This time last year, I posted a list of advice that I would have told myself if I was a new college student. I wanted to keep this going, so I took the liberty of asking a select group of college freshmen if they had any particular words of wisdom to convey to the future freshmen.
Credit goes to students who graduated in 2014 from Central High School in Philadelphia, Marple Newtown High School and Philadelphia High School for Girls, and currently attend Community College of Philadelphia, Penn State Abington, Temple University and University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.
Here we go!
1. Do not be afraid to ask questions.
2. As a freshman living in dorms, make friends in your building. The first couple of weeks you won’t know many people and most of them tend to hang out in their own rooms.
3. If you think you understand something, you probably don’t, so ask for extra help, attend review sessions and always compare notes. Take advantage of the professors’ office hours.
4. Always go to class, after all you are paying for it and you do not want to miss out.
5. Find an ideal study place like your dorm or the library. It is best to avoid as many distractions as possible.
6. Get to know your advisors and professors.
7. Get involved on campus, but don’t overdo it. Join a student organization, sororities/fraternities or a sports team.
8. Learn to balance your academic and social lives.
9. Do not party too hard. It is expected that you will attend and try new things, but know your limit.
10. Keep track of where your money is going. Learn to not want what you do not need.
11. Pick your classes wisely. Do your research by looking up professors and asking former students on what they thought about the class. You may be good in that subject, but if the professor is difficult, you will struggle.
12. Make friends in your class and form a study group. Studying is easier and more fun when you do it with someone else and you will learn more.
13. Try to rent out books early as possible as opposed to buying them from the college bookstore. The earlier the better, because the professor will move on whether you have the text or not.
14. You will have a mental breakdown at least once if not more. Do one task at a time. Pray and ask for help. You are expected to deal with a lot of change in a short amount of time, so it will be stressful.
15. If you are a commuter, make friends with people on campus. This way, you will be updated on the happenings of the campus life. It is great to be studious, but don’t forget to have fun. Schools will have special and appropriate activities.
16. The more friends you make, the better it is for you in the long run. (Think networking at least.)
17. Do not let the grades control you to the point that you’re absolutely suffering. There are more important things than getting a 4.0 GPA.
18. Never forget God has your back. Even in the darkest and hopeless moments, have faith, pray and go to sleep. Miracles do happen.
19. It’s not about getting all A’s first semester, it’s about how you adapt to the changes you face and work to progress in the areas you know you are weak In. College is scary because you’re put in a place full of people who are just as smart as you and you’ve to prove why you deserve to stay. To do that, you have to work hard. A few obstacles may throw us off track, but it won’t make us crash. If we have faith that we’ll be okay, we will be back on track and moving forward strongly. If you have faith, nothing is impossible.
Personal words to the graduating class of 2015, your whole life is ahead of you, make good choices, listen to people who know what they are talking about, and grow to become successful and productive members of society. Be joyful, be purposeful, be grateful, be compassionate, be loving, be the best you.