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I wish I’d Known As A Freshman…

Walking around campus on these beautiful spring days in Syracuse, I notice a few things: lots of adults with Otto stickers, teens with bright orange bags, and crowds of people huddled in entry ways. It is accepted-students week at Syracuse University. That means yet another year is coming to an end. It also means we will soon welcome a new freshman class. This time of year, I can’t help but reminisce about my first year on the Hill.

I don’t wish I could relive those awkward first few months of college life, but I do wish someone had given me the following advice.

  1. Get involved. This isn’t just something that everyone plays up to make college seem like a valuable investment. The groups you chose to associate with will undoubtably shape your college experience. Find extracurricular activities that connect you with people who share similar interests and values.
  2. Challenge yourself. Taking initiative in the classroom and beyond will help you build meaningful relationships with your professors and peers. Stop by your professors office hours, even if it is just to clarify something mentioned in lecture. Use resources such as career services and the writing center to improve your essays, resume, and (eventually) your portfolio.
  3. Grades matter. Okay, so your GPA is not everything, but it is something, something to really think about. There are only so many instances when you can forgo studying to spend time with friends before it starts to effect your grades. Also, it is really hard to move your GPA once it slips. Yeah, “making-up” for those bad grades later on does not work.
  4. Do not be shy. Do things you have never done, even if this means spending Saturday afternoon at a step show. Yeah, it might not mean anything down the road, but these are things you may never have the opportunity to do after you leave campus.
  5. Take risks. Do not be intimidated by an opportunity (a job, an internship, etc.) that seems out of reach. It is always better to try, to put yourself out there, than it is to just sit on the sidelines. Surround yourself with people who inspire you to dream and challenge you to reach your goals.

About Amanda Smith

Amanda Smith is a public relations student at S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Amanda is currently the V.P. of Public Relations on the Panhellenic Council executive board. She is also involved with PRSSA and Hill Communications, a student-run public relations firm.


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