Freshman Year is an Adjustment, Here’s My Advice…
My freshman year wasn’t your typical one. I started as an undecided freshman at Florida State University, unsure of what path to take towards finding a major, not to mention a career. My first semester was filled with doubt, and as the semester went on, I found that the large classes and the wild hustle and bustle of Tallahassee nightlife made me feel overwhelmed and as though I was lost in the crowd of students at FSU. I decided I wanted to transfer and switched to the University of North Florida for the spring semester. My time at both schools taught me that the school you choose is important not just for its academic programs, but for the people and the environment. This is where you will be spending the next four years of your life, and you want to find a place you can truly call home. If it’s not your first choice, that’s alright.
My advice? Transferring was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and gave me the opportunity to find a place where I feel I fit in. It’s okay if things don’t feel right, right away, though. I’ve learned that as much as it seems like people know what they’re doing, nobody really has any idea where they’re going in their freshman year of college. College is your time to find yourself, discover your interests and values, and to use those to find the right classes, major, and career for yourself. It’s important that you take it upon yourself to really get the most out of everything your school has to offer. If you have trouble focusing, head to the quiet floors on the library or secure yourself a study room. Before you know it, hours will have flown by and your homework will be done. Click here for a blog on best places to study.
If a class is challenging, go to your professor’s office hours, or look into Student Instructor (SI) sessions, tutoring, or study groups. If you have a hobby you’d like to pursue, click here for our blog on clubs and student organizations on campus. If you want to stay active, join an intramural team or take classes at the school gym. The opportunities are truly endless, but you will never find them unless you look.
Check out the school’s website to find events going on, and never be afraid to reach out and ask how you can get involved. Some great organizations where students can get involved are Osprey Productions who put on big events especially during Homecoming, Student Government, Greek Life, Orientation Leaders, and of course joining one of the many clubs on campus. Starting out in a new place shouldn’t be looked at as a daunting task but as an opportunity to be whoever you want to be, and to learn and explore endless new things. Your freshman year of college will undoubtedly be filled with irreplaceable memories and experiences that will begin to shape you into an independent and capable adult.
That being said, my biggest piece of advice is to try as many things as you can and to really get involved in at least one thing that you are passionate about. This is how you can meet people with similar interests, make friends, and forge connections that will last well past your college years.
Sarah Toth, UNF Intern