As early decision notices roll in this week for some, while others hit “submit”on their final applications, here is some great advice to incoming freshman from a few current college seniors. You can check out their full interviews via The Graduate. To view even more potential majors and career paths, visit our sister site MajorCrush.org.
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“If you get depressed, stressed out, or you’re just having some troubles with your roommate, go see a counselor. Your school likely provides counseling services for free. If you get so depressed you can’t function, it’s okay to take a break from school. Many schools allow you to take a break for personal reasons without having to reapply when you’re ready to go back.
Your college is likely full of specialized equipment and laboratories. After college, you can learn about art, philosophy, etc. in your spare time, but you’ll have a more difficult time teaching yourself chemistry. If you are interested in science, use the resources that you won’t have access to in just a few years and take a technical or scientific class.
Grades are important but not at all critical. Pay attention in class, communicate with your professors, think critically about what you’re being taught, but don’t sacrifice your physical or mental health for a grade.
If you are at a party, and it looks like someone might be trying to take advantage of a drunken person, do something about it. No “it’s not my problem” excuses. Furthermore, don’t take advantage of drunk people. Even Austin Powers knew that was wrong.
If you live in the dorms, leave your door open! Future friends will wander in like lost puppies.”
-Lauren Graham ’16, Speech Pathology at Southern Illinois University
“Try not to be hard on yourself. This is a time when it is encouraged not to know yourself. You are growing and constantly changing. Push yourself to attempt the unknown. Seek help even if you don’t think you need it. Work hard but also play hard. Yes, for you, grades may matter, but the collegiate experience is also about how to form relations and work with individuals. In other words, it socializes you to some extent. This aspect of college should not be taken lightly because one’s studies will only take her so far. Academically you ought to understand the structure of your college/university. Befriend the registrar!! They are not evil. You may get away with fudging some academic policies if you use the registrar as a tool.”
-Sara Rahimi ’16, Political Science at Kenyon College
“It’s so cliche, but try everything. Tryout for any club that interests you, because you grow so much in college. Something that sparks an interest during your freshman year might link you to a career that you do for the rest of your life. Also, don’t be ashamed to sit alone in the dining hall or student center… it actually makes you look like an upperclassmen.”
-Emily Morley ’16, Communications at Ithaca College
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