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A Word from Upperclassmen: 10 Things Upperclassmen wish they knew as Freshmen

Updated: Aug 4, 2020

Featuring: Oliver Pour BU'22, Student Body President and

Ashya Singh BU'22, President of FinTech Club at Boston University

graduating students

College is for many students a turning point, a place to go find themselves and shape who they will become. It is inevitable that in this new environment college freshmen will make mistakes however INTA+ tutoring is here to help! Here at INTA+, we value the learning process and mistakes you make along the way, which is why we made this guide, to show you some that we made too. 

10) College is Different for Everybody 

We all expect to come to college and have it play out exactly like the movies. In reality, every school is different and every student is unique. Students get caught up in finding their group of friends straight off the bat.

Don’t place too much emphasis on your first semester friends or the nasty professor you get for that mandatory class you need to take. It takes time to find the people you want to stay friends with. Taking classes your second semester or sophomore year of college has its benefits like finding out which professors are “easy graders” or the best at explaining the material. 

Don’t be afraid to eat alone! Your friends aren’t always going to have the same schedule with you and you need to make sure you’re taking care of yourself. It’s also okay to feel homesick and miss how your life was before college. Try video calling friends and family from home more often but remember to still try and be involved in college life!

9) Take Time to Meet your Professors

Although some of them may seem a bit wacky, getting to know your professors and even attending their office hours every once in a while has serious benefits. The first benefit is getting tips for tests that other students might not get during class hours. If a professor sees that you care about doing well, they will make sure you do well in their class. Your professor will most likely be teaching another course later on in your college career so establishing the connection early is a way to get ahead of the game for those high-level courses. It’s also a great way to find internships or receive letters of recommendation. Most professors are well established in their fields and are very connected to the industries they teach. 

student raising hand in class

8) Don’t be Afraid to Ask Questions

We get it, not knowing anyone and suddenly having all of the attention on you in a class full of strangers is scary, but you are not alone. Everyone is scared of their first semester and the only way to get by is jumping in headfirst. Asking questions ensures that you stay on top of the subject matter and don’t get lost in the fast-paced classrooms. 

Everyone is afraid of asking that stupid question, seeming like the dumb kid in their class, but we guarantee you that half of the class had that same question and the same fear as you. Asking questions leads to understanding concepts and that results in your success. 

Want to get remembered by your professor in a 100 plus person lecture? Be the one that asks the questions! 

7) Don’t be afraid to switch your major

More people than you would think switch their major in college, in fact, 1 out of 3 college students switch their major within 3 years. Some people even switch their major 2, 3, 4 times! College is for you to figure out what you are passionate about and what you see yourself doing for the rest of your life. It’s hard to think that you have everything figured out at 18, but by taking classes across different subjects in your freshman year of college, you can start narrowing down on what you’re interested in.

“I switched my major after finals week at the end of my freshman year and I was the person who thought she’d never in a million years switch their major. I was so stuck in that mindset and it took me an entire year to realize that it wasn’t the one for me. Don't feel tied down to the expectations you think people have of you, do what you love.” (Ashya Singh BU’22)

It’s okay to not have everything figured out. You can switch your major whenever you want and if you have multiple interests, then minor! The worst thing is regretting your choice of major after college and wishing you did more of what you wanted instead of what you felt you “had” to do. 

6) Compromise

In college, compromise is key, between close living quarters, new friends, and tight spaces it can be easy to catch yourself arguing over miscellaneous problems. One of the first things you’ll learn in college is how to compromise, whether it is fighting over who gets the closet or what dining hall to eat at it is important to remember that college is all about making memories and learning how to let things go.