Older students give advice for freshmen

Logan Raschke, Staff Reporter

Sophomore and senior students shared their experiences during their first year of college and advice for current freshman.

Senior accounting major Justin Brenson said taking the successes with the failures during the first year of college is important.

He said freshmen should prepare for their expectations of what college is like to differ from what it is actually like early in their higher education careers because the expectations are not the same as reality.

“Adjust your expectations. You’re not going to be perfect,” he said. “When you get your first C on a test in your whole life of college, it hurts, so you might as well humble yourself before.”

Senior accounting major Connor Schmidt said his best advice would be to socialize with others.

He said making connections with other students on campus, especially upper classmen, can be beneficial to a freshman because they have already lived through their first year of college and can help.

“(Look) for things to devote yourself (to), like joining clubs (and) hanging out with different people,” he said.  “Especially in college you’re going to (find) a lot of different viewpoints, different people, different ages—people have different experiences, so it’s a really good time to listen to people and listen to their experiences and grow yourself.”

Jenna Wasso, a sophomore early childhood education major, said communicating with professors regularly and forming good professional relationships with them will help freshmen tremendously with their academics.

“It’s important to get to know your teachers and ask questions because the class sizes are small enough where that really benefits (freshmen),” she said. “A lot of the teachers that I ended up making a relationship with ended up helping me in the long run.”

Sophomore biology major Kelsey Bierman said she found that studying regularly for every exam and quiz was the best way to alleviate stress and get good grades.

“Study for anything and everything. You should study at least two hours per every credit hour per class (per week),” she said.

Bierman also said getting to know professors is beneficial to freshmen now and later on in their professional careers.

“Get to know your professors because they’re the ones that are going to be able to help you, and they’ll be able to write you recommendations if you form a personal relationship (with them).”

Schmidt said he was most afraid of learning to balance college, work and a social life when he was a freshman.

“College itself is almost like a full-time job,” he said, “So, (I) definitely (had) a fear of not having enough time to do stuff that I needed to do and not having the time to do stuff that I wanted to do.”

Schmidt said making new friends helped him cope with the fears and stresses he had as a freshman.

After he made new friends with similar interests, he said he could listen in on their insight and advice to help get him through the first year of college.

Bierman said something that surprised her the most as a freshman was how homesick she got.

Even though she was living far away from home for the first time, she said she could still always count on her mother to help support her through her freshman year.

“(My mom) definitely helped me out the most whenever I was freaking out,” she said. “I would just call her and she would calm me down (and) get me out of my head. She’s definitely my support system even though she’s not here with me.”

Wasso said she thinks freshman year is probably the scariest because it involves moving into a completely different environment without having any definite background knowledge to help students adjust quickly.

Even though it can be a nerve-wracking first year, she said she has personally grown as an independent individual because of the things she learned her freshman year.

“I got a lot more mature, and I learned how to find myself and be on my own and be responsible,” she said.

Logan Raschke can be reached at 581-2812 or at [email protected].