It goes without saying that your college years can (and will!) change the entire course of your life. In order to help you get your freshman year of university off on the right foot, we’ve decided to crowdsource a wide variety of advice for college freshmen.
Here’s how 15 working professionals of all ages answered the following question:
If you could go back in time and give your 18 year-old self any bit of advice, what would it be?
“Make your professors your best friends. There’s no need to be intimidated by them, plus you’ll learn networking skills no amount of schooling can actually teach you how to do.” – Sophia Madana, Digital Media Specialist, VanderCook College of Music (Click to tweet this!)
“Try to be aware of the kinds of activities you enjoy, it may help you find a job after college. Also, be as social as you can. Being social will open you up as a human being and will be way more valuable than those ten extra points on your exam. Your grades matter less than you think.” – Dallas (Click to tweet this!)
“I would beat him up, then say ‘Leave. Explore. Discover.'” – @DavidBeltran, Community College Professor / Spanish Genius (Click to tweet this!)
“Just when you think you know what you want to do when you grow up, you will mature and change your mind. That’s ok. Be open to evolving and growing as a person because that’s how you’ll discover where your passions lie.” -Stephanie Saia, LPC, CADC, Mental Health and Wellness Coach (Click to tweet this!)
“Explore your second option just as deeply as your first.” – Ryan H (Click to tweet this!)
“You might just have the chance to create a career you don’t even know exists, so don’t fret if no one career option feels right at 18. You might just have several careers, all connected or totally distinct. Trust in the power of transferrable skills. Things you learn in one area of life/work may be incredible tools in a future job or experience. – Julie Schumacher (Click to tweet this!)
“Don’t be afraid to follow the more creative/abstract of your passions. Most people won’t ‘get it’ but through exploration you’ll find the people who will, and will support you.” – Keidra Chaney (@kdc), co-founder/editor of thelearnedfangirl.com (Click to tweet this!)
“Right now you have nothing to lose. Go big, ’cause you can still go home and live with mom and dad for free.” – @amythefabulous (Click to tweet this!)
“Talk to everyone but listen more, ask questions and do your research. Know both your value and your values and stand by them. Find a mentor, then someday be a mentor.” – Julie Schumacher, writer, @wellturnedwords (Click to tweet this!)
“Figure out what you really enjoy doing, not what you think you should be doing. Don’t let fear of failure hold you back.” – @Yennifer42 (Click to tweet this!)
“Get into every paid training program you can! One day, you’ll be paying hundreds of dollars to get the education you could’ve been PAID to complete!” – Kara C. (Click to tweet this!)
“Choose something that you are passion about and that you LOVE!” – @ExpanXion (Click to tweet this!)
“If you want to do something big – backpack across Asia, join the Peace Corps, whatever – do it now, because once you get a job, it’s hard to break out and follow that wanderlust later.” – Debbie Carlson, freelance writer, @debbiecarlson1 (Click to tweet this!)
“You WILL screw up — probably more than once — the question is not if but when. Forgive yourself, move on and let yourself learn from what you do wrong.” – Paige Worthy, client services director for Landscape Leadership (Click to tweet this!)
“I would tell myself to talk to other actual illustrators. Since I REALLY wanted to make comics, I would have pressed the point that NOW is the time. Don’t talk about it, do it. If that’s your passion, don’t worry about the ‘fall-back’ job. Start now, make mistakes, meet people, ask questions, and do it. Eventually he would probably be a moderately successful comic creator instead of a moderately successful designer and illustrator who WISHES he was creating comics instead.” – @9mm_ed (Click to tweet this!)
If you could go back in time and give your 18 year-old self any advice, what would you say? Share with us in the comments section!