There are times when you want inside information: When you’re doing something new, adjusting to a new environment or starting a new chapter in your life.
The beginning of your tenure at the College of Charleston is probably one of those times.
With that in mind, The College Today asked several CofC upperclassmen for some tips to help incoming students in the Class of 2023 excel in their college careers:
What is the one thing you wish you would have known before starting college?
“I really wish I would have known how important actually studying on a regular basis was. That would have help me greatly,” says Aubrey Anthony, a sophomore majoring in marine biology and anthropology.
“I wished I would’ve known how much self-discipline college takes. It’s not hard to pass, but it is challenging managing everything you wish to be a part of,” says Recaree Wright, a sophomore majoring in communication.
“I definitely wish I would have known how important time management is. Time is valuable and there is a lot more responsibilities you have to take care of as a college student. Without time management, things can get swept under the rug and you won’t be able to accomplish all that you want and need to be done if you do not keep track of everything you have going on,” says Sarah Jane Merritt, a sophomore majoring in public health.
What’s one item you could not live without?
“I personally could not live without my agenda. I’m very forgetful so it is extremely helpful to have something to write everything down on and check it off as a task is being completed,” says Jeronimo Ortega, a sophomore majoring in psychology.
Sophomore Laurie Fogleman, who’s majoring in communication, says the answer is clear: “Coffee.”
Senior Cade Bergman, who’s majoring in public health, prioritizes staying connected. “I can’t live without my cell phone for email, updates and other things.”
What was the toughest part of freshman year?
“I would have to say the hardest aspect of freshman year was managing my time. Time management is very important to be successful academically, maintain a healthy mental state, and enjoy your college experience,” says Ortega.
“Trying to be social, set a decent sleeping schedule, and make good grades all at the same time,” says Charlise Valencia Page, a senior majoring in exercise science.
“Learning how and adjusting to living with someone. I grew up having my own room my entire life and suddenly shared a small space with someone I just met,” says Fogleman.
What advice would you give to incoming freshmen?
“Come in to college with an open mind. For the first time in your life, you are surrounded by people who are very different from you and come from a different space than you. This can be a really cool experience, but only if you have the right attitude about it. Embracing the transition period is so important to get adjusted to your new independence and the people you will meet,” says Merritt.
“My advice for incoming freshmen is to put yourself out there. This campus has such unique people and opportunities all over it,” says Anthony.
“Be authentic and true to yourself. You will find your crowd and where you belong within the college community,” says Wright.
“It’s okay to be nervous, it is okay to make mistakes, just be sure to take lessons from them and learn and grow, don’t repeat those mistakes!” says Bergman.
What advice would you give to the parents of incoming freshmen?
“CALL YOUR KIDS! And teach your child how to do laundry BEFORE they come to college,” says Page.
“You can be their parent and love them and want to care for them, but at the end of the day, you have to let them figure things out for themselves. Give advice rather than try and solve the situation for them,” says Merritt.
“To the parents of these incoming students, I stress the importance of allowing your student to grow and learn on their own terms, but still support them. This first year will bring LOTS of lessons, some harder than others, but it’s always encouraging to know that your parents still love and support you,” says Anthony.
“Don’t worry,” says Wright. “Your student will be fine!”