Advice For College Freshman

Now that I’m a senior in college nearing graduation, I have begun to reflect back on the choices I have made since I was a freshman.

As a freshman, you may hit a stride when you think you are completely prepared for what is to come. However, you’re probably not.

You will learn a ton of valuable lessons through your experience alone, and you will probably learn a lot through your own mistakes and the mistakes of others.

As I look back, I have come to realize that there were a lot of moments in my college career that I would have done differently. There are also a lot of choices I made that I don’t think I could have survived without. Whatever the case, it is best to learn these things as a freshman and kick problems in the butt early on.

Below is a list of the best pieces of advice for college freshman I can give to any college bound high school student. These things not only will help college run smoother for you, but they will provide you with great tools for your future and beyond.

1. Don’t Fear Being Undeclared!

If you are going to college a bit unsure with what you want to do, that’s okay! So many people start college undeclared or in a major they might not be sure about. You are going to have plenty of gen-ed type requirements–get those done first!

Use this time to explore what you love by taking some electives that interest you. You may find your true calling! It’s okay to give it some time. Don’t feel rushed to figure everything out.

2. Go With Your Gut!

This is a piece of advice for college freshman I wish I had when I was starting out. I really did think a major in film was right for me my first year, but I began to question my choices in my sophomore year. Instead of exploring those thoughts, I stayed in a major I wasn’t happy with and ignored my insecurities. I ended up changing my major at the beginning of my junior year.

Today, I am very happy I finally admitted my unhappiness to myself and went with my gut feelings. Do the same! Don’t be afraid to change things that will truly make you happier and fulfilled.

3. Highly Consider a Minor!

After changing my major, I learned that I had enough requirements for a minor in film! However, I recommend looking into a minor right away!

Chances are you will have many electives to take over your four years at school. Use them to get a minor! This allows you to learn and gain experience in other areas you are interested in and it looks great on any resume.

4. Always Have a Planner!

This is one piece of advice that I always followed, and believe me, it was worth it. Having a place to write down assignments, appointments, projects and other important day to day information is key to your success.

Being organized, in my opinion, is a must and having some sort of planner is the best way to do it!

5. Look Into Internships!

At first, I didn’t even think of looking into internships. It wasn’t until my junior and senior year that I noticed my internship advisor started sending out emails on available internship opportunities.

Even then, I was still unsure but decided to give it a go and try it out. I applied for a couple and ended up getting one here at! Internships give you a real world perspective into your field of work, offer a lot of training and experience, often count toward college credit and they look amazing on a resume!

There is no reason to avoid internships. Look into them and apply! You’ve got nothing to lose.

6. See Your Advisor Frequently!

I actually started writing this post today because I am having issues scheduling my last few quarters due to the classes I still have left over. I realized that avoiding my advisor and only seeing him once in a blue moon was an awful idea on my part. After talking to him recently, I discovered that I actually have two less classes to take!

Advisors are there to help and guide you in the right directions and they are the best source for knowing and understanding what is expected of you for graduation. Get to know them early on and keep going back even if you don’t think you need to.

7. Get a Job, Save $$$!

Whether it is 10 or 30 hours a week, I highly recommend getting a job while you are in school especially early on. This teaches you work ethic, budgeting, scheduling and responsibility! Save as much money as you can in case of an emergency.

There are many money issues that can occur whether it’s through losing financial aid, your parents getting laid off or you have to take a random summer class. It’s always good to be prepared.

8. Get Involved on Campus!

This was something I didn’t do at all because I commuted. However, I regret it. Think about joining a club of some sort or even a sport. It’s a great way to blow off steam, meet new people and yet again it’s another way to add experience to your life and resume.

Be sure to keep these things in mind early on in your college career! Trust me– they will save you stress, bring you joy, enlighten your college experiences and prepare you for your future!

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Molly Stallman

Molly Stallman

Molly Stallman is a senior at DePaul University working toward an English degree with an emphasis on Creative Writing. She also has a minor in Digital Cinema. Molly especially enjoys spending time with loved ones, listening to music, watching movies/television and playing with her dogs. She also has a passion for antiques, crafts, animals, photography and the great outdoors.