Confused? Worried? Too excited to stop shaking? If any of these descriptions sound familiar, you may just be a freshman.
When I came to my first day on the staff of the Review, I figured I had to be a good ten years younger than the rest of the students I saw in the building. My surroundings went straight from zit-faced adolescents trying to turn their peach fuzz into passable facial hair to adults with real jobs, their own apartments and even kids. I’m not even 18 and I automatically felt 30.
There is one thing I immediately understood. I have an amount of freedom here I have never experienced before and I plan to use it as fully as I can.
With the help of various family members and friends, I’ve compiled a list of tips for making college great, and they all basically fit into three categories.
First, get to know as many people as possible. If you’ve come here without knowing a soul, there are so many opportunities to start over and meet new people. If in the past you’ve been a little shy and have a hard time branching out, try to get out of the comfort zone and shake a few hands. My favorite way of making a new friend is laughing at someone’s joke. Everyone likes to know that someone thinks they’re funny.
A great way to meet people is to get involved in a team or organization. Explore more options than academics. Luckily, this school is known for all the clubs and teams students can join. There are currently over 150 options, and if those aren’t good enough, you can always start your own. All you need is an idea, an adviser and a few members. There are all kinds of sports to play here and all kinds of groups for volunteering. Whatever your interests are, getting involved is a surefire way to make sure your college years are full of great times.
Through all that, don’t forget to apply yourself. Whether good grades come easily or are a struggle for you, it’s important to remember that school is about your education. If your grades are slipping, I suggest you take a trip to the library. That place has every resource imaginable for studying, like the group study rooms and the gigantic electronic database, and it makes work nearly painless.
One great piece of academic advice came from my brother, Jeremy Fisher, a junior this year.
“Always read the textbook,” he said. “If your professor says, ‘We’ll be covering chapter two next time,’ read chapter two before going to class.”
Boredom is the worst thing to remember from college, and there’s no excuse for it. The more you work, the better your experience will be. Just be careful not to overextend yourself. Do as much as you can. Don’t worry if you’re confused or worried, the longer you keep at it, the better it gets. Find your confidence and have fun.
Your parents tell you your future is unlimited, but I don’t really think so. Your future has limits, but you set them. Whether you know what you want to do or not, this is the time and place to figure out how to get there.