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If you could change one thing about your college freshman year, what would you change?

I'm in high school hoping to go into either a health or law profession after college. I am currently undecided about which university I want to go to and what my major will be. #college


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Cristina’s Answer

Hi Harry!

If I could change one thing about my freshman year, it would be to take a career exploration class during my first semester in college. I took the career exploration class later in my college journey when I wanted to change my major. That class allowed me to explore my career interests and different majors. I wish I were exposed to that class early on even though it all worked out :) Good luck!

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Johanna’s Answer

Hi Harry,
I found that college was very different for me compared to high school. In high school I was involved in a lot of extra-curriculars, had a part time job, and was generally very busy. I am the type of person that likes to stay busy so I really enjoyed this. When I started college I wanted to be able to focus on my classes as much as necessary so I didn't start a part time job my freshman year since I was worried I might be overwhelmed. I also didn't have those same extra-curriculars because I wasn't playing sports or in music activities. What I didn't realize is that you have much more time on your hands in college due to decreased class load compared to 5 day/week 8-3 class schedules in high school. I wish that I would have taken advantage of the extra time I had to join clubs, play intramural sports, and stay busy and engaged. Ultimately, you have to find a balance that works for you so I would recommend giving yourself as much time as possible to dedicate to your classes upfront but if you realize that you have a lot of free time make sure you stay engaged and get out there to meet people and be active!! Your first priority needs to be school, but you also have a lot of opportunities to get involved at a university so that should be your second priority!

Good luck!
Johanna

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Johanna’s Answer

Hi Harry,
I found that college was very different for me compared to high school. In high school I was involved in a lot of extra-curriculars, had a part time job, and was generally very busy. I am the type of person that likes to stay busy so I really enjoyed this. When I started college I wanted to be able to focus on my classes as much as necessary so I didn't start a part time job my freshman year since I was worried I might be overwhelmed. I also didn't have those same extra-curriculars because I wasn't playing sports or in music activities. What I didn't realize is that you have much more time on your hands in college due to decreased class load compared to 5 day/week 8-3 class schedules in high school. I wish that I would have taken advantage of the extra time I had to join clubs, play intramural sports, and stay busy and engaged. Ultimately, you have to find a balance that works for you so I would recommend giving yourself as much time as possible to dedicate to your classes upfront but if you realize that you have a lot of free time make sure you stay engaged and get out there to meet people and be active!! Your first priority needs to be school, but you also have a lot of opportunities to get involved at a university so that should be your second priority!

Good luck!
Johanna

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Dora’s Answer

Hi Harry,

it is easy to be lost in the freshman year, you are in a completely different environment, new people, new routines, challenging classes so do not put too much pressure on yourself in terms of what you have to do or not in your first year - you will have enough time to do that later.
Having said this, if you have time and energy, I recommend to search for international groups or organizations where you can join.
I entered two organizations towards the end of my freshman year and they gave me the chance to travel around Europe, get to meet people from all over the world, open my mind, see new perspectives, learn about different cultures, etc. Having the international exposure made me decide that I would like to go abroad for an exchange programm and continue my Master studies abroad as well, so I certainly benefited a lot from this experience.

Best of luck!
Dora

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Gloria’s Answer

i would have go to an in-state school and stayed closer to home. It would have saved me a lot of money in my Core classes and it would have given me time to figure out what I wanted to major in. Freshman year of college is very different than high school. And I went to a school 700 miles from home because I wanted to go to a school that was one of the best in the country for my major. That meant everything in my life changed. I lost my support system and I had to figure out how to be successful in college all on my own. I am a shy person and living in the dorms didn't always help that. I was also very homesick. Both of those things had a negative impact on my grades. My freshman year was the first time I ever failed a class. And that was just like burning money because I paid for that failed grade, or at least my mom did. I think that I should have gone to college in my home town, at least for the first one or two years. A lot of my friends went to a local university and it was a good one, I can see that now on reflection. Most employers do not look at where you graduated from but what your degree was in during the interviews. You should consider if your dream job is one that would be the same. The college i went to initially was one that I didn't graduate from. I have two degrees now and neither are in the major that I had at that first university. I would say to my younger self, stay home and get the hang of college before moving away, even if it was just one semester at home.

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Yu Shin’s Answer

Hi Harry,

I wish I had joined more organizations and/or met more people. One of the high value things you get from college other than your education is your network. Go to the organization fairs give ones that you would not have traditionally done a try. College is a great opportunity to branch out, try new things and meet diverse people.

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Marc’s Answer

I lived on campus and went home too often - I recommend minimizing the visits home.

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Jirah Ruth’s Answer

Hello,

Looking back, I wish I made more connections. I should have been more friendly and went out to meet people with different interests and goals. With this, when you graduate from college, you'll have more connections from people of different professions. It's easier to have friends to ask questions (personal or work-related) when you're already working rather than searching everything you need in google.

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