Each week in the One Question Interview series I ask a new group of bloggers one question and then share their answers in a post. You can see the other posts from the series here.
For this week’s installment of one question interview I thought it would be perfect to see what advice bloggers had for new college freshman since everyone is heading to school soon (and some have already moved in). Getting used to college can be really overwhelming and filled with a ton of unknowns and I know that reading posts with advice really helped me figure things out. All of the advice is from people who have been in the same place you freshmen are right now, so it’s coming from people who have lived it first hand which I think makes it a lot more helpful and real advice. I also wanted it to be a one question because each blogger represents a different freshman year experience meaning different points of view for the advice. Even if you aren’t a freshman this isn’t a bad post to read through. Maybe you’ll read something that will help make your college experience even more enjoyable. I hope you are able to find at least one (although I’m hoping it’s a lot more than that) piece of advice in this post that helps you out during your freshman year.
What is the best piece of advice you have for a college freshman?
“I’m currently a college freshman and in the process of moving in, and the advice I have to give is try and coordinate with your room mate! You don’t need double of everything, so get in touch if you can to plan who will bring what to save space and money!” – Megan of The Audacious Queen
“Get to know your professors. Whether they are a professor for your major or even just an elective, make sure to go to their office hours, ask questions in class, and show them that you really care. Professors are filled with wisdom and are great people to ask for recommendation letters (as you get older you will find out how important these are)!” – Amanda of Anchored to Sunshine
“Go to office hours. I wish I did that as a freshman. It ended up making my sophomore year a lot more manageable. Some of the professors have hundreds of students, so going to office hours shows them that you have a genuine interest in doing well in their class. They may be more likely to bump up your grade if you’re on the edge and they could become a reference for you in the future! These professors are basically taking time out of their research to be there for you, so take advantage of it!” –Kirsten of The Wandering Brunette
“My best piece of advice I can offer a college freshman is to find your stress-relieving happy place, and find it early! I think that it’s super easy to get bogged down with you classes and coursework can get overwhelming in the blink of an eye. Find a healthy outlet to relieve stress and make it a priority to actually do it. Even better, grab a friend and do something together! Double win- friendship and stress relief!” – A Peachy Sonder
“My best piece of advice for college freshman would be to always have an umbrella with you at all times! Okay, so this might seem like the dumbest piece of advice you’ve ever heard. That is, until you’re stuck in the lobby of your science building for 20 minutes waiting for a huge storm to pass because you didn’t pack an umbrella with you that day, which happened to me during the first week of freshman year. The next day, I made sure to stick an umbrella in my backpack, and lo and behold I made some new friends because I was the only one who had an umbrella on the way out of my Theology class. Being prepared for any situation is kind of the theme of college: you never know what’s going to happen, but with a little preparation you can handle any situation with confidence. Read the assigned text, write down assignments in your agenda, and go to all your classes. Keep in mind that sometimes the best preparation is simply being flexible, because nothing is guaranteed. Not your assignments, not your friends, not your sleep schedule. Flexibility with an open mind and a positive attitude will get you far. Every college experience is different, but I can assure you that it will rain at least once in the next 10 months. So bring an umbrella.” – Gabrielle of The Swirl Blog
“I got my Bachelor’s Degree back in Poland in 2012 and last spring I just finished my first year at an American college! Having said that, I think by now I have a couple of things to offer to a college freshman, I was one twice before! 😉 First of all, socialize, socialize, socialize. When I went to the university in Poland, I moved out of my hometown and took on this challenge all by myself. I didn’t have any friends by my side, which means I had to make new ones right away. Now, I’m not usually the one that can talk to just about any random person I can find, but when I’m being put in an entirely new environment like that, I usually make friends pretty fast. So if you arrive at your new school alone, don’t worry, just open up to people because believe me, you’re not the only one there that is looking for a friend! Another piece of advice I would give to a fellow freshman would be to stay responsible, study hard and keep your deadlines – you gotta make a good impression that first semester (at least) and keep your appearances! Trust me, after a few months you will figure out the system and either you won’t have to study as hard later (because you will know what to expect from your teachers and classes) or the studying process will naturally become much easier once you adjust to the new pace. Either way, it’s always best to stay on teachers’ good side. But DO NOT STRESS about your grades! They do not have to be perfect all the time (because after college you will laugh about all the worries you had when you got a bad grade) but always keep your goal in mind (whether it’s a scholarship or another academic opportunity.) To sum it all up, just HAVE FUN, BE YOUNG and RESPONSIBLE (because you can really be both!) After all it truly is the best time of you life (a cliche thing to say but I’m talking from my own experience) . Good luck, loves!” – Paulina of Shenanigan-Ska
