A Love Letter To College Freshman

loveletterIt’s possible that the first weekend of your college career just passed and you’re questioning a lot of things about this whole ‘college thing’. Everyone said this would be the best years of your life so why do you feel that way? Are you thinking, ‘why do I miss home this much?’ or ‘I don’t know if I can do this…’ It’s possible that you are very unhappy right now, it’s also possible that this past weekend was the best weekend of your life thus far. Either way, I’ll be honest with you – it’s going to be hard. I mean, it may even suck at times. College, is not meant to be glamorous. It is new, it is uncomfortable, you will feel emotions you’ve never felt. You will deal with types of people you never dealt with before. It’s not natural to live in a building with hundreds of girls and guys the same age as you. It will take you a few months, maybe even a year or so for you to appreciate the reasons why it is the best years of your life. Take a deep breath and give it time. I’ll say it again… it may take a few months or even a year for you to appreciate the reasons why it is the best years of your life. It’s hard…the adjustment to college is hard and it’s okay if you hate it right now but I promise you…it. will. get. better.

If you love college or hate college, here is a Love Letter To College Freshman that you NEED to read.  – I found this on http://www.moreloveletters.com and I couldn’t have said it better!

Dear You–

It may just be you & I up and awake in the world right now.

Just you… the quiet of a new dorm room… the glow of the laptop screen… this love letter… and a feeling webbing deep in your stomach that you may never get used to all this.

Ever.

It’s not true. You’re going to do just fine. You’re already doing just fine even if it’s one of the hardest things to convince yourself of when the tears are brinking and you just want to go back home: Back to comfort. High school. A boyfriend & friendships now sitting in the pile of “long distance.” Bonfires. Summer. Familiarity. Anything but this.

It’ll be the best four years of your life… that’s what they’re telling you, right? That—if done right—these next four years will sculpt you & change you & make you ready for the real world. Truth told: this is the real world. It’s yours. Stop thinking otherwise. Don’t let a moment more slip away.

These next four years are yours to be entirely & completely selfish.

To figure out “you” and how “you” make this world a better place. So start…

Start at the coffee bar. That’s a good place to start. Just visit the coffee bar and treat yourself to something sweet—you’re in college. It’s something to celebrate.

Knock awkwardly on the doors of your new neighbors. Everyone is waiting for someone to make the first move and plan a powwow. Be that person. Decide that tonight it is the football game and tomorrow it is popcorn and a movie night in your room. Pick a movie that is both drama & comedy, with traces of home & familiarity in it for each of you.

Befriend your RA. They are not the enemy. They are here to make every ounce of this easier for you… and they’d really appreciate the chance to try.

Call home when you have to. Cry your eyes out. Take slow slugs of the broth of homesickness in the morning.

It’s ok… It’s ok…

Let the homesickness in. Don’t push it out. Talk about it. Embrace it. It will head south eventually… I promise.

Write letters. To your friends at other schools. To your long distance boyfriend. To teachers back home. Glitter the maps with your cursive to one another. Give one another a reason to track back the campus mailbox for something other than a free pizza coupon. You’ll keep those letters for years & years. You’ll one day say that there is nothing like those letters you’ve kept stacked in a box beside your bed.

And on the note of friends… step away from Facebook for a little while. Not forever. Not for always. Just enough time to be present to the here & now. The meeting of new faces. The conversations at parties. The ice breakers that, yes, you clearly don’t want to do but should anyway. Be there for it. All of it. Don’t sit in the feeds of your friends back home; start new chapters that would make them proud.

Follow. Just follow wherever this year takes you. You’ll change. It’s inevitable. But don’t shy away from the change or the chance to develop into a better friend… a better leader… a better somebody. Accept it. When people grow distant and old relationships don’t fuel you anymore, just accept it. That’s life. It’s always happening. Clear away and cut the ties you need to cut… make room for Better & More. You’ll find best friends in this place…

Don’t go crazy looking for them. You’ll find one another and in a year from now you’ll wonder how there ever was a whole two decades of Not Knowing One Another. For now, just meet people. Sink into it naturally. You’ll get there. I promise. Just find the places where people are and start there.

A club. A meeting. The newspaper. Something. Anything. Not just for social purposes– your resume is going to start mattering sooner than you think… take it seriously.

And classes too—Go. To. Them. 8am or not—Show. Up.

