One of the biggest reasons why all of us at YouScience joined the YouScience Team is because we want to help young people make the most of their experiences in their many steps in life.
As some colleges are a month in, and others began last week, we salute all of you college freshmen who are about to embark on another milestone in your life.
So as you move forward, we thought we’d compile a YouScience list of advice or “things we wish we had known during our freshman year.” Like all advice, we ask you take ours with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, we still hope you find this useful, and maybe one or two of them will resonate with you!
Take a gap year. Not necessarily backpacking through Europe… but live on your own and (for the most part) pay your own way. Use this time to educate yourself on your own terms and toward your own interests. Party in moderation. Meditate on your future.
#1 – HAVE A PLAN. An idiot with a plan can beat a genius without one.
I wish I had known that I didn’t have all the answers when I was a freshmen. I went to college wanting to major in Math or Physics. I thought would be a professor and stay in academics and research for the rest of my life. Instead fell in love with Art, Literature and Writing. I ended up majoring in Art and English which led me to an amazing career in Technical Communications and Information Management. My advice is have fun exploring new ideas and stay open to possibilities that you haven’t even considered before.
1. Get to know your advisor early on and make sure to get consultation on a plan of what classes to take each semester. Spread your electives out and don’t end up with too heavy a load for your senior year.
2. College is work and costs real money to attend! Start on your assignments the day they are given to you and spread the work out evenly up to the due date. Don’t wait till the last minute!
3. Be careful to not rely too heavily on student loans if at all possible. The debt adds up quickly and there is no getting out of paying it back. Its easy to take the money up front but it takes YEARS to pay it back!
I “AP’d” out of the college history requirements, so I never “had” to take it to graduate. Instead of realizing that my high school achievement might be telling me how much I loved history, I viewed it as one less thing to add to my schedule. If I could go back, I’d take every history course in the course catalogue.
I would take far more risks. Join more clubs. Protest something. Anything.
“Why not go out on a limb, that’s where the fruit is” Mark Twain
Education is an admirable thing. But it is well to remember from time to time that nothing that is worth knowing can be taught. -Oscar Wilde
– Learn how to do laundry before you actually start school!
– Finish those things you have to get done before you do the things you want to do.
– Get involved in clubs relating to the careers you might be interested in. My daughter joined an Advertising Club to meet new friends…and she did. But she ended up learning about a career that really interested her, she met people in the industry, and it ended up shaping her direction in ways she didn’t expect.
– Don’t wait until you are a junior or senior to get an internship. Start early!
– Don’t be afraid to take unpaid internships. Experience is incredibly valuable!
Don’t take certain classes just because everyone else is taking them.
Also, learn to write good papers quickly regardless of your major. Like, really.
Have lots of late night conversation in your dorm hallway about life, love, and finding yourself.
Do you have advice for college freshman? If so, we’d love to hear from you! Post your advice in the comments below!