Many freshmen arrive at college unsure of how the next four years of their lives will play out. Prowl talked to six upperclassmen who shared advice and stories about what they’ve learned through the years and what they wished they’d known as a freshman. Read on for takeaways from their time at Chapman.
Cayla Sacre, senior television writing and production major
Takeaway: Explore Outside Your Major
Take advantage of all the opportunities! As a Dodge student I sometimes felt pressured to live and breathe my major, but adding a psychology minor was one of the best choices I made at Chapman. I got to take classes outside of my major and explore a subject that was totally new to me.
Jeremy Jesberger, senior kinesiology major
Takeaway: Be Open to New Friendships
The advice I’d give is to not get complacent with the first or even second group of friends you make in college.
I had a great group of friends in my freshman year, many of who I’m still good friends with today. But looking back I decided to rush a fraternity as a sophomore and now as a senior have made more friends outside of my fraternity. So I feel I have a good support system from a lot of different people and my freshman year I thought it was going to be that one group of friends all four years.
Ricky Elder, junior business administration major
Takeaway: You May Not Have a Clear Path, But College Helps You Find It
Don’t stress out too much about your future as a freshman. I came in undeclared and was unsure about what I was going to do, which resulted in stress. The whole process was very developmental but if I were to go back I would enjoy the process a lot more if I didn’t stress as much about it. Joining the professional fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi helped me along the way. It was through them that led me to find an interest in business. I would definitely recommend freshman to join organizations that they may be interested in because it will only benefit them.
Jameson Davis, junior accounting major
Takeaway: Stay On Top of Your Classes
The best advice I would give freshman would be to stay focused, go to your classes. If you get behind, it is a slippery slope and it is easy to dig yourself into a hole. As you notice yourself behind, I would highly recommend acting quickly and getting on top of that as soon as possible. Whether it’s going to tutoring or talking to your professor, you have to put in that extra time to get back on top of your classes.
Connor Hailing, senior psychology major
Takeaway: Don’t Let Your New Found Freedom Take Control of You
The first thing I realized when I arrived at college was that I can do pretty much whatever I want now. My advice to freshmen would be to not let that freedom take priority over other activities.
At first, there was a learning curve with trying to make friends and still do well in my classes. It took me a couple months and a few poor grades to realize that doing my work was at times more important than hanging out with my friends. After I started paying more attention to my work and less of everything around me, I started doing way better. I was still able to keep my friends, it’s balancing everything together and not letting some things take over your life.
Sahil Srivastava, junior economics major
Takeaway: Don’t Let Anyone Hold You Back
The best advice I’ve ever gotten that can benefit freshman is to not let one person dictate how you feel or keep you from doing something in your life.
When I was a sophomore, I told my professor that I didn’t want to do economics anymore because of one bad teacher I had. He told me that if you’ve only had a bad experience with one person in the field, it doesn’t mean everyone else is going to suck too. He was right because I’ve loved all my economics classes since. Not letting one person decide how I act in my life is helpful for friendships and relationships too.