As a college freshman, many different people will try to give you all sorts of advice. And most importantly, enjoy this exciting new chapter in your life!
One of the greatest resources to get prepared for the college road ahead are current students. Our marketing intern, Isabella Ordonez, has five pieces of advice for freshmen.
Advice for College Freshman From a College Senior
College is one of the most new and exciting experiences an 18-year-old kid can go through. As a child of two immigrant parents, I didn’t know what to expect as an incoming college freshman. This is a letter to all those incoming students with five pieces of advice I wish I could tell my 18-year-old self.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Put Yourself Out There
It may seem daunting to do this, especially if you have always been shy. I learned that there are so many ways to do this! It can be simply posting on your class’s Instagram page or making study plans with people in your classes!
- Join Organizations and Clubs
This is the best way to make new friends and put yourself out there. Joining organizations and clubs in college is an excellent idea because it allows you to meet new people and explore interests outside of school. It can also provide you with leadership skills and experiences that can be valuable in your future career.
Pick something that sounds fun to you! It is a great way to find interests outside of school. This can be Greek life, heritage groups, and more! Personally, joining Greek life changed my college experience for the better, so I recommend it to anyone starting college. It gave me monumental leadership skills and experiences and my best friends. (Which turns into job opportunities and lifelong friendships.)
- Don’t Procrastinate
Procrastinating in high school was one thing, but catching up in college will become more intense and brutal. With the chaos of college life, it can be easy to fall behind. Set aside time a couple of days a week or put time in your schedule to work on your classes, and don’t have any distractions. Time management like this can help you stay on track.
When you procrastinate, you’re not giving yourself enough time to think about the assignment and put your best foot forward. Plus, you run the risk of missing deadlines and getting a lower grade as a result. It’s important to prioritize your time and work on assignments as soon as possible, even if it means sacrificing some leisure time. Trust me; it’s worth it in the end.
- Prioritize Your Health
As a freshman, you will be around thousands of new students. You will attend events and possibly parties and probably consider living off junk food because it’s easy to pick up when you’re tired. These things are a perfect recipe for getting sick and creating unhealthy habits.
I wish I had started working towards healthy habits earlier. It can be as simple as making sure you get 8 hours of sleep on weekdays and cutting out unnecessary junk foods. (Still, treat yourself to your favorite foods, just be intuitive with what your body needs.) Not caring for your body and mind can sneak up on you and significantly impact your overall well-being.
It can also be common for some students to take a semester off due to physical or mental well-being. It happens more than you would think. Tuition insurance is a great way to stay protected in case the unforeseen happens.
- Be Yourself and Become Who You Want To Be
A lot of people see college as a place to reinvent themselves completely. While this can be possible, staying true to who you are and your values is important! College should change you for the better, so give yourself opportunities to grow, but remember. You do not need to change things about yourself to fit in! You will find yourself and your people by being yourself and showing up as the person you truly want to be!
For incoming college students, my advice is to relish every moment of your college experience. You have the power to shape your time in college, and it will go by faster than you realize. It’s essential to appreciate and make the most of your college years before they come to an end.
Common Challenges During First Year
Freshman year can be an exciting and overwhelming time for many students. One of the biggest challenges is adjusting to the new academic environment and workload. College courses are often more demanding than high school classes, and students may struggle to keep up with the pace and expectations.
Another challenge is making new friends and finding a sense of community on campus. Many first-year students may feel isolated or homesick, especially if they attend school far from home. It can take time to build relationships and find a support system. Students need to be aware of their well-being.
Time management is also a major challenge for many freshmen. With newfound freedom and a busy schedule, balancing academics, extracurricular activities, and social life can be difficult. Procrastination and poor study habits can lead to stress and falling behind in classes.
Freshman year can be a rewarding experience, but it also comes with its fair share of challenges. Students can overcome these challenges and thrive in their new environment by staying organized, seeking support, and staying focused on academic goals.
Author: Isabella Ordonez
Isabella is currently a junior at Arizona State University studying Digital Audiences. She loves shopping, cooking, baking, arts and crafts, and watching movies. Isabella is interested in the creative aspects of marketing and fashion. She has worked with her sorority and various businesses around the valley, working in social media and digital content.