Study. Try harder than you’ve ever tried before. Consider a time management course. Take at least one course that interests you… thrills you… makes you think. & don’t rush to choose a major. There’s time to get your feet wet with the muds of it all.

Most of all, embrace it. All of it. The new opportunities. The events on campus. The free stuff. The chance to grow apart from everything you’ve ever know. The chance to be someone you have always wanted to be…

Sit down during this first week of college… take out a piece of paper… and write it all down. Your hopes & your dreams & your goals for the next four years. Who do you want to become? What do you want to accomplish? It’s time to start all of this.

Write it all down. Put it in an envelope. Seal it up and scribble “Do not open until college graduation day,” in big, bold letters. And tuck it somewhere safe…

Get clear on what you want to make of these next four years and then go out and do it…

You’ve got this. You’ve really got this. And if ever you start to believe that you don’t, come find me.

Love,

Someone who has been there before.

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Start Building Your Resume!

Resume

While there are many ways to create and build your social brand online through linkedin, twitter, e-portfolio’s, personal website, etc. i still believe in the power of a paper resume. When you apply for internships and jobs you still upload your resume or hand it to an employer at a career fair. Of course you’ll have the links to all of your online portfolios on your resume, but your one page resume is what an employee browses first. If they like what they see they will then do more research on you and browse through the rest of your information. I always tell students, and I’m sure I’ve said it in posts before, your GPA and your MAJOR are ONE LINE of your resume. There is A LOT more space to fill in on that piece of paper. It’s great that you were president of National Honor Society, captain of the soccer team, head lifeguard at the beach, and babysat the same kids for 4 years throughout high school however, campus recruiters don’t care about that. They know how much opportunity and experiences are available on a college campus and they want to see that you are taking advantage of those experiences. How do you start doing that? Here are some tips on jumping into the ‘experience’ world and start building your resume now!…even as a Freshman in college.

1. Join a club – This is the most obvious one. Clubs look great on a resume and are extremely useful to your college experience. You will network, meet alumni, possibly attend conferences, get active on campus, meet new friends and if you get involved early on, as a freshman or sophomore, you’ll have a much better chance of holding a leadership position as a junior or senior. Employer’s LOVE seeing leadership on a resume.

2. Talk to a professor – Ask them if they know of an opportunities for you. Ask them if they know of something that you may be interested in. When I was teaching freshman I had a student come ask me this. I had been a part of the campus for 6 years at that time and I knew the in’s and out’s of the campus so when she said she wanted to get involved I knew exactly where she would do well and what department she should apply for a student job in.

3. Find the Career Services office – Go into career services and introduce yourself. You want they to know you! Also ask them if they know of opportunities for you. Freshman, there are opportunities that are specifically for YOU – sophomores, juniors and seniors cannot do them. There are programs specifically for certain ages and you may miss them if you sit around and do nothing. Also – ask them if they have someone who can review your resume or if they have services to learn about how to create a resume and start revising!

 

Teen Vogue – How to Make the Most of Your Time with Your Parents During Winter Break

It can be challenging to adjust to living under  your mom and dad’s roof and rules after you’ve been on your own at college. We  consulted the experts on how you can seamlessly transition to being back at home  during your winter break.

Initiate a conversation with your family. Instead of proclaiming  that you’re now an independent woman, show it through your actions. “I think the  biggest challenge is that college students are moving forward with their lives,”  says Gabbriel Simone, author of I Wish I Knew It Before Going to College (Morgan  James Publishing). “When they come back home, they can at times revert back to  feeling like they’re in high school and act immaturely. Rather than getting  upset, initiate a conversation with your parents.” By being proactive, you’ll  demonstrate your maturity.

Remember that this is hard for your parents too. If you’re  returning home after your freshman year, it’s only been a few months since you  left home. You’ve changed a lot in a short time span, but your parents think of  you as the same doe-eyed high school graduate you were when you left. “Before  you say anything, it’s important to try and put yourself in the shoes of you  parents,” says Rachel Simmons, Teen Vogue blogger and author of Odd Girl Out (Mariner Books). “Realize that a few  months may feel like forever to you, but they still see you as their little  girl. Try to emphasize and realize that most of the time, they’re worrying out  of love.”

