Photo by Ariel Bravy

Arriving at college can be an overwhelming experience. With greater freedom and greater responsibility, freshman must start making important and indepedent decision, often proving to be a daunting task. Fortunately, a number of upperclassmen have offered some snippets of advice born from personal experience.

Incoming freshmen tend to be unnecessarily concerned about solidifying their major and career path. Here are some words of wisdom from people who have been through and survived their freshman year.

“If you find yourself in a major that you realize you don’t like, don’t waste your time trying to stick it out. Just change to something that interests you.” – Tanmay Bangalore, fourth year CompE.

“Don’t feel bad if you don’t feel like you have your life together because no one does.” – Harleen Brar, fourth year AE.

“When it comes to student organizations, find something you’re passionate about, and aim to eventually take up a leadership role on it.” – Anonymous, second year BME.

“Realize you can take control of your college experience. If you aren’t learning about a certain topic or gaining particular skills you want, find an organization, professor, mentor, etc. to help you.” – Emily Benjamin, fourth year ChBE.

“Don’t be afraid of making mistakes. Start your work knowing full well that it isn’t going to be perfect anyway, although that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t put in your best effort. Remember that your path doesn’t need to be flawless for you to reach your goals.” – Anonymous second year, BME.

Taking advantage of the resource that Tech provides for students is key to success, especially if you find yourself struggling in a class.

“There are a ton of tutoring programs and ways to get help with your classes if you need it, so my biggest advice is to be proactive and find help with your studies if you feel like you’re falling behind. This has helped me so much and I’m so thankful I knew about all the tutoring programs starting in August!” – Hannah Chen, second year IE.

“Don’t be afraid to get involved or talk to your professors and classmates.” – Holly Parrish, fourth year, CompE.

As you’ve probably heard plenty of times, organization and time management are particularly important in college and go hand-in-hand with effective studying.

“Get into the habit of looking at your tests immediately after they are handed back to you and then submitting a regrade request if needed. It’ll really help you at the end of the semester when all the points are being added up.” – Anonymous, second year BME.

“Write it down! Make a weekly schedule and actually do what you put on your schedule, like go to class.” – Camera Dunn, second year CE

“Go out. Don’t be a dorm rat.” – Hanna Warwick, second year ChemE.

“Remember that you have the option to drop if absolutely necessary. Don’t let your pride get in the way of maintaining a steller GPA.” – Jessica Imgrund, fourth year ME.

“Find at least one or two places on campus where you know you will be undisturbed and productive. The CULC is a great place to work, especially when you are collaborating with friends, but sometimes it can be distracting because you’ll run into a lot of people you know there.” – Anonymous, second year BME.

And then some general advice:

“Always bring an umbrella to campus” – Anonymous, second year ME.