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What is your best advice for college freshmen?

I am going to be a college freshman this fall. What is your best advice related to academics and career opportunities? #college


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Andrew’s Answer

Allison - This is a great question to have on your mind as you begin college.

My best advice to you is to commit to a few certain goals each semester. Think of this as an experiment and a character building activity. One example of a goal I would set is "I will not miss a single session of my History class this semester" or "I will read one book this semester on afield that I'm interested in".

This type of self discipline practice will help to prepare you for a successful college career and put you ahead of your peers when you start your first post-grad job.


One piece of advice you should always keep in mind is that job duties can ALWAYS be taught, but character has to be built. Learn discipline, integrity, and determination in college, and you will be able to adapt to any job you want when you graduate. These are also characteristics that successful employers will look for more than whether or not you have "experience".

I hope this helps! Feel free to ask more specifics as you go on and don't hesitate to reach out.


Thank you so much, this is so helpful! Allison S.

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John’s Answer

Free time can be scarce during college Allison,

OPPORTUNITIES & BENEFITS OF WORKING ON CAMPUS

Colleges and universities offer thousands of on-campus jobs for students who want to get involved with campus while earning some income. With the rising cost of tuition, many students are turning to part-time jobs to cut some of the cost and work towards paying off loans while still in school. But, balancing academics and work can be tricky. Working on-campus allows for a more convenient alternative, cutting transportation cost and time, and allowing students to make university connections.

The best place to start your job search is right on campus. There are tons of on-campus part-time job opportunities and, as a student, you’ll automatically be given hiring priority. Check with your school's career office or student employment office for help finding a campus job. If you receive financial aid, also check on jobs available through your campus work-study program.

LIBRARY MONITOR – If you're worried you won't have enough time to devote to academics, consider working as a study hall or library monitor. Responsibilities generally include the supervision of study spaces to ensure a quiet atmosphere. It's a pretty easy job, but one with lots of downtime, which means you'll have plenty of time to catch up on reading, do homework or study for an exam.

ADMIN ASSISTANT – There are so many different places for a student to work as an admin assistant on campus. You'll likely find these jobs in the academic departments and admissions offices. Some busy professors might also seek personal admin assistants. These jobs probably won’t be very high-paying, but they tend to be low-stress and pretty casual. If you work in an academic department that you’re interested in, you'll have the opportunity to develop some valuable professional connections.

GRADER – With some classes have as many as 500 students enrolled, that's a lot of tests to grade, so professors often employ students within the department to grade tests. Although it's grunt work, the workload is generally spread out based on when the tests are, leaving lots of time in between for academics and extracurricular interests.

MAIL ROOM ASSISTANT – Mail rooms are usually located very close to student dorms, which also makes them conveniently located if you need to run to work after you sleep through your alarm. But there are other benefits to working in the mail room, it's a great way to meet other people on campus, for one. You also may have down time to work on other stuff, like catching up on your reading for classes.

Hope this was Helpful Allison

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Chad’s Answer

Take the time in your freshman year to learn the ropes. Try to focus in first semester on your classes, social activities, and take great notes in class and keep a journal or a log for your experience overall. Find at least one great friend to share the experience. Freshman year is the foundation to try various activities, not limit yourself and if you do that ... you may find a path that you were not expecting. A bit of key advise is to learn how to keep a personal budget. Groceries, dining hall, social activities, books all in addition to tuition will add up fast. With the new found experience and freedom, there can be a dependency on credit cards and apps to track your spending. Make sure you have a solid plan and stay within it as it can get out of control quickly. Without the money stress, your brain can ease and focus on the rest.

Thank you so much, this is really helpful! Allison S.

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Emily’s Answer

I usually have three main pieces of advice for incoming college students:

1. Remember that sometimes it's okay to be selfish. By this, I mean that it's okay to not say yes to everything, and focus on doing what's best for yourself. Feeling pressured to go to a party over the weekend when you know you have a big exam on Monday? There is no shame in stepping back and doing what you feel is necessary to succeed. Remember that you are in college to get an education, and ultimately find a career.

