What Would You Tell Your Freshman Self? Think EPIC.

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This is Part 2 in a series of letters from college graduates to their freshman alter egos. (Here’s Part 1 on freshman advice.) Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your younger self about your college years?

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By guest blogger, Keith Kaplan: ALBION COLLEGE: Brains (double-major honors student, Mortar Board, College Fellow) and brawn (swim team captain and an avid outdoorsman who most days can be seen paddling on the river that runs through his campus). Co-founder of the eponymous DK Cookies (on Facebook!).

If you ask many older folks about college, they’ll most likely say they miss college or something involving how great their college experience was.

They’re definitely right. Being a current college student and from my experiences, your college experience should be EPIC.

To make your journey an epic experience, I put together a list of the top tips to have a stellar experience these next few years of your life – I would’ve wanted to know these going into my college experience.

Don’t be a cement head. While in school, you’ll experience situations you probably haven’t experienced before. Whether it’s new activities or learning new skills, always have a positive mentality and a drive to achieve. Be sure to ditch the “I am not good at this, so I won’t try” cement head attitude – you’ll only be limiting yourself.

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College freshman Keith

Don’t be afraid. I know from personal experience, I’d be afraid to try something new by myself, whether it was attending a club meeting or joining an intramural sport. Don’t be afraid. The only person that can limit yourself is you.

Have fun, but be responsible. In college there will be parties, there will be drinking, and there may be some risky behavior. I say feel free to partake in these social experiences, but be responsible. This might take a few times to adjust to, but you will learn soon enough how to balance a social life and your studies.
Be yourself.
 Typically, there are a bunch of activities to do on or around campus. If you have to change yourself for something or someone, don’t do it. There will always be a group of people, an activity, or a hobby that’ll fit your interest.Take advantage of your college network. This includes other students on campus as well as your professors and administrators. Ask upperclassmen about professors and classes to take and not to take. Also, use your college campus as a microcosm to try out new ideas, whether it’s a business or starting a new club or sport.Meet your professors. Office hours are great for connecting with your professors. Students might think of office hours as a weakness because they see it as not performing well and needing extra help – FALSE. Connecting with your professors could lead to possible job and internship opportunities, and research positions.College is about learning, discovering yourself, your interests, and your passions. I say if you don’t put yourself into uncomfortable or challenging situations, you are doing college wrong. One more thing, please try something new because you may never know what you’ll discover about yourself.

 

Professional college student (for now),
Keith Kaplan

 

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