This blog is written by Erin, our campus ambassador for the College of William and Mary.
The beginning of your college career is the most tumultuous time of your life. You’re leaving everything you’ve ever known and are comfortable with, and embarking on an entirely new journey. It’s natural to feel nervous, excited, and maybe even a little scared. As a freshman, I relied on the advice of upperclassmen heavily for guidance, so here are a few things that I wish I had considered when I began my undergraduate journey.
1. It’s never too early to start thinking about your career.
I know, with four years left before you head out into the great unknown, life post-college is the last thing on your mind. But it’s a good idea to check out your college’s resources for post-graduate options. Many colleges offer seminars, career fairs, and even mock interviews. Make yourself familiar with these options, so when you’re a sophomore or junior you will already know how to utilize them!
2. Network and form professional relationships with professors in your department
You may still be a little intimidated by the world of higher education, but it is very important that you are an active participant in your courses, especially the ones that pertain to your major. Don’t be afraid to raise your hand in class (just try not to be THAT guy or girl). Even more importantly, drop by your professor’s office hours with additional questions or even to ask for advice on your career plan. Later down the line, these professors can be great resources for graduate school or job recommendation letters and even research opportunities.
3. Don’t forget why you’re there.
With new friends, endless social opportunities, football games, and your new environment in general, it is very easy to lose sight of the reason that you are at college in the first place: to gain an education. It is vitally important that you find the balance between your schoolwork and your social life as early as possible.
In summary, make sure that in the back of your mind you are always considering the bigger picture, but don’t forget to have fun along the way. College is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, so enjoy!