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Upperclassmen advice for incoming freshmen

The University Press’ senior staff members offer some insight into the college experience for new students.

August 19, 2017

Freshman year is a weird time.

You’re flooded with a new schedule, living arrangements, food, people and an entirely different education.

Fortunately, we’ve been there. As college journalists, we’ve seen it all: From famed comedian Hannibal Buress doing stand-up at the Boca campus to cockroaches in mini-fridges and piss in the stairwells, there’s a reason why people say college is the best of times and the worst of times.

Without getting too cliche, you only get one college experience and one freshman year, so make the most of it. While a lot of it will be jarring and stressful as hell, trust us — it’ll be worth it in the long run.

If you take one thing away from this issue, let it be the University Press’ advice on the importance of making mistakes, learning a new skill and finding your niche.


I honestly wouldn’t recommend anyone to come to FAU unless they already know what they want to do in their life since FAU works like a business and is mostly interested in your money.My advice in that would be to ASK your professors to guide you, if you don’t have parents who can do this for you. Some of our professors actually give us job opportunities if you show them that you’re worth spending time on.

If all else fails, come to the University Press. It’s free and we’re the only chance you have to attempt to create a REAL newspaper. You’ll probably fail at it at first, but from your failure you’ll know what you want to do with your life.


Have fun: Between killing yourself over that one homework assignment you forgot to do, or the test you have tomorrow, stress will be a common theme during your time here. So in between those days, have some fun. Make some friends, get together on the weekend for a drink or two (or a smoke, whatever) and have fun.Don’t be afraid: Get that number, date that guy/girl and/or send that hateful email to your professor. College is a wonderful experience so don’t be afraid to take risks and take them far.

Get involved: To make the best out of your college experience, you should get involved. There are a lot of different organizations on campus, and one of those are bound to be in your interest. It’s also a great way to meet new people, as well as build connections that will last a lifetime.


OK yeah so maybe FAU wasn’t my first option. But instead of kicking myself for not attending somewhere like UF, I embraced it. College is what you make of it. Just because you may attend a crappy university doesn’t mean your degree is worth any less or the lessons you learn here aren’t applicable in the real world.You’ll hear this a dozen times throughout your four years, but join a student organization. The experience you gain and the friends you make are the only things that make three-hour lectures bearable.

Right now, focus on getting as much sleep as possible, eating healthy and exercising. Trust me, your body and mind longterm will thank you for it. There are only so many days you can get three hours of sleep before you get tired (heh) of being exhausted all day.


My advice for you newcomers is to not freak out. It may be a big college but bring a skateboard or a bike and make your life easier. Also, don’t be afraid to talk to people on campus, almost everyone is friendly and it’s a good way to start making connections.And if you’re commuting to campus instead of living on campus, always try to arrive 30-40 minutes before your class starts because parking can be a hassle.


A huge key to having a positive college experience is pursuing an extracurricular activity. When getting to campus you should look for some kind of club or organization that peaks your interest and try to get involved. Most organizations are constantly looking for new members and it is an easy way to begin making new friends.Another reason to join an organization is that it looks great on your resume. In today’s job market, having just a bachelor’s degree unfortunately isn’t enough to obtain your dream job. Showing employers your initiative and drive outside of the classroom is another leg up you have on other job applicants once you finally graduate.


There are three major things I would recommend to an incoming freshman. The first — and I feel the most important is — for the love of God, apply for as many scholarships as possible. It’s free money. Take advantage of it, you’ll kick yourself when you leave here over $30,000 in the hole before you’ve started your first job.The next thing: Get involved with student organizations as soon as possible. Classes are important, and will give you basic skills in the field of work you want to pursue, but they won’t give you the practical experience.

Finally, take advantage of career help on campus. Colleges all over the country — including yours — provide resume support, jobs fairs and career advisers, but the majority of college seniors admit to never using these resources.

You have a short amount of time here, make the most out of it, and don’t spend any money you don’t have to.

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