Student Experience Blog

Advice to Freshmen

I’ve been getting advice about college since the weeks leading up to my high school graduation. A lot of advice. I've yet to experience any of it, but here are some of the most common and most interesting things I’ve heard from wise minds:

1. “A” students in high school are not necessarily “A” students in college. I’ve heard this one from seriously almost everyone. Horror stories about valedictorians pulling straight C’s their first semester are enough to make me nervous, but I’ve been assured that learning to fail is the next best alternative to being a total genius.

2. Don’t call home for the first 3-6 weeks. Everyone is going to be homesick in varying degrees during the transition, but don’t try to continue your life at home while you’re in college. Embrace it and get to know the new people in your life!

3. Break up with your high school boyfriend/ girlfriend. Maybe take this one with a grain of salt, the person who told me this (repeatedly) is happily married to his high school girlfriend. Take in consideration the advice above.

4. Go to class. This seems like a no-brainer....

5. Don’t take a class before 9 am. It doesn’t seem that early, but I guess it really is.

6. Manage your time. This one is irritatingly vague, but everyone has different ways of doing it. Somebody told me that by their junior year, they started thinking of school as a 9-5 job, and would study or be in class everyday from 9-5. Apparently, this eliminated all instances of 2 am cram sessions. Even for a nuclear engineering major.

7. Don’t over-pack. Your roommate will thank you, and you can always get warmer clothes when you go home for Thanksgiving.

8. Put your computer out of reach when you’re studying, if you use it for music. Otherwise Facebook will get you.

9. Read the syllabus and write down the dates of tests and the due dates of assignments.

10. Have fun. School should certainly come first, but in the words of Tom Petty, “The work never ends, but college does.”

--Claire Cushing