Thursday, August 16

College Advice for College Freshmen - From a Graduate

In my last post, I gave some advice to High School Seniors applying to College

Femme Noblesse Oblige had this to add to my last post. 
"Another thing I would add is being well rounded. Next to good grades and community/social involvement, colleges (especially liberal arts colleges) look for students who are well rounded in interests and activities, as this shows that they are willing to explore new things, both academically and in life. As a first generation college student, I beat all odds by getting into a top university partly because the admissions people were impressed with my range of clubs and courses that I had taken in hs. It also helps to have a well organized application and portfolio!"

This post is all about going into College as a brand new freshman. Again, everything is based off of my values and personal experiences. 

via weheartit

I'm so nervous about dorm life/meeting friends/drinking!

Dorm life is definitely something new, but the best piece of advice I can give you is to look at it optimistically. You may find that your roommate is crazy, or that you and your friend have more differences than similarities. On the other hand, your new roommate could be your best friend and living with a friend can be as awesome as you thought! Also remember that there are campus resources to help with any on or off campus roommate issues and if you are close to your family, moving in with them is an option. If you miss your family, take advantage of living in this modern age and skype and call the heck out of them. Also remember to fill up your time by joining activities and meeting new people though! If you're busy, you won't miss your family as much!

Speaking of, that's a great way to meet friends. It's absolutely normal to go through a rough first year or first semester but if you stay indoors and think about how everyone else has friends and you don't, it's going to remain that way. Join clubs, talk to people in your classes, make friends with the people you live with and go to all of those events that the school puts on. Most likely, you'll find someone else who feels alone there.

However, don't feel pressured that you have to drink. I attended a school that was largely known as a party school but I've never once attended a "crazy" party. Even in my freshman and sophomore years, I never even saw alcohol at the events I went to. I've never been pressured to drink. While I realize that isn't the same for everyone, do realize that college just a fountain of knowledge and some students are only there to drink. 

How do you study for exams?

Selectively. You're going to have easy classes and difficult classes. It's up to you to decide how much time to dedicate to each when exam time comes. Allocate your time wisely. In addition, attend class and pay attention (more or less). Attending class makes a huge differences especially if you're the kind of person who takes a few repetitions to learn something. You may not feel like you're learning anything at first, but when you go back to it, it should be easier. In a way, studying is the same task it has always been--gathering all the material (your in class notes, powerpoint notes, textbook and practice problems) and looking it over. 

How are classes different than in high school?

There is more autonomy, which some kids thrive on and other kids fail to work with. Honestly, be organized. Know when your exams are and if the professor changes them and know what material you're going to be tested on. Other than that, it's not too incredibly different. Some schools are more stringent than others but my University still had study guides, study sessions and extra office hours. 

How do you avoid the freshman 15?

Avoid the alcohol, the midnight snacking, and the unhealthy choices in food. Those are the three most obvious offenders. Alcohol, like a shot of vodka, comes with 80 calories. Beer is even worse. Midnight snacking comes from setting your own bedtime... so that when you have nachos at midnight and go to bed two hours later, it's not burned off. And unhealthy choices come from cafeteria dining. When I lived at home, my mother always cooked for me and it wasn't purposefully healthy, but more balanced. At school, I switched from eating Chinese food to eating American food.

How do you pick a major?
Decisively, and follow through. I don't know what I was thinking when I picked my major. I had no idea what it was really about. Though I've always kept the same major, I explored different careers within my major and used clubs to supplement my learning experience. During the last semester of my sophomore year, I added another major. So, planning! If you want to graduate within four years, make sure you have at least planned to finish your chosen major within those four years. That way, it won't be that difficult to pick up another major. Don't close off your learning to other areas of study... and TALK TO YOUR COUNSELORS. 

Again, feel free to ask questions, give your own advice and agree or disagree!


  1. nice tips, you got a lovely idea with this rubric:) xoxo

  2. I did a series in this last or two years ago with advice like this. Now, hopefully they'll follow it!

  3. I'm not going into college yet, but still found these very informative and interesting for my future in college :)
    I am back on my blog after a summer break so feel free to check it out! xo

    1. Hopefully it'll help you for later!

  4. This is great! I wish I had this when I went to university. Your answers are detailed and most of all, reassuring! I realized that all the fears I had about the university life vanished after a day. It's not as scary as people might think.

  5. Interesting to read! I'm a college student and have finished my first year without resits, so I'm a very happy girl. I love dorm life & couldn't miss it, but I have to admit I was very lucky with my roommates, I like them all, and one of them is my very best friend. And going to the classes does help indeed ;)

    Xo, Imke

    1. We don't always get roommates to be our best friends, so you were lucky indeed!

  6. Really good post. Wish I had advice like these when I was a freshmen. And the beer factor is so true for the Freshmen 15 - very bad idea.

    Mom Fitness Journal | Beauty and Fashion in Seattle | Cheap Makeup Reviews

  7. Aww, thanks for the shout-out; I feel all important now lol!! Great advice, especially about studying for exams. When I was a freshman, I had it in my head that I would do all the reading and study for all my exams. Naturally, by midterms this plan went completely down the drain! The key to success in college is definitely being selective!

    1. No problem! Being selective sounds counterintuitive, but for those of us who aren't brilliant and/or have tons of time, it's the way to go!.

  8. Awesome advice Aki! Also tell them not to get into personal financial debt (unnecessary credit cards and monitor spending habits).

  9. loving this post!


  10. These are definitely some great tips and advice for all those college students out there!

    xo, Yi-chia
    Always Maylee

  11. Love your tips. These posts are so informative! Seriously, schools don't prepare you for this! At least, my school didn't :/

  12. Hey,
    Nice post!
    Your blog is so awesome!
    Would you like to follow eachother?

  13. lovely post. i think college is a really great time to let loose and let your true character show. if you have a crazy side, explore it. but just know your limits.


Thanks for your comments!