I just wrapped up my freshman year and while it was a wild ride, I definitely had a lot of memorable experiences and learned a lot (and not just in the classroom.) I've been reflecting a lot on the lessons I've learned and decided to share them with you in a college series. While there are many things you'll only learn through experience in college (and life in general,) I'll be running posts all summer and do my best to prep you for your first year out on your own.
While I definitely have a plethora of personal advice I can (and will) offer you, I definitely don't know everything. I decided to reach out to some of the lovely bloggers in the Her Campus Blogger Network and here's the advice they would offer an incoming freshman:
"As my junior year of college is coming to an end, I've learned a couple things over the last three years that I was never told going into college. You don't have to be best friends with your roommate(s), you just have to get along with them for thesake of living together. It's okay to not know what you want to do with your life, no one will judge you if you change your major one, two or three times. Focus on yourself and what you love. It's not the end of the world if you fail a class or two, those failed classes might make you realize what you really want to do with your future."-Rachel, blogger at Seashells + Sparkles
"If something isn’t working for you, you have the power to change it. Halfway through my freshman year I realized the college I was at was not the right fit for me. I switched majors and was not adapting well to the quiet suburban campus. I decided to apply to transfer, and it was the best decision I ever made. Give yourself time to try out lots of new things at your current school, but if you’re trying and not getting back what you need don’t be afraid to make a switch! Starting over can be scary but not as scary as feeling stuck." Austen, Barnard College junior & blogger at Keep Calm and Chiffon
"I would tell an incoming freshmen not to be afraid of not figuring out who they are in the first year of college. Many people, like myself, have taken years of trial and errors to finally find something they love and wish to pursue. College is about making mistakes, so make them as many times as it takes because that's what college is all about, finding yourself. And if you can’t figure it out within four year…who cares. You only have one life to live, don’t restrict yourself to just four years." - Sally, University of Florida graduate & blogger at My Kaleidoscope Heart
"Stay on top of the classes you need to complete your degree. Make sure you're looking up classes to take at least two weeks before you're allowed to pick your classes for the next semester. Meet with your advisor before choosing your classes even if you're sure about what you want to take. Nothing is worse than getting to senior year and realizing you haven't completed a credit you need to graduate! Even if you're going in undecided, meeting with your advisor is so important because they can help you figure out what you want to study and pick classes that will help you figure out the best major." - Dana, blogger at The Whisper Box
"Freshman year was the hardest year of my life (so far) but in that year I learned so much about myself. It's OK to be afraid but remember to take advantage of this time in your life and don't be afraid to try new things." - Emily, blogger at My Healthyish Life (check out this great post!)
"I have three words of advice for incoming freshmen. (1) Don't change who you are simply to please your new friends. Flaunt your unique attributes! (2) Find the proper balance between work and fun. Get good grades, but enjoy your four years. (3) Trust God in all things" - Kathryn, blogger at Kat's 9 Lifes (check out this great post!)
"The biggest tip we hear is, sign up for a lot of activities outside of your academic classes, sports, clubs, try everything, it's a great way to meet new friends, figure out what your like, you won't know unless you get involved:)" - Alison, blogger at the College Tourist (check out this great post!)
"You only get out what you put in. You're professors are there for you to use, don't be afraid to stay behind after class and ask questions, or even better make an appointment to see them out of class! Remember that they are people too, and they want to see you do well in their class, but you have to be the one driving" - Steph, blogger at My Country Sister
"You don't have to be cool. Don't do something just because you think you should. Life (and college) is WAY too short to live your life trying to please others." - Frankie
"College is a time to figure out who you are and where you want to be in this life. Don't be afraid to take risks, fall in love, explore the city your in, get involved on campus and make friends of a lifetime. Also don't worry..there's always tomorrow!" - Kalee, blogger at Voyaguer Kalee
"Talk to everyone. Otherwise you won't meet people outside of your classes or in a different Res Hall. Talk to your professors in their office. If you don't know what to ask, just ask them about their experiences in the industry, what they studied in college, any recommendations they have for future courses to take, etc." - Ally, blogger at Sea Sugar Style
You can look forward to a lot more college posts this summer!