No one wants to be fresh meat — um, a freshman — again. Sure, it can be really exciting turning over a new leaf and starting something new. But on the other hand, you don’t really know what you’re doing yet. It takes you twice as long to get anywhere on campus because you have no idea where you’re going; the library is an endless maze; you’re forced to try every cheap restaurant in town because you’re not sure which ones are good. Once you’re an upperclassman, you know what you’re doing, even if your classes are in all different buildings.
However, that doesn’t mean you can just go off the cuff for the rest of your college days. You don’t have it all figured out, and you’ve probably let go of some good habits from your younger days. Believe it or not, there are some things you can learn from freshmen this year.
Class Up for Class
I know it’s tempting to roll out of bed, slip into your Greek T-shirt and sweatpants, and throw a hat on. You’re already tired of class, and the semester has barely started. But those freshmen? They’ve been fretting over the perfect outfit for hours. Maybe they’re the ones that have it figured out?
One, dressing up actually helps you perform better, and who doesn’t want to do well in class? Not only will you feel more confident, but people will take you more seriously. You want to look ready for class — not just a total slacker that doesn’t deserve that extension. Also, class is a great place to meet new people! Best to leave a good impression.
You don’t need to wear a suit or ball gown every day, but you can totally manage to look like you’ve been awake for more than three minutes. Figure out how to dress for your body shape, what products work with your hair, and how often you need to shower. Ultimately, you know your own body’s needs, but ask yourself how often you showered at your parents’ house. That’s probably a good guideline.
Meet New People!
Remember when you knew nobody? Every day was full of new introductions and awkward smiles. Probably not the best time of your life, but then you fell in with a group of friends, and you haven’t really put the effort forth with anyone else.
This is a mistake. Networking is instrumental to your future career success. It’s often not what you know but who you know. The more people you get to know in college, the more likely that one of them will recognize your name while sifting through resumes. Getting to know a core group of friends is really valuable too, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the rest of campus. Plus, interacting with new people can broaden your horizons and help you become better rounded in general.
Scrutinize the School
You and your parents probably went through endless pamphlets before you committed to a school. You toured the campus beforehand, compared degree programs, and ultimately decided what was best for you. Freshmen step onto campus still deciding if they made the right decision or not.
Just because you’ve attended this school in the past doesn’t mean that you have to keep doing it. Transferring schools can be the right decision. As parents and students alike become more concerned about their ROI, schools have tried to keep up by offering more options: more online classes, more career counseling, and more ways for alumni to connect. However, if you’re not getting a good ROI or experience from the school you’re at, don’t be afraid to reevaluate your choice.