As a senior, I’ve been looking back on my time spent at Auburn. It feels like yesterday that I moved into my freshman dorm, ready to start the new phase of my life. There are so many things that I wish I could tell myself that fall of 2014. Below are the various pieces of advice I would have given my freshman self if I could have. Check them out, because they might help you, too.
- Go to class. Go to class. GO TO CLASS!
I cannot stress this enough. As a freshman, it can be hard to motivate yourself to go to class (especially one that doesn’t take attendance) when you don’t have your parents there to make you go. I fell into the trap, and it took a toll on my GPA. I missed participation points, the occasional pop quiz and daily notetaking. Fortunately, I was able to turn this fault of mine into a learning experience. I worked extra hard the following semester and was able to come back from my mistake. I quickly learned not to procrastinate, to get to know my teachers and to study a little bit every day. So, please, learn from my freshman mistake before you make your own.
- Get involved
This is a cliché piece of advice that I brushed off as a freshman. Getting involved is an awesome way to stay busy, make new friends and discover new things you are passionate about. I became involved my sophomore year with an online publication called Spoon University. Not only was I able to hang out with people with similar interests to my own, I was able to become a published writer. This was something I could add to my resume and made me stand out when applying for internships. This brings me to my next piece of advice for my freshman self…
- Gain experience
It’s never too early to start looking for internships. When I was a freshman, I had no clue what I wanted to do with my life. I found my passion for public relations during my sophomore year; however, I could have done so sooner had I began investigating internship experiences my freshman year. To learn more about the importance of internships for college students, check out my other blog here.
- Be social
College can be a weird and confusing place for freshmen. It’s so important to make a good group of friends that you know will be there for you when you need them. How do you make new friends? By being social! Put yourself out there and ask that girl from your history class to study with you. Join clubs or Greek life to help meet new people with similar interests. My freshman year was spent with friends from my hometown instead of meeting new people. I didn’t really connect with any new friends until my sophomore year. While I am so lucky and happy to have the friends I do, I wish that I hadn’t waited so long to find them.
- Don’t stress yourself out
Getting your first “F” might seem like the worst feeling in the world at the time, but I promise it’ll be alright. I’m not telling you that grades don’t matter, because they do. I’m telling you not to stress yourself out about things that are no longer in your control. Don’t wrap yourself up wondering if you should have studied more – just study more for the next test. Every mistake you make will teach you something and help you to do better next time. Trust me, when you look back on your college experience that first “F” won’t be what you remember. This brings me to my next piece of advice for my freshman self…
- Take advantage of the fun stuff college has to offer
Here is my last, but definitely not least, piece of advice for my freshman self. Your college experiences will leave you with life-long memories. Take advantage of everything you can in your four years in college. Go to university-sponsored concerts. Go out with your friends, or stay in and watch movies all night long. Attend as many sporting events as you can. All of these events and many more will make up what you remember about your college experience. This year, my friends and I decided to attend every single football game possible, both home and away. Having just experienced my last home game ever, I can honestly say I’m glad I made that decision. This fall has given me more memories than I can count. Don’t wait until senior year to make these memories. Take advantage of all the fun experiences that college has to offer all four years.
Undoubtedly, once you become a senior you will have even more advice you wish you could have told your freshman self. Be sure to pass your own words of wisdom on to the next batch of new and eager freshman.