Monday, September 10, 2012

Advice for Returners

I realized that most of the college advice that I've given over the past couple of weeks is geared more towards freshman students. So, this week, I want to give some advice to returning students. I'm two weeks into my sophomore year and I can say it's been an experience.

Don't become antisocial
As a returning student, it's easy to fall into groups of your old friends. There are lots of new people arriving and it's okay to go out and talk to them. Invite new people into your groups. 

It will be weird
Before I arrived, I didn't expect coming back would feel so strange. It's kind of like deja vu when you arrive and move back into your dorm room and see all your friends and start classes. In some ways it's familiar because you did this last year and in other ways it's different because you know what's going on now. The weirdness is okay. Recognize that it will be there and work your way through it.

Try new things
It's easy to make it your goal to try new things when you're new to college and a lot harder once you're settled in. Don't stop, though. See a club that you wanted to join last year but didn't? Go to a couple meetings. 

Help the freshman
Last year, we had a bunch of sophomores in the house that kind of took us under their wing and showed us the ropes. When the new freshman arrived, remember the help that upperclassmen gave you and how nervous you felt, and give them a hand.

Keep thinking about the future
Freshman year is a time to try new things and figure out what you want out of your college career. Then it's time to start building your resume whether it's grad school or a career that you're aiming for. The job market and grad school applications are highly competitive and anything that might help you stand out is a positive.