What Alumni Wish They Knew Before Heading to College

Starting college can be a scary experience, and all incoming freshmen hunt for advice from any source available. Alumni from the classes of 2014 and 2013 provided their biggest lessons they learned in college, both socially and academically, to help calm that feeling of “I wish I knew.”

The new social environment college presents is based on both being around thousands of new faces and being completely independent, away from parents and any sense of home. College freshmen often struggle with balancing personal growth with making new friends and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Josh Banfalvy, Kristin Power, Kessler Sorrell and Emma Watson gave their biggest lessons the “college social experience” has taught them so far.

Banfalvy

Banfalvy

Josh Banfalvy– Class of 2014– Old Dominion University

“I wish I knew more about the fraternity life, because I went in to college basically thinking that it was paying for friends and partying. When I joined I found out it was a lot more than that,” Banfalvy said. “All of the brothers are really tight and grades along with philanthropy are probably the two most important parts of the fraternity, which I feel makes it a lot more respectable than the negative stereotype.”

Power

Power

Kristin Power– Class of 2014– University of Mount Olive

“Don’t over-think things, and make sure to follow all the cliche ‘time management’ tips. You’ll learn how important those are real quick,” Power said.

Sorrell

Sorrell

Kessler Sorrell– Class of 2013– Wake Technical Community College

“Make sure you don’t lose sight of your goals and party or make too many bad decisions. Keep doing your thing but be smart,” Sorrell said.

Watson

Watson

Emma Watson– Class of 2014– Meredith College

“Even in a dorm full of your friends, spending time alone is a good thing, and buy lots of food for your dorm because dining hall food isn’t always good,” Watson said. “Also, naps are important.”

 

The academic expectations in college can be a shocking change from those of high school. Independent study combined with a fast-paced curriculum and timeline forces students to mature mentally. Kelsey D’Artois, Tori Gwaltney, Troy Miller and Taylor Newborn shared what they wish they would have known to help smooth that bumpy process of staying academically competitive in college.

D'Artois

D’Artois

Kelsey D’Artois– Class of 2014– East Carolina University

“I wish I had known about ratemyprofessor.com before registering for classes. The site really helps you to have a better understanding of what to expect from the professor and from the course you signed up for.” D’Artois said. “You will have difficult classes and professors regardless, but it really helps to have other students’ opinions and their ideas of what to do to be successful in the course.”

Gwaltney

Gwaltney

Tori Gwaltney– Class of 2013– North Carolina State University

“Rent your textbooks. Never buy them. Only rent them from Chegg[.com] or Amazon[.com] because they provide return shipping labels for free so you just have to print them out, tape them to the box, and drop it off at UPS,” Gwaltney said. “Chegg is also a good way to apply for scholarships.”

Miller

Miller

Troy Miller– Class of 2014– North Carolina State University

“I wish I knew how fast the classes were going to move, how much material the professors taught in the limited time they have,” Miller said. “Studying is actually really important and a necessity, unlike in high school.”

Newborn

Newborn

Taylor Newborn– Class of 2014– University of North Carolina at Wilmington

“I would have liked to know ahead of time that, at least at my school, the earlier your orientation was the better classes you got in general and you had a much higher chance of getting the classes you wanted,” Newborn said.