Posts Tagged ‘advice’

3 Things I Wish I’d Known Freshman Year: The Technology Edition

Categories: College Life

3 Things I Wish I'd KnownTechnology definitely has its place in today’s college environment, and it is important to stay on top of the latest advances to stay on top of your game.

#1: Online banking is your best friend.

Freshman year, I learned that there are many things I could do from the warm comfort of my own bed. Keeping track my bank account was one of them. I wish I’d known from the beginning how great of a resource online banking could be. When you are managing your money for the first time, it is very convenient to have a way to access account information from wherever you can connect to the Internet. Depending on weather conditions, your level of laziness, and the location of the nearest bank or ATM on campus, you may not always be able to make frequent visits and have an idea of where you stand financially. Create an online account with your bank, and you will always be able to make smart spending decisions.

#2: Other people can see your computer screen.

I have quite a few friends who had bad computer experiences freshman year. With the increasing popularity of Facebook and other social media websites, it is always important to remember that others can see what (and more importantly WHOM) you are looking at. You may assume that the people around you are paying attention to what is going on in class or in their studies at the library, but odds are if you are doing your own thing, they probably are, too. Unfortunately, this means they might be taking in their surroundings, including whatever is going on on your computer screen. There’s nothing wrong with checking your Facebook in public, but it’s WHOSE profile you’re looking at that can potentially get you into trouble. It’s impossible to know who around you will have a connection to the face on your screen, and in the small college environment, odds are it will somehow get back to them that you were checking them out.

#3: You don’t always have to be attached to your cell phone.

Building new relationships is one of the hardest parts of starting freshman year. Although you may be used to constantly texting friends on your cell phone, it is definitely a good idea to put it away when you’re out meeting new people. It is not necessary to always be talking to people who are not immediately around you, and you will come off as more interesting and more engaged if your focus is on the conversation you’re having in person instead of the conversation you’re having on your phone.

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3 Things I Wish I’d Known as a College Freshman: The Social Life Edition

Categories: College Life

3 Things I Wish I'd KnownWhen I got to college, I immediately felt overwhelmed by the thought of meeting a whole new group of friends in a place that still felt so foreign. Looking back now, four months after graduation, there are three things I wish I could tell my freshman self about what my college social life would grow to be after that first year.

#1: Everyone is just as nervous as you are.

I distinctly remember walking around on my first football Saturday seeing crowds of freshmen who looked like they had everything figured out. They knew what parties to go to, who to hang out with, and seemed to have a better scope of the university than I did. The truth about freshmen is that everyone is just as nervous as you are, no matter how confident they appear on the outside. Starting college is a huge transition that takes a lot of work, regardless of whether someone enters with hundreds of high school friends or not knowing a soul. Just remember that you’re all experiencing the same ups and downs, and it will make those self-assured people a little more relatable.

#2: Your roommate doesn’t have to be your best friend.

When I left for college, I was under the impression that my roommate HAD to be my best friend, and we had to do everything together. I was very fortunate to have an awesome freshman year roommate, but although we coexisted perfectly and hung out a lot, we also had separate lives and did our own things. Whether you find yourself living with someone who you love, someone who you can just live with, or someone you don’t get along with so well, it is important to understand that your roommate doesn’t have to be your best friend. If it works out that way that’s great, but if not, your roommate can still be an important part of your life.

#3: The Greek System doesn’t have to define your social life.

When I went through the rush process and joined a sorority, I lost contact with many friends I’d made at the beginning of the year who had not rushed or joined different houses. Some of these people re-entered my life, but some did not. While fraternities and sororities can be very time-consuming and offer a large variety of social experiences, I wish I’d known as a freshman that it didn’t have to take over my life. It is important to keep in touch with the people that were important to you before rush because you were friends with them for a reason, and they will be great outlets when Greek life becomes a little too consuming. Having varied groups of friends is a great way to have an enriching college experience—you never know who you’ll be closest to once graduation rolls around.

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Advice for College Freshman: Breaking Up Is a Good Thing

Categories: College Life

College checklists are good preparation tools. They help you remember to bring things like hangers. They are the buffers between you and your mother on trips to Bed, Bath & Beyond; when coffee maker is on the checklist, she has to buy you one right!?

What these checklists don’t account for are the personal tasks you have to take care of before leaving for school. Like breaking up.

UGH.

The break up conversation is not ever an easy one to have. It gets even harder when you’re only contemplating breaking up because you’re going away to school. But when you are both headed in new directions, parting ways is a smart choice. Believe me, I’ve been there. I struggled with the pros and cons of what maintaining a long-distance relationship would entail. I considered making it work, but came to a few key realizations that led to my decision to break up.

It was important to me that I grow and change as a single person, not as one half of a relationship. In my opinion, college is a time when students are allowed to be selfish – they are allowed to indulge curiosities, explore what the world has to offer, and not worry about being tied down by a significant other. Not that having a boyfriend or girlfriend drags you down, but I find it can influence your decisions, and college is a time to find your own voice.

I was honest with myself and knew that if I had a boyfriend at another school, I would think about him too much and find it hard to be in the moment with new friends and activities. I would spend time thinking about what he was doing instead of focusing on my own awesome future. In a word, I would become clingy. I did not want my happiness or activities to be dictated by someone I never saw.

I cannot stress how much better it is to break up before school starts than to wait until you are miles apart. Talking it over in person and giving yourself time to heal will make the entire process easier. It may not seem that way at the time, but you’ll thank yourself later.

In the end, I am so very glad I made this decision. I think anyone who will be a freshman this fall should enter as a single unit – an individual ready to take on new challenges alone.

What do you think? Are you considering breaking up before college? Have you been through a similar situation?

What words of wisdom do you have to offer?

Breaking up can be tough, but planning for your future doesn’t have to be. Cappex has tons of college resources to help students.

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