“The biggest obstacle that should be overcome as a freshman is shyness and being scared to stand out. Depending on where you attend college, you’re being thrown into a sea of brand new people, which gives you the ability to truly be yourself. Take this time to “rebrand” yourself and try new things. Get as involved as possible – not just in class but with the social side of college as well! Join a club that you’ve always thought was interesting, but never actually tried it (mine was the Collegiate Middle Level Association – now I’m the President!). Work hard, apply yourself, branch out of your comfort zone, and you’ll be on the fast track to college success. Best of luck!” – Rhiannon of Peace and Blessings Yall
“My best piece of advice to give any college freshman is to rush a sorority or fraternity. It is a life changing experience and you truly give yourself a social circle like none other. I found my best friends from rushing, ones that will last a lifetime. I have gained so many life opportunities from joining my sorority as well. Rushing creates a sense of responsibility in you that helps you through life. Rushing also gives you the chance to be yourself completely without judgement.” – Jessica of The Petite Diaries
“Jump into activities and events! You’ll be adjusted to classes within the first few weeks and ready to take on college head first. Don’t be afraid to get involved: sign up for clubs, get an on-campus job, and attend events! One of the best things I did in college was become a Student Ambassador – I ended up learning more about my university than anyone else and gained a ton of connections.” – Dana of Pink Champagne Problems
“My advice for a college freshman is: do things that are outside of your comfort zone. You are in a new place with new people and there is no better time to explore and go on adventures. College is the best time of your life so do the things that will scare you and take you outside of your comfort zone because those are the memories you will never forget.” – Olivia of Style by Liv
“Go to events, join clubs, join a sorority, anything to get out there! I think people take advantage of how easy it can be to form friendships while in college. Once you’re out of college it gets increasingly more difficult to find those friend groups that literally jumped at you in college. So get your social butterfly on! Never say no to a hangout or a coffee date. You never know who will be your best friend for life. The first person I met in college, I met while sitting next to him in a philosophy class, is still one of my closest friends almost 6 years later. You just never know who you can meet.” – Lindsay of Sugar and Something
“Don’t stress, and enjoy the experience. I wish more people gave me that advice my freshmen year. My freshmen year was spent doing nothing but stressing over grades and assignments. I am not saying don’t study, skip classes, and don’t do your work. However you should find a balance between doing the things you need to do and doing the things you want to do. College doesn’t last long for some of us, then you’ll be thrown in the “real world” forced to do so many adult things and responsibilities. So take time to enjoy your college experience. Join a club/organization, go to events on/off campus, take a class just for fun, and engage/meet new people. You don’t want to look back on your college years and realized you spent it all in the library or at home studying.” – Jazmine of Happiness With A Side Of Tea
“College can be really stressful between school work, extracurriculars, and missing home. Make sure to have fun! Those years go by so quickly, and you’ll regret not setting aside time to actually enjoy yourself.” – Ellen of A Pop of Pink
“My biggest piece of advice for freshmen is to leave your door open! For the first few weeks of my freshman year I kept my door open any time I was in the room. I can’t tell you how many friends I made just by doing that. If you have your door open, it encourages people to stop in and say hello! I found it was especially helpful if your bed was positioned in a way that allowed you to see the door as you were just lounging around in your room. If passerby can see you, it encourages them to say something. If they see the door open but no people, they might just continue walking and assume that you might not be home! Don’t be afraid to wander the halls and look for other people with their doors open too! If their door is open then that probably means they WANT you to come say hi. This is honestly the easiest way to make friends at college. Take advantage of the first few weeks of extreme friendliness because after that, most people will have found their friend groups and the doors will tend to stay closed for the remainder of the year!” – Kayla of Kayla Blogs
“My advice for freshmen is to find something outside of school to participate in that you love. It could be a club, organization, hobby, sport, or, of course, blogging! It’s so nice to have something that isn’t classes, homework, and projects to focus on throughout college. It’s a really fun way to learn about yourself and develop other life skills. It certainly helps if you can add it to your resume, but the main thing is to have fun and don’t spend all of your time worrying about school!” – Madison of Mads Maybe
“There are a numerous amount of tips I can give to college freshman but the number one tip that I can give is Do Not Skip Class! Some might think that it’ll be fine to skip one or two classes but you’d be surprised by how easily you get attached to doing it. Even if you have friends that give you notes when you miss, those notes might not be as clear as you might think. Take math for instance. Math is one of those classes (for me at least) that require a lot of focus. If you miss one lesson you will be lost for the rest of the chapter.Another tip I can give to incoming freshman is to focus in class. Some tips to focus can be to drink ice cold water during class or have fun with your notes. Your cell phone is one of the biggest distractions in college. Trust me when I say that whatever catches your attention during class will still catch your attention after class.” – Natalia of Sincerely Natalia
