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Making the Most of Freshman Year

Freshman year is a nerve-racking, exciting, and memorable time! Whether it’s trying to choose your major or track, finding activities and organizations to get involved in, or adjusting to college life in general, freshman year can present you with overwhelming challenges. However, your freshman year should also be an enjoyable time and one where you set yourself up for success. As an upperclassman, I have some dos and don’ts to help you make the most out of your freshman year!

1. Do pursue your passions

Getting involved with clubs and organizations that match your interests is a must in college. Finding groups of people that share your interests and goals is important, especially at a large university like Virginia Tech. In addition to the connections you’ll build through getting involved, clubs and organizations help you grow your leadership skills and provide access to opportunities and resources that you may not have known about otherwise.

Here in CWIB, we share a lot of the same goals and passions!

2. Don’t spread yourself too thin

While it’s important to branch out, explore new interests, and get involved in college, you don’t want to spread yourself too thin by joining every organization that peaks your interest. Pick a few organizations that you like the most and commit to those for a semester to get a true feel for what they’re all about. Then, if an organization does not make you happy, join something else you’re interested in or shift your attention to the other more fitting organizations and get more involved in those. It’s not about how many organizations you’re in, but what you do to add value to those organizations!

If you join CWIB, take advantage of all the opportunities we have, including treks!

3. Do seek mentorship

Trying to navigate college can be challenging.  One of these struggles could be picking a major. As a former “University Studies” student, it’s hard to feel like you don’t have a network of people in the same program as you. Actively seeking mentorship by reaching out to career advisors, upperclassmen in a major you’re interested in (CWIB has a mentorship program!), and family and friends is important if you are unsure of your major (or any other area you may need guidance in!). As you receive advice from different resources, recognize that ultimately, you know yourself, your passions, and what you are capable of better than anyone!

Sydney with her mentor, Maddie.

4. Do set yourself up for success

While freshman year should be a fun and memorable time, do set yourself up for success by building good habits to carry into the rest of your college career. Find the right study schedule that works for you, discover that study spot that lets you focus really well, and learn what kind of class schedule is best for your learning. School comes first and you don’t want to slack off so early in your college career. Your GPA will thank you for getting good grades your freshman year when you get into tougher, upper-level classes!

Panelists at the 2018 Power Panel giving their pieces of advice to CWIB members.

5. Do Step Outside Your Comfort Zone

College is a brand new experience for all of you and Virginia Tech has infinite opportunities for us students. Is there a hobby you wanted to try in high school but never got around to? Join a club for it or try it on your own! Did you meet someone in your dorm who is so different than you that it’s fascinating? Ask to grab lunch! Being open to new experiences and new people can lead you to find out some things about yourself, so be proactive and try new things!

Some former freshmen with upperclassman, Gigi Jones

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