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From One Student to Another: 3 Tips For Navigating Freshman Year

Starting your college journey is an exhilarating and transformative experience. As a rising sophomore, I understand the mix of excitement and apprehension that comes with being an incoming freshman. In hopes of helping all of you ease into this transition and make the most of your first year, I’ve compiled a list of three essential tips to set you up for success!

  1. Embrace the Unfamiliarity
    Let’s be real, change can be scary! I remember being so nervous for the first day of Welcome Week on campus that I did not get any sleep. Let me reassure you, it is totally normal to feel anxious when starting afresh.

    I’ve found that the best way to alleviate this discomfort is slowly moving out of your comfort zone. For example, you could try one small new thing every day. This could be complimenting your classmate on their outfit, staying back after class to speak to a professor, or going to an event held by a club on campus. You’d be amazed at how over time, these little things expand your confidence! I have also found that my core memories and friendships from last year have come from spontaneous adventures.
  2. Breaks are Productive Too
    There’s a lot of pressure for incoming freshmen to excel in their academic and social lives. I know firsthand how easy it is to get caught up in the hustle and bustle, constantly juggling school, extracurriculars, friendships, and family obligations.

    In the midst of all this, it's all too easy to forget the most important person in the equation: yourself. It's not selfish; making time for self-care is vital for your well-being and overall happiness.

    Take a breath, step back, and give yourself permission to prioritize your own needs. When you take care of yourself, you'll find that you're better equipped to handle the challenges and demands that come your way. So, as you dive into this exciting new chapter, remember to keep yourself in the equation and prioritize self-care. You deserve it!!
  3. Explore Academic Opportunities
    College is a time for intellectual growth and exploration. Take time during Orientation Week to get to know different academic opportunities and resources in your institution — you’d be surprised how much support you have.

    Remember that college is not just about obtaining a degree; it’s about gaining a well-rounded education and discovering your true passion. I encourage you to step outside your comfort zone by choosing diverse courses and engaging in research or internships. Starting to expand your academic boundaries in your freshman year is a great way to open many doors throughout the rest of your college career!

No matter what, remember that this new chapter is yours to write! So have fun and enjoy your first year of college!