Compromise. Your values may have changed while you’ve been inside  the college bubble, where the social norms are different than in the outside  world. If your parents aren’t keen on a later curfew (or none at all), offer to  call home and check in throughout the night. “When it’s time to talk, it’s  important to tell your parents that you want to come to a compromise and that  you need them to acknowledge that you’ve been living a different kind of life at  college,” says Simmons. “I don’t think that it’s fair to expect that you’ll get  everything you want in any kind of negotiation. Anyone thinking that restrictive  parents are going to suddenly become totally permissive is probably setting  themselves up for real disappointment.”

Prioritize privileges that matter most to you. If you present your  parents with clear, reasonable requests, they’ll listen and take you seriously.  “Decide ahead of time which privileges they might be willing to give up and  decide what really matters to you,” says Simmons. “If curfew really matters,  know that ahead of time. If drinking alcohol or sleeping in the same bed as your  significant other doesn’t, be ready to give that up.”

Be respectful. Screaming, stomping, and cursing will not get you  what you want; it’ll get you grounded. Even if you’re still in the throws of  your teenage rebellion, mind your manners. “Independence may feel total when  you’re in college, but the reality is that it’s only partial,” reminds Simmons.  “As long as you’re living under your parents’ roof, and especially if they’re  paying for your education, you do owe them some respect. I remember I got my  nose pierced my sophomore year and then I came home for Thanksgiving. My mom had  told me, ‘You can do anything you want, just don’t pierce your nose,’ but I went  and pierced it when I was on a trip with my friends. I came home for  Thanksgiving and my mother wouldn’t let me in the house.”

Use the time to reflect and relax. If your parents ask you to  adhere to strict rules, don’t think of it as torture. Use your time home to  detox from college; rest and relax. “I don’t think that students take enough  time to appreciate the quietness of home,” says Simone. “It’s something that you  don’t get in college.” Keep in mind that you’ll be back on campus in a few short  weeks, and appreciate your parents for more than the fact that they do your  laundry when you’re visiting home. Come second semester, you may just miss your  folks.

Read More http://www.teenvogue.com/advice/family-advice/2011-12/living-at-home-during-college-break#ixzz2DiQLwHbU

High School Habits to Break Before College

I sat down today planning on giving you my advice on college professor’s pet peeves.  I figured it was a good time to start talking about these things because many of you are starting to move into your colleges and universities now and for all of you freshman this is the beginning of ‘Professor’ life, no more ‘Teacher’ life.  Buuuuuut, I started reading my daily news sources to catch up on what’s happening around the world and I found a really good and humorous article about “High School Habits to Break Before College” and I couldn’t help but share it with you.  I found it on the Huffington Post today and here we go….

“Incoming college freshmen, take note: University life comes with an unwritten rule book. Break any one of these regulations and your lowly freshman status will instantly be revealed. (Quick tip: Don’t wear your school’s lanyard around your neck. Just don’t.)

Luckily for college newbies, Reddit uses compiled a handy list last week of high school habits to drop before you set foot on campus. Read below to soak up their wisdom. Before you know it, you’ll be a college pro, too.

  1. Your life isn’t over if you walk  into class late.  Just calmly go in and take a seat.  You’ll be fine.
  2. Yes.  It will be on the test.
  3. Don’t make excuses for late or missing work.  Unless the professor is brand new, we’ve heard many well-crafted fake excuses.
  4. After a test, you don’t have to stick around.  Pack your stuff and leave quietly.
  5. Acting like you’re the coolest kid around is extremely annoying.  No one cares about how much you drank last night.  If it’s that impressive people will brag for you.
  6. Stop asking random people for a piece of gum when they take it out of their bag.  Get your own gum.
  7. Stop asking people what they got on SAT/ACT/AP/whathaveyou… nobody cares.
  8. Don’t fall victim to “no more parents, no more rules”; especially on food.
  9. If you are sick do not bring a note from your parents.
  10. Don’t wear those stupid lanyards with the school name around your neck.
  11. Don’t shout out snide comments during class trying to get people to laugh.  We don’t care if “that’s what she said” we just want to learn.
  12. Don’t be the kid who talks about being gifted/skipping a grade/your average in high school.  If you go to a good school, everyone else is just as smart.  If you go to an okay school no one gives two shits about that.”

These were great!  Thank’s Huffington Post!

If any of you readers have advice as to what habits students should drop when they become college students please post below.