2. Your school will provide you with ample resources to get help for a reason- take advantage of them! Whether this be career/academic counselors, tutoring sessions, office hours, extra learning sessions, etc., using these resources to your benefit can make all the difference.

3. Don't let numbers define you. Working hard and receiving good grades is of course important, but at the end of the day, remember that you are more than your test scores or GPA.

Have a great freshman year!

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Riley’s Answer

The best thing you could do in your freshman year is to make sure that you meet with your academic advisor early on, they will be able to check your schedule and help guide you in the best direction and let you know which prerequisites that you should be taking. My biggest mistake in my college career was that I took 3 electives and only 1 credit class during my first semester because I was afraid of having a stressful transition. However, this kinda put me behind in my major because I basically wasted 3 classes. Don't start off with your hardest classes, but also don't load your schedule with all your easy classes in the first year because this will only make your next 3 years harder.

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Lauren’s Answer

Hi Allison,

My advice would be to make sure that you find balance and a routine that works for you. At first, it was difficult for me to find balance between school work, my sport, and a social life because I was extremely focused on my schooling and sport. It really took a toll on my social life as it was hard for me to make new friends. Of course getting a degree is a large priority in college, but meeting and socializing with people that have he potential to become lifelong friends is super important too!

I would also say, if you can, join a club or group that interests you. Again, it is a great way to meet people and allows you to find a bit of balance in your life!

Hope this helps!

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David’s Answer

Freshmen year of college is almost like freshmen year in high school but in a bigger atmosphere. New environment, new setting, new friends, living away from home if you chose a school not near home or you don't want to live at home but want the college living experiences and more. The best advice I can give you is enjoy your first couple semester just to get the feeling about college, course work, as well as the major you are choosing, but if you already set your goal and focus in a certain major that will not be fun then your first semester is your only chance to relax and enjoy because you will have no time for it. You may think I can probably use my summer like high school but this can be a may be or may be not because some will take summer class to catch up on completing course work so during regular class season they will not have a lot of stress or pressure on the course they are taking. This is just depend on what major you choose and depend on your way of completing the course. I will say enjoy while you can once you are in the upper level courses you will probably spend more time of course work then free time to relax or do something you want to do.

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Lauren’s Answer

Hi Allison,

My advice would be to make sure that you find balance and a routine that works for you. At first, it was difficult for me to find balance between school work, my sport, and a social life because I was extremely focused on my schooling and sport. It really took a toll on my social life as it was hard for me to make new friends. Of course getting a degree is a large priority in college, but meeting and socializing with people that have he potential to become lifelong friends is super important too!

I would also say, if you can, join a club or group that interests you. Again, it is a great way to meet people and allows you to find a bit of balance in your life!

Hope this helps!

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Blake’s Answer

Hey Allison,

My advice would be to have the least amount of class hours your first semester, which is probably 12 hours. This will give you time to explore campus, meet friends, and aquatint yourself with the area.

Thanks,
Blake

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Laura’s Answer

Hi Allison! Something that I think is good to keep in mind is your course curriculum for your major throughout your college career. Usually you will have your core classes for your major, and then be able to choose between some elective classes for your major. Sometimes classes are only offered in certain semesters or at certain times. It is good to plan out which classes and when you’ll be taking them, that way you can ensure to sign up for the classes you’re interested in. Also, I would investigate similar majors and minors that are in your department. Sometimes the curriculum will be similar enough that you can take a few extra classes to get a double major or minor depending on your major’s curriculum. Good luck!

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Dominic’s Answer

Allison - first off congrats on moving onto college! Your freshman year is likely your first time on your own and it's a big step. Look to find organization in your day that allows you to live a balanced life. Find time for friends and "you time". This balance will help you clear your mind to make sound decisions with respect to your career.

