9 Things Every College Freshman Should Know… But Doesn’t.

These types of articles pop up around August and September every year. In fact, several months ago I wrote up a list of 9 things I wanted my college-bound daughter to know and I also asked my many professor and grad-degree-ed friends to chime in on what made them successful or what they would want freshmen to be thinking about.

But this type of list is invariably in one ear and out the other amidst of the firehose of information and life experiences hitting these 18 and 19 year olds all at once as they begin their post high school journeys.

But now, with some real college classes now behind them (and some accompanying scars and bruises to show for the process), I wanted to revisit the topic as they are starting or are getting ready to start their second semester. Hopefully these tips will resonate more now with the benefit of a bit of perspective under their belts.

Below is a revised version of my original list with quotes and comments added from my friends and associates in higher ed:


1. Stay AHEAD.

It is a helpful trick to think about the importance of any period of time in college as inversely proportional to how far along you have progressed (e.g. Your freshman year is your most important academic year, sophomore year the second most important, etc. The first week of the semester is the most important, the second week is next most important, etc). Continue reading