“My biggest piece of advice to incoming college freshmen is simply have an open mind especially when making new friends at the beginning of the year! The beauty of the first few weeks is that everyone is in the same boat as you. We all want to make friends and are nervous at the delusional thought of that not happening. I recommend branching out and starting up conversations with people in your orientation group, classes, dorm, etc. It might make you a little uncomfortable but just know that it will benefit you in the long run. I’m sure any one who has been through this can attest to that! In fact, I personally became close with one of my now best friends because she lived next door to me freshman year and I asked if she wanted to study for a class we had together! You are going to meet so many types of people and it would be foolish to rule someone out immediately because they are different from you or your friends at home. Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there! You never know what will happen 🙂 XO!” – Ciara of The Clumsy Clover
“Don’t be afraid to try new things. When I went to school, I was sure I wanted to go into advertising… but when I got into the program, I realized it wasn’t for me. Initially, I was going to just finish it anyways, but a friend convinced me to try something new. It was the best choice I could have made, in retrospect!” – Jenn of Hello Rigby
“It was really hard for me to come up with just one piece of advice for a college freshman, so I’m going to give three! College was one of the best times in my life I am constantly wishing I could go back and re-live it. So my best advice is: 1. Live in the dorms your first year. Dorm life might sound awful but it’s actually amazing. You will make your first college friends, it’ll be easier to make it to class on time and at all, you’ll learn the glory that is you meal plan, you will spend many hours in the library, and it will make it much easier to participate in campus activities. You won’t regret it. 2. Try and get an on campus job. If you plan to work, on campus jobs are the best. Not only do you get paid but they are great about working with your class schedule and finals schedule. And finally 3. Be yourself. Remember there thousands of new people just waiting to meet YOU! You don’t have to impress anyone and you have completely clean slate. Use that to your advantage and make the most of your freshman year. It sets the pace for the next 3 (or 4 in my case! lol) years. Make the most of your freshman year. It will be over before you know it! :)” – Kathleen of Places I Will Go
“If there was one year I could go back and do over again, it would be my Freshman year in college. I wouldn’t change anything I did that year, but I would love to relive it since it was such an exciting time in my life! First of all, if your school has it, go through sorority recruitment (or rush as we are not technically supposed to call it)! Even if you think sororities aren’t for you, you won’t know until you try! Sororities teach you a lot about how social structures work in the business setting, how to network and gives you immeasurable confidence and communication skills. Plus they are looming with opportunities to put on your resume. I got my first job because my boss and I shared a similar experience at college in that we both served on Panhellenic Council at a small university. We were able to bond over those similarities and it led to my first job offer 3 weeks out of college without having an internship. You also need to know that balancing a full time social life, studying, working part-time and staying active is a very difficult task. Studying should always come first, since the whole reason we are at college is to get an education. Just remember where your priorities lie: your sorority might not remember the hard work you put into painting those banners for Greek life in 6 years, but your college GPA stays with you forever. And lastly, don’t hold back! College is a time of exploring all your opportunities. Take as many internships as you can! I wish I had done an internship in the field I was studying because I would have realized sooner that this was not the field for me. Don’t feel like your stuck just because you don’t know what to do with your life. I didn’t declare my major until a year and a half before I graduated. I knew I wanted to do something in business but I wasn’t sure just what, I didn’t realize that I wanted to go into marketing or professional sales until a semester from graduating, but I let my pride of wanting to be done with school get the best of me instead of continuing my education to major in something I would have really wanted to do when I got out. Follow your passion. Do you have a natural talent for art and want to have your own design business out of college? Get working on a dual major: one in graphic design and one in business administration. Those taxes aren’t going to manage themselves and hiring someone to do that cuts into your profits when starting a new business, so get the knowledge to do it yourself until you can hire someone else.” – Cynthia of Darling Down South
“People aren’t always what they seem. You know this by now, I’m sure. But in college, you’ll be forced to take it a few steps further. The people who seemingly have the world on a string might be hanging be a thread. The girl who has the best pearly white smile might be hiding behind it and fighting back tears. And the guy who seems to constantly take girls home? Maybe he really just wants a girlfriend to take home to his mom”(Read more about her amazing advice for freshman here. It’s one of the best posts I have read.).- Erica of Coming Up Roses