When I was an underclassman in college, I remember hearing and receiving many different kinds of advice from the upperclassmen. However, I never took it to heart. I just kind of nodded and let it flow in one ear and out the other. Now that I’m a senior, I look back and regret not listening to that advice after all.
Back then, I thought “Well, everyone is different. It’s not like I’m going to be going through the same experiences, and even if I do, I’ll do it differently in my way.” To my surprise, I did end up facing those situations and now that I’ve tried to solve it my way and not give a crap, I end up sitting here reminiscing and regretting. So if you ever come across this and think the same thing, try to remember that these pieces of advice might help you.
The first one is relationships. DO NOT date your freshman year. It’s a year of confusion, anxiety, excitement, boredom and everything else you can imagine. I know; I’ve been there. So of course when you think you’ve found someone and “fell in love,” you want to date that person and be the cool freshman that already has a boyfriend or girlfriend. Sorry to break it to you, but honestly, it’s the worst idea. (Actually the worst-worst idea would be doing long distance with your high school lover. I think we all know how that ends up.)
Freshman year is a time to make new friends, possibly your crew who you will become best friends with until senior year, and just enjoying your most easy and nothing-to-worry-about year of college. Why would you want to ruin that by getting into a relationship? By the end, you will just have no friends, your grades will be bad and freshman year will be over just like that.
Second, you need to manage your time/schedule well. I think the best way to do that is by taking 15 credits per semester. Don’t be too self-confident and over-achieving by enrolling in 19 credits because you’re just going to end up dropping and withdrawing from at least one class. Also, don’t end up only taking 12 credits each semester because when you reach your senior year, you’ll just have to start cramming classes into your schedule so you can graduate on time. Moreover, try finishing your major requirements by your senior year so you can just relax and enjoy your final year by taking fun elective courses.
For time management, make sure you know whether you’re a morning person or not. If you’re not a morning person, DO NOT TAKE 8 A.M. CLASSES. That’s just ludicrous. If you know you’re going to be socially active, then don’t sign up for Friday discussions! This is what’s awesome about college: we get to pick our own classes and times. Take that as an advantage and do not waste your time signing up for classes you know you’re going to end up dropping.
Other common advice: don’t get caught up in peer pressure, don’t wait until the last year to sign up for clubs and activities, try attending a lot of school events, make sure to build a relationship with a couple of professors, manage sleep time accordingly, don’t pull all-nighters everyday, always check the temperature before you step out of the house, use your meal plans wisely and most obvious and importantly: DO NOT procrastinate.
Please feel free to comment on any more advice you can think of!