me identify that I liked having a hand in creating parts of a brand that helped to tell its story.
- Surround yourself with good people. I found it somewhat easy to meet people and make friends. I have to admit though, it was one of the scarier parts of going to college - would I be good at making new friends? Turns out there’s a friend everywhere you go. In line at the cafeteria, sitting behind you in advertising 101 and your housemate. Your friends make all the difference when going away to school! Just put yourself out there. The friends you make now, you’ll most likely know for life.