An Open Letter to College Freshmen

by ashleyatg

As a freshman, checking out the view from the Cathedral of Learning. Hail to Pitt!

Dear College Freshmen (the ladies namely…since I am one)

First off, welcome to college! You can now forget that high school ever happened because you are about to embark on the best years of your young life. I just wanted to pen this little note to you with my words of encouragement and a few tips for success–as a junior, I feel I am halfway qualified!

My first piece of advice: show up to class and take some kind of notes. Seems obvious but you would be surprised how many people show up the first day and you do not see them again until the final. Take a notebook, laptop, iPad, a piece of stone or whatever you want to keep you organized and at attention. You need to learn to be responsible and accountable for your education.

Next, consider you interests when picking classes. I am a communication major and at my school there are not enough credits in the comm. major alone to graduate. So considering my interests, I am also working on a U.S. history minor and a writing certificate. Do your research and take those fun classes!

Third, have fun! Go out on the weekend if that’s what you want to do! Enjoy time with your friends and make new ones. However, you should also be smart. You are probably going to have a drink (read: a few drinks) Know your limit and try not to overdo it! I swear, every obscenely drunk girl I have passed on a Friday night seems to have been a freshman. So I am going to tell you, straight up: you are a tiny lady and cannot take twelve shots and be able to tell the night’s tales at brunch the next day…it’s not happening. Stay smart and you can have a great time that you will remember!

Lastly (and very important in my opinion) explore your campus and the city or town in which it is located. The one thing I did not want to do is spend my time outside of class stuck in my dorm room. Luckily my school is in Pittsburgh where we have access to a number of museums, sports events, shopping and other wonderful things. Find out what deals being a student gets you–we get into museums for free with out IDs! Make the area your own!

Freshman year was truly a transition year. I learned a lot about myself when I came into all of this independence. Keep your mind open and follow your gut. You are smart and I believe you will be successful–hey, you made it this far! 

Good luck!
❤ Ashley

P.S. Be smart with money. It disappears quick!

Any other tips for those incoming freshies?