As days turn into weeks and weeks turn into months, those months turn into years and before you know it, college has come and gone in the blink of an eye.
Seniors graduating this spring had a few words of advice that they would give to current freshmen and to their own freshman selves.
Amanda Morey, senior in public relations and a minor in marketing, said she didn’t start out this way. Going into freshman year, Morey said she was an interior design major before she realized that this route was not for her. As so many freshmen going into college are unsure of their career path, it can be difficult to make that decision when you are still so young, she said.
Being a freshman during this pandemic has proven to make things especially difficult in regards to limited in-person classes, making friends, being able to join organizations and overall university living. Morey noted the importance of these relationships and opportunities, and how freshmen can find them.
“I would say to get involved and talk to people in your dorm," she said. "For the most part, all freshmen are in the same boat where they want to make new friends. Introducing yourself to your hall mates, taking part in an on-campus organization, or joining sorority or fraternity life are all great ways to meet people and make new friends."
Morey said she would tell her freshman year self to not be afraid to meet new people, even after establishing a friend group.
“If you feel like you’re not meshing with a certain group of people, don’t be scared to look for new friends,” Morey said.
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On the topic of resume building, she said that many majors are required to take a class where you are able to learn resume techniques and how to design a LinkedIn page. There are on-campus resources for students seeking help with both of these such as the Miller Writing Center.
“The best way to build your resume in college is to get involved, even if it’s something small,” Morey said.
Going hand-in-hand with resume building, interviews are another new aspect to many freshmen. Morey said that the best way to prepare for interviews is to practice and do as many as you can, as those are the main ways to become comfortable with the process.
“I remember my first interview was not that good, but compared to where I am now, it’s like a totally different person,” Morey said.
Another aspect of college that students may want to take part in is internships. Internships are required for some majors and for others, it's just important for experience in that field. Morey said she suggests seeking out companies that you are genuinely interested in and can see yourself working for.
"Send the company an email saying that you want to get involved and attach your resume,” Morey said.
Anna Demecs, senior majoring in marketing with a minor in finance, said she always knew she wanted to work in something sales-related because of her love of working with other people. In regards to resume building, interviewing and internships, she said it's important to keep your resume up to date and get involved in extracurricular activities.
Demecs encouraged practicing interviews with a friend or using an on-campus resource to help you prepare. Summer internships are also a way to help you gain experience in the workplace, she said.
“My advice to my freshman year self would be to soak it all in," Demecs said. "These four years go by faster than you think—always live in the present."
As difficult as freshman year can be for many students, Demecs said focusing on herself and her own accomplishments has been her biggest takeaway from college.
“Don’t focus on your friend’s life or your classmates—it’s going to be a completely different timeline than yours,” she said.
Demecs said it is important to do what makes you happy and to not let others dictate what that means for you.
Lauren Torpey , senior in business analytics, will also be graduating this spring. She began college as a journalism major, and after taking some classes, realized she wanted to switch to business analytics.
“Freshman year was all about change, so the main thing I took away from that was to embrace it," Torpey said. "I love my major now and I’m super happy with my decision."
She said time management and organization are two key aspects she has learned from college.
“One thing that has really helped me is making a schedule of everything I need to do the day before,” Torpey said. "This helps to maximize productivity and minimize distractions."
As Torpey looks back on college she said the best advice she has been given is to cherish every moment.
"One minute it's freshman year and you’re wondering how and when you’ll ever make it through and the next you’re in the second semester of senior year wishing that time would slow down," she said. “If I could give any advice to my freshman year self it would be to not be so hard on yourself and to stop comparing your experience to others."
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