Advice to Incoming Freshmen

As the school year comes to an end, that means we’ll have another round of freshmen coming to Clemson University! I’ve reflected on my time as a new bright-eyed college student and thought I would give some advice to our new Tigers!

1. It will be very emotional.

Not to start on a sad note, but it’s the truth! Life can suck, and you’ll be stressed about so many things. These emotions are completely natural, and you are not alone in the slightest! You’ll miss an assignment, question your major and be homesick. It’s okay to admit that. You are going through a big life change, and you won’t always know what you’re doing. I cried in my guidance counselor’s office one time! Thankfully, I was blessed with a very caring counselor who was here to help me explore my options. When I entered Clemson, I came in as a nursing major and wasn’t doing great in my science classes. I realized that I would have to take summer classes to get my GPA up to keep my scholarship. I was worried about where I was going and disappointed in myself about my grades. But my sophomore year I ended up getting accepted as a communication major, and I have loved it ever since! Freshman year you will be exposed to so many things, and it will be confusing, and that’s okay.

2. Don’t neglect your social life.

This seemingly obvious tip is something I neglected to do freshman year. I was so busy studying and trying to pass my science classes that I neglected my personal life. Use your electives and clubs on campus to explore your interests and find hobbies! You can most definitely find friends in your main classes, but I’ve found that electives and clubs make it so much easier! This is because you’re allowed to explore interests during these meetings. Your main classes are filled with studying and lectures, but with clubs and electives you get to meet people who have the same interests as you and not take life so seriously. One of my favorite classes I’ve taken is swing dancing, and I hope to take therapeutic yoga next semester! School and grades are important, but so are your mental health and human interaction. Have fun in these classes and clubs and use them to grow as a person!

3. Learn to relax.

Find things that help you relax after going to classes and studying all day! For me, it’s going to the botanical gardens and listening to music or reading! Learn to take a Sunday or Saturday to relax and get your personal life together. This goes back to also not neglecting your mental health. It’s important to let yourself unwind from studying and give yourself a break. Not just a 15-minute study break, but allow yourself to sleep in and spend time doing all the other necessities of life besides being a student.

4. Take one day at a time.

Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed, try to focus on what you need to get done that day. Whenever I would get overwhelmed with work, I would focus on everything I had to get done in the long term, either that week or sometimes the entire month. Ultimately, I would get hardly any work done because I was too worried about too many things at once. Focus on one day at a time, and it will all eventually get done.

Written by: Katy Trawick


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