Freshman this year

By Rebeca Valescot

Howard University
Class 2014

1.) Choose the right Professors!
One important thing that I learned rather late while at school is to research your professors before taking their classes. The professor you choose can determine whether or not you do well in that class. One example is from my freshman year when I chose to take an algebra class where the professor turned out to be a very shy graduate student with no previous teaching experience. He never talked or looked at any of the students, in fact, his teaching method was to just write and talk to the chalkboard. Needless to say I dropped the class before I failed. My advice is to speak to older classmates, who have been on campus for at least a year, especially those within the same major so you can find out more information on which professor best suits you. The website ratemyprofessor.com is also a great and easy way to get previous student’s evaluation on current professors. Utilizing this website helped me discover professors who not only challenge me, but encourage me to learn new things. My best learning came from professors who actually loved to teach.

2.) Get involved!
Getting involved in different clubs or activities at your college is a great learning experience. Participating in campus organizations and activities at your University/college is not only a great way to meet new people, but also a great way to learn new things about yourself. Many incoming freshmen may feel that the only clubs available are sororities or fraternities, but in fact there is so much more. There are a variety clubs ranging from religion to environment to state clubs that can challenge your world view and benefit your social life in college. Joining a club or participating in activities causes you to think about the person you are versus the person you would like to become. I regret not joining more social clubs in college especially student government. Since there were so many student issues at my school, I believe I could have helped more by joining student government. Another regret I have was not exploring the available resources at my university which included paying a globalization fee for four years’ worth of study abroad, but never actually studying abroad.

3.) Have Fun!
College is a time where you get to discover yourself as an adult, yet trying to live your last teen years to the fullest. This is basically the last chance you have at being a kid before you enter the ‘real world’. Being out of your parents’ supervision is going to feel awesome, but please do not go too crazy, just have fun. Go out to night clubs, have dinner with friends, and explore the community you will be living in for the next four years. Make sure to make good, quality friends because these may be the friends that you keep for a lifetime. If you are going to college out of state make sure to make friends from your hometown. Unfortunately, once experiencing a new world it can be hard to incorporate old friends, however, connecting friends from college with friends from your hometown is a great way to spread the love and not leave friends behind. College was some of the greatest years I have had in my life. I enjoyed new fun things such things as Sunday brunch, going out to clubs with friends, and helping out my community.
If I could change three things from my undergraduate career it would be to choose my professors wisely, get more involved in the community and on campus, and have fun with my college friends because college doesn’t last forever.

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