16 Tips for Incoming College Freshmen From Young Professionals

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 4.58.11 PMFirst of all, before you start judging my writing, let us bow our heads and THANK the one above for GROWTH! I mean, I chuckled the other day when this status popped up on my notifications. It brought me back to the days when I used Facebook as my personal journal.* FACE PALM.

Was I really this excited about going to college? Of course I was, even though the school was a stone throw away, but just knowing that freedom was near, was a HUGE DEAL for me! Also there are just somethings that are non negotiable  in a Caribbean household (like not going to college) so yeah…

For a sheltered girl like myself, college taught me more than I could bargain for  and I am always thankful for that experience. Now that I’m an expert of sorts… I would totally enroll and do it all over again, if Sallie Mae and her goons were not part of the equation. Below find some really useful tips from those of us who’ve been in your shoes.

On Education & Internships

In addition to keeping up with your studies it is important to be active in an organization on campus for the profession you have interest in.  – Raven, PR Specialist

Meeting those deadlines will create habits for future success. –Jocelyn, Fashion Stylist.

Travel abroad ! That’s one of my biggest regrets, to see new places and cultures. Lilas, Blogger

Get to know and stay in touch with your professors, internship supervisors, mentors & advisors, they could potentially be a great investment to your future. Lilas, Blogger

Whatever topic or field of study that is peaking your curiosity, go ahead and do it. This will determine where you belong. Nathalie, HR Professional.

On Trusting Your Timing

ALL things, and I mean EVERYTHING, in moderation… This is your time to see as much of the outside world in the context of an environment designed to help you dissect and process. Don’t spend all that time with only a few samples. -Dave

Be humble in everything. Life is rollercoaster! Don’t steam roll others on your way up, because you never know if you’ll roll back down.- Angelica

God will never forsake you or leave you astray. Sometimes a no, is really a not right now and that’s God’s grace protecting you.

On Being True To Yourself

Trust yourself, but don’t set limitations.

Stick to your morals and what’s real will come to you. It’s easy to lose yourself by trying to please total strangers. Andy- Marketing Specialist

Stay out of your own way! – Angelica

On Success & Failure

Don’t settle. If you do not feel a connection to your major, your school, the professors, or the environment, apply somewhere else and LEAVE. College is expensive and should be the best four years of your life. Getting involved in extracurricular activities, interning, and finding a mentor would be your best bet.    –Amira Onibudo, Founder of Unleashyourself.org

Take risk, in everything. The rewards of trying far outweigh the regrets of failure.

Peaks and valleys. Don’t let the successes or failures keep you down.

Relationships & Friendships

Fall in love, so if you endure heartbreak you have your formative years to get over it and grow.

Expand your circle and allow yourself to meet new people; there’s always something new to learn from/about others. Also, cherish your bonds to the fullest, nothing promises that you won’t grow apart later on. Lilas, Blogger.

Post College Cheat Sheet

Now what


The night of graduation, Kanye’s “Good Morning” played over and over in my head:

Good morning, look at the valedictorian, Scared of the future while I hop in the DeLorean. Scared to face the world, complacent career student.Some people graduate, but we still stupid.”

Graduation, for me, was a bittersweet moment. I realized that stepping into the “real world” meant an alteration in my social life; no more late night hangouts, no more stints at the Bender Library, and a limited interaction with the friends I’d made here. Moreover, it meant that I had to prepare myself to embark on a professional and personal journey. Was I ready to “face the world,” as Kanye put it? Probably not, but I was willing to give it a try.

So, before the class of  2014 embarks on this post-college  journey, remember firstly that everything will be alright, remind yourself that everyday. Take a look at the “Post-College Cheat Sheet” that I’ve come up with (below).I can’t guarantee you that this cheat will be a quick road to success, but it will certainly help along the way.

Life is not meant to be easy, and  if it is you’re probably not challenging yourself.

Write yourself a letter.  ”Seeing your goal written in ink, on paper will have a powerful effect on your mind” – Unknown

Jotting down your goals or expectations of yourself can  be the road map to your successful journey. Whether you decide to write a self-reflection or just a simple letter emphasizing where you envision yourself  in the next week/month or year can be beneficial to your growth.

Value your time. This means that you should be wary of engaging in activities and with people who do not benefit your personal and professional growth. Time well spent with great company  is never wasted. So, yes; be picky with your time and in choosing your friends or new acquaintances.

Learn to forgive! It’s not easy, but it’s definitely worth doing. Learning how to forgive someone is the biggest gift you can give yourself. There is simply no value in holding grudges.

Network Upward, Downward and Sideways. Networking should be done across the board. You really don’t know where your next opportunity will come from. So  keep in mind the following:

– Connect with your peers and attend FREE networking workshops/panels within your industry.

– Keep in contact

–  Study your elevator speech like your life depends on it

– Let your passion speak for itself

– Create a LinkedIn account and familiarize yourself with the tool

Learn to embrace rejection. We often regard rejection as a sign of failure when in actuality it’s the universe way of telling you that ” you’re not ready”  or ” this is not the time.”   So don’t take it personal.

Save/Manage your money. If you haven’t been doing so, NOW is the time to start.There’s nothing more satisfying than knowing that you have some funds with which to support yourself or simply to fall back on.  Teach yourself how to save, schedule an appointment with a financial advisor. More information on financial planning coming soon.

Do things that make you happy!  I love music, museums, concerts and people! I am at my best when I’m surrounded by people who love and understand me.Find what makes You happy.

Stop comparing yourself to others.  Comparison is the thief of joy, just that simple. Focus on what you’re doing, what you have and trust me, you’ll be content.

Be Thankful! You might have a bad day, or the interview you went to didn’t go so well, but guess what you’re still alive and your family and friends still love and support you. Just remember to always keep your eyes on the prize.