How to advise rising college freshmen as a college freshman



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To all my fellow college freshman out there: Ayee we made it!

We survived senioritis, were handed our diploma and managed to survive the jump into adulthood (aren’t we an impressive group!). But now, as soon to be second-semester freshman I’m sure, like myself, you are also being asked questions by your high school friends on “what college is really like” and “what you wish you had known”.

And if you’re anything like me you have a lot to say!

So this post is dedicated to how you can approach advising your friends in order to leave them prepared for this journey (because who doesn’t love helping out their friends! And anyway, we all remember the stress of college apps *shudder*)

1. Be completely honest

It is a natural instinct to tell them “everything is great” and “that college is the best four years of your life”. But in all honesty, we were told the same thing about high school and while yes it can be a wonderful time, there are life lessons and hardships we all go through. So, be completely open with your friends and tell them about important issues so they can avoid or prepare for them. College already comes as a hard shock for freshman (as I’m sure many of us have experienced) so make sure to use your hardships to help those around you.

2. Be realistic

It wasn’t long ago that we were all pulling our hair out while waiting to hear back from our “dream school”. And whether you are sitting at that dream school now or not, no one likes hearing “oh I’m sure you’ll get in”. While this phrase means well, I have found many people would rather hearing, “they would be lucky to have you” or “wherever you end up is where you are meant to be”. These phrases allow for the senior to then make a decision based on their accepted schools, and not based on the expectations of others. While I’m sure all of us would love to race into the college admissions office and vouch for our friends, we also know that in the end we made it and our friends will too!

3. Encourage less stress

Depending on your friend group this advice can vary. But if your high school friends are anything like mine (or anything like I was lol!) they were really worried about picking the “ideal” school and making it into the best one possible. However, it is important to remember that while college and the college process is a big step in one’s life, senior year is still going on (and senior year is supposed to be the part of high school when you can have fun and relax because you worked so hard!). So remind your friends to take a deep breath and relax. Because again, you made it, and it’s important they know that they will too!

4. Don’t lecture, advise

Now listen up to this next piece of advice! (Jk!!) While we all have so much new knowledge to share from our college experience, it’s important to remember every person’s journey is unique. What may have been a struggle or benefit for you could be very different for your friend. So give your advice when they ask, but don’t expect them to have to be just like you or for all your advice to apply to them. At the end of the day, you know your friends and need to give them the advice they need.

5. Celebrate with them

Did your buddy just get a super exciting acceptance letter or just decide where they are attending college? They get hype because it’s time to celebrate!! We all remember the day we opened our letter of acceptance (I’m sure many of us even cried) and that moment will always be one of joy for us. So, celebrate and be happy for your friend. Because you made it. They made it. And in the end, hard work pays off!

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