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What advice would you give to an upcoming college freshman?

I'm a soon-to-be college freshman and I'm very nervous because I don't know what to expect. What was college like for you and what advice would you give me? #college #college-admissions #college-advice #college-advising #college-bound ###college #college-majors #education #higher-education #primary/secondary #college-freshman #freshmen #undergraduate #university #advice

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Subject: Career question for you


6 answers

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Matthew’s Answer

Mireia, this is one of the wiser questions I've had the privilege of answering throughout the past few years. It speaks to your willingness to seek others' opinions and incorporate their answers into your own ideas. So, I appreciate the steps you want to take to be as prepared as possible! Right off the bat, you're headed in a good direction by asking others about their experiences!

Personally, college was a wonderful time, loaded with experiences that helped me become who I am today. I learned how to study more efficiently (high school was fairly challenging but collegiate academic demands took it to another level), write more clearly, communicate more effectively with friends and explore who I was more honestly. I learned more about myself and others during those four years than in any other period in my life, and I wouldn't trade that for anything.

You will most assuredly do the same thing, and it's wise to have a few expectations before your freshman year begins. If I could go back and do anything differently, here's what I'd want someone else to say to me:

  1. Plan your time intentionally and wisely. Depending on how many classes you'll take, you'll figure out how much time to set aside for studying and various assignments, projects and exams. Also, be absolutely sure to include time for yourself. What I'm referring to here are the basics: eating, sleeping, exercise, etc. You'd be surprised how easy it is to lose track.
  2. Reflect on who you are, how far you've come and where you're going. It's always refreshing and restoring for your inner self to be introspective. Think about who you were a year ago and who you are now. Take a moment to write down how you've changed and if you'd do anything differently along the way. Then look at your goals for a moment - where do you want to go? What would you like to do? What gets your heart going more than anything else in the world? Write it down, and then check your progress at the end of each semester.
  3. Finally, I found it very helpful to not only connect and keep good friends (those that help you grow positively) but write down the experiences you had. For example, I wrote down the things we joked about and the stuff that made me laugh. I still go back to those Word documents and journal pages when I have a moment and laugh at the great memories we shared. You can do the same, and trust me, your journal might fill up faster than you think!

There are amazing experiences ahead. Keep your head up, keep your eyes clear, keep your heart open...and then watch what happens ;)

Best of luck!


Thank you comment icon Wow, thank you for your insight! Mireia
Thank you comment icon You are very welcome! Matthew Armes, MS, NCC, NCSC, LPC
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Troy’s Answer

Good day Mireia,

What a powerful question, this has so many aspects to it that you help propel you towards greatness! You see you deserve so much credit already for being successful in regards to being accepted and starting as a college freshman. Don’t forget that and give yourself much credit for that.

Now there you are, no bell schedules new faces everywhere and an environment that will be much more independent. This is the chance to reinvent yourself and spur growth towards your own path of actualization.

This is is an amazing opportunity with all those things up for grabs. As you can find out you’ll want a map and schedule set up to help you navigate and create your timelines for classes, where everything is at for your orientation. The classes will give you a syllabus that will show you how each class is segmented and into what dates are scheduled for tests, quizzes, projects, etc.

These will act as a compass to help you navigate. Also be bold, strike up conversations with people, have fun, talk with advisors and counselors and your professors about your experiences and reviewing what your learning.

Feel free to journal on your computer or hand write some experiences that you’ve collected along the way.

When you out put these together you will have an igniting force that will take you to a course of open doors.

My best,


Thank you comment icon Wow, Thank you for taking the time to share your professional advice! Mireia
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Debjeet’s Answer

My suggestion would be:
1. You're about to enter a super crucial phase of your life.
2. This phase can make or break your career.
3.Identify your area of interest. Dive into it
4.Make more friends. Get to know as many people as you can. You get to learn a lot this way
5.Take up good hobbies.
6.Make sure you do some physical activities like gymming, play sports
7. Enjoy your last few years as a student. I bet you'll miss this when you start working.
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Kortnee’s Answer

Connect with resources during your first year of college. For instance, on-campus tutoring, the Library, student union, etc. By connecting with on-campus resources, you will have a smooth transition during your first-year of college. On another note, make sure you visit professors during office hours. I know you'll have lots of questions that need answers from only your professors. I promise you they don't bite.

Best of luck with your first year of college!

-Kortnee B.

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Helen’s Answer

Hi Mariera,

Thank you for asking this question.

I would completely agree with the answers above. In addition, please see my list below.

Helen recommends the following next steps:

Career Center: Visit your college career center and take a career assessment test to narrow down your career interests. Start conducting informational interviews with people who are doing the type of work you might be interested in doing. Think about the type of industries and/or jobs that you may like to pursue. Be a regular at the career center. They can really help you and offer a lot of different types of workshops.
Join student orgs.
Start exploring the study abroad programs.
This free video, the 4 Steps to Succeed in College, goes into some more detail which you may find helpful:
Different universities call this different things but, basically, there is a department that will help you understand your learning style. This can be very helpful for you. It is often connected to the free tutoring center. They will also offer workshops about time management, study skills, etc.
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Megan’s Answer


First, I would allow yourself to make decisions for you and not because others are telling you to. My first two years were heavily influenced by what I believed my family wanted me to do. I wanted to make them happy and in return, I was not able to make myself happy. I was taking classes that didn't interest me and pursuing a career that I wasn't sure was going to make me happy in the future. College is about exploring your options and following a path that YOU want to. Pursue a major that you want to, and do it because you know it's something that'll make you feel happy.
Second, I would get involved and stay involved. Sign up for as many clubs as humanly possible and stick with them. Personally, I would not let my own fear of sticking out or not fitting in guide me from doing things and making new friends. Your first year of college is going to teach you a lot. Not just in academia, but also about yourself and your friends. Don't be afraid to separate yourself from those individuals that you feel you have grown apart from. Though it may be hard at first, it's something that a lot of us go through. You learn that over time that not everyone has your best interest at heart and its normal for you to grow apart from them. I would choose to make more mistakes and make them proudly, and not shy away from situations that made me uncomfortable (within reason) because that's what makes you grow.

But most importantly, and I know it sounds cheesy, but have fun and enjoy yourself. Your college career goes by quickly and just like high school, it feels like time is fleeting. So, go out and make memories. Enjoy your first year in college, because all though there is a lot of changes, there's also a lot of rewarding experiences out there.

Good luck on your first year!