With respect to school, take your general education courses but also challenge yourself to learn as much as possible about educational paths you enjoy. You want to take classes that also lead you to a career path you'll find fulfilling. Attend as many "career days" and informational sessions as possible. It may seem early, but it's not. Make sure you're on the right path to achieve what you want.

Also, do not be afraid or intimidated to ask people about their careers. Many professionals love to help students as a way to give back. Take advantage of the .edu email address!

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Erica’s Answer

It's all about time managements and setting your priorities. Focus on your courses and attend events where alumni are invited/speaking. You can learn a lot from those that have been in your exact place. Try to network with them and they may be able to help with your career. Good luck.

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Erica’s Answer

It's all about time managements and setting your priorities. Focus on your courses and attend events where alumni are invited/speaking. You can learn a lot from those that have been in your exact place. Try to network with them and they may be able to help with your career. Good luck.

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Job’s Answer

Work hard. Meet with a career counselor to your school to discuss career opportunities. Read you required material for each class and try to make an outline of the material after reading. By writing the information you take more in. These outlines can then be used to study from. When preparing for tests, redraft the outlines to better understand the material. Every time you write the information down the easier you will remember it. Good grades are the way to go to a strong graduate program.
Have some fun. This will be some of the last free time you will have prior to starting work as an adult. Make friends, especially in the area you decide to make your major for contacts in your future business life.

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Emily’s Answer

Get involved! Join organizations that you are interested in for the social aspect as well as the career development. There are always opportunities available to you if you get out there and talk to people. Additionally, joining these organizations will get you aquainted with people with the same driven mindset as you to reach your goals and dreams.

Good luck!

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Nina’s Answer

Take time to enjoy the vast opportunities available; stretch yourself and take classes that you have even a little interest in to see if it feels right; take some of those "career tests" online a few times to see if they yield the same results to narrow down some of your ideas. I found it helpful to take courses both for work and special interest; for example, teaching and painting, or computer science 101 and music lessons; if you need a job while in school, working on or near campus is very helpful as well; there are many jobs assisting professors or organizations that you might be interested in. Joining campus clubs or outdoor groups is great, too, to again combine work with a little play. College can be a great time; a time where you can explore things without too much risk - so go for it if you can...see what you like, what you don't, talk to others, find a professor or two who can really mentor you and help you decide what path to take. If you can go on a college trip, that is also great; travel is one of life's best teachers. The career centers at many colleges are quite good, too - lots of information on majors and activities you might not have thought of. Exciting times ahead!

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Cristal’s Answer

Hey there! One of the biggest advice I'd say to my past freshman self is to find balance between everything. Freshman year is full of new changes and experiences, you be lenient on yourself to take time to adjust to the huge change. Here are my suggestions by topic:

- School work: Since your spending so much time adjusting to a new environment and meeting new people, I would suggest taking a lighter course load so that you can get yourself familiar with everything before you dive deep into everything. Allot time to study and go to class-- I always thought I could just wing my tests and finals my first semester, but that's definitely not the case.

- Extracurriculars: Take this opportunity to join clubs and organizations! This is the chance for you to meet like-minded, similar interest people and potentially make some of your closes friends even after college. Everyone uses this time to meet new people and understand that it's ok to be in uncomfortable situations! You'll learn a lot from your experiences and the hardships. I learned the most life skills from doing extracurriculars in terms of learning to collaborate with other people and taking advantage of opportunities you wouldn't have with just classes.

Hope this helps! Good luck (:!

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Job’s Answer

Work hard. Meet with a career counselor to your school to discuss career opportunities. Read you required material for each class and try to make an outline of the material after reading. By writing the information you take more in. These outlines can then be used to study from. When preparing for tests, redraft the outlines to better understand the material. Every time you write the information down the easier you will remember it. Good grades are the way to go to a strong graduate program.
Have some fun. This will be some of the last free time you will have prior to starting work as an adult. Make friends, especially in the area you decide to make your major for contacts in your future business life.

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