Upperclassmen Offer Tips to Incoming Freshmen

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Editor’s note: A version of this post was originally published on Admitted in July 2015.

Preparing to send your students off to college?

Upperclassmen and recent graduates from around the world offered their advice to incoming freshmen in a New York Times piece.

The tips range from pragmatic (“always take advantage of free food”) to philosophical (“be willing to learn as you go”).

In all, the story includes advice from 24 students. Tips on finding friends, conquering college coursework and taking care of your physical and mental health are included.


Some gems:

“It is impossible to focus in class if you are ‘taking notes’ on a laptop.”
—Annalisa Galgano, New York University Abu Dhabi

“Don’t compare yourself to other students…Remember that everyone has unique talents, and you have four years to cultivate yours.”
—Shivani Dixit, University of Chicago

“Take naps. Preschool and college are the only times when napping is socially acceptable.”
—Justine Goode, Oberlin College (OH)

“Outline all your papers, and footnote everything. Even if you don’t ‘do outlines’ or think they are a total waste of time, a quick overview of how the paper will be organized will save you loads in the long run.”
—Casey Chon, Hampshire College (MA)

“Sometimes, you might feel you just don’t belong on campus. I implore you to extend grace to yourself and have confidence in the fact that you were chosen not only for your academic competency but also for the perspective you have to offer your peers and professors,”
—Brittanie Lewis, Amherst College (MA)

What advice do you have for incoming freshmen? Add your tips in the comment section below.

Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org.

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