Tag freshman year

Student Activism

It was hard to imagine 2020 being any worse, and then the country erupted over the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.  Communities have watched in horror as protests have boiled over into riots and confrontations with heavily armed police and national guard troops.  In a summer that already felt uncertain, the civil unrest adds a layer of foreboding that may seem almost impossible to bear.  But you can counter that feeling of helplessness with action.       

Student activism has long been the catalyst for political and societal change.  Many movements that have been dramatically advanced by student action.  No matter your political, social or personal beliefs, college is usually a place where you can find like-minded friends.  It can also be a place where your beliefs are challenged. 

You can advance anti-racism or another cause safely with some of the following strategies.    

  1. Educate yourself!  Being informed is the first and perhaps most important step to advocacy.   
  2. Vote!  Suffice it to say, the November election may be one of the most pivotal in the country’s history.  This may be your first chance to vote.  Be informed on the candidates (all of them – local and national) and don’t sacrifice your fundamental role in this democracy.   
  3. Make your voice heard!  Even if you are not old enough to vote, you can still influence others.  Campaign for candidates you believe in, advocate for causes that inspire you, share your voice in the classroom, with your friends and family, and on social media.  Keep these conversations respectful by being informed (see point 1).  Use your skills and talents – be that writing, art, photography, performing, or programming – to tell your story.   
  4. Take action!  Action is often amplified when people come together.  Join a group or club of like-minded students, attend a peaceful protest or demonstration, organize an event for your school or community, create a fundraiser for your cause.  Taking action not only furthers your ideals but also builds an individual sense of certainty or control.   

Although it is a heavy burden, it’s your generation that is capable of creating societal change.  Consider the America you want to live in and the role you want to have in building that community.  Upending an entrenched system may seem monumental, but history shows that change does happen.  As Ghandi said, “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”  And for now – be safe and take care of yourself and your community.   

read more

Old Friends and New

One of the biggest changes for freshman year is a new peer group.  You may have friends that you’ve been with since the beginning of high school or even longer.  Starting college should be exciting but it can also be anxiety producing as you think about moving on without your friends to support you.  As you and your friends head off in different directions, think about ways to stay connected: 

  1. Celebrate your accomplishments!

Graduation is a time to celebrate!  Congratulate your friends, maybe exchange gifts, and celebrate each other.  It feels good to have accomplished this goal together.  Honor your friends and tell them how much they’ve helped you become the person you are today.    

  1. Spend your summer together with meaningful experiences. 

Create opportunities to make memories with your friends this summer.  As states start to reopen, spending time with friends you haven’t seen in months may take on new significance. Plan some shared time – maybe a trip together, or a regularly scheduled meet up, or try something new.  Summer will fly by with work, vacation, internships, or other activities.  Prioritize time with your friends.   

  1. Reflect on what you love about your friends and think about new relationships.

There will be many opportunities for you to make new friends in freshman year – from freshman orientation on, opportunities for meeting new people abound.  This might be thrilling or terrifying depending on whether you consider yourself an extrovert or an introvert.  Stay true to yourself.  Think about the qualities you love and admire in your high school friends and consider ways to find people with similar qualities.  Shared interests (clubs, sports, activities) or common experiences (classes, dorms, pre-college orientations) are great opportunities to bond with new friends.    

  1. Plan a visit. 

No doubt, you will enjoy meeting new people freshman year.  It can also be fun to share your new place with your old friends.  If your high school friends are attending colleges nearby, make plans to visit each other.  Depending on what colleges allow for the fall, plan to spend the night together in the dorms, or spend a day together on campus.  It can be comforting to see old friends during your freshman year.   

Take Action 

Whether you are heading off to college near or far, with lots of old friends from high school or on your own, plan keep in touch with your high school friends.  You’ll likely have a chance to get together during college breaks.  Make an effort to maintain your friendships from home as you get to know a new group of peers.   

read more

College Budget

Admission offers received – check! 

Enrollment decision made – check! 

What’s next?  You’ll be getting a lot of information about next steps from your college for registration and orientation.  Meanwhile, you might want to start a conversation with your parents about a spending money budget for college.

Here are 6 money management tips for you to consider.

  1. Open a bank account and get an ATM card (if you don’t already have one).  You may want to research the local banking options at the school you will attend.  Many colleges have a bank or credit union on campus.  Make it a joint account (you and a parent).  That way you can access your money when away from home (in college). 
  2. Learn how to check your bank balance from your phone It’s a good practice to check your bank balance before you get gas or stop by Starbucks to be sure you have money in your account for the purchase. 
  3. Learn how to deposit checks.  Most bank mobile apps will allow you to deposit checks right from your phone.  Great for those graduation checks you will receive. 
  4. Create a budget.  A spending plan is essential.  Know how much money you will have each month from your financial aid, a campus job, or from your family.  With your parents, create a realistic monthly budget.  Then, your biggest task will be to stick to your budget. 
  5. Learn how to schedule & pay bills from your account.  You might have a phone bill or other bills you are responsible for.  Learn how to pay on time and keep within a budget. 
  6. Decide with your parents and if you choose, open a credit card account BEFORE leaving for college Credit card companies will offer many promotions for new students on campus – free shirts, new tech gear, etc.  Don’t be tempted by free stuff!  Open ONLY oncredit card and use this card as a “backup” (if you don’t have cash) to help establish good credit.  

Start practicing good money management skills now so that you have one less thing to worry about freshman year. 

Take Action 

Use the Cost of Attendance in GuidedPath to calculate your college budget.  Here you can find the amount listed as “Personal Expenses”.  Use this to calculate your college budget.  Divide the number by 9 months to determine your monthly budget. 

read more

How do you see yourself next year?

post-it note transparent

It’s officially summer now.  What are your goals as an incoming college freshman?  Look back at this year. 

  • Are you happy with your grades?   
  • Did you enjoy your classes? 
  • Did you spend enough (or too much) time in extracurricular activities?  
  • Are there activities or classes you wish you could have taken? 
  • What one change are you going to make for college next year? 

Take Action 

Log into your GuidedPath account.  Make sure you have your college selected that you are attending.  See the thumbs up?  It celebrates your accomplishment! 

read more

Old Friends and New

One of the biggest changes for freshman year is a new peer group.  You may have friends that you’ve been with since the beginning of high school of even longer.  Although graduation time is exciting, it can also be anxiety filled as you think about moving on without your same friends to support you.  As you head off to different colleges, think about some of the strategies below: 

  1. Celebrate your accomplishments!

Graduation is a time to celebrate!  Take pictures with friends, maybe exchange gifts, and celebrate each other.  It feels good to have accomplished this goal together.  Honor your friends and tell them how much they’ve helped you become the person you are today.    

  1. Spend your summer together with meaningful experiences. 

Create opportunities to make memories with your friends this summer.  Take a trip together, have a regularly scheduled get together, or share a new experience.  Summer will fly by with work, vacation, internships, or other activities.  Schedule in time with your friends.     

  1. Reflect on what you love about your friends and think about new relationships.

 There will be many opportunities for you to make new friends in freshman year – from freshman orientation on, there will be a plethora of opportunities for meeting new people.  As an introvert or an extrovert, this could be thrilling or terrifying.  Stay true to yourself.  Think about the qualities you love and admire in your high school friends and consider ways to find people with similar qualities.  Shared interests (clubs, sports, activities) or common experiences (classes, dorms, pre-college orientations) are great opportunities to bond with new friends.    

  1. Plan a visit. 

No doubt, you will enjoy meeting new people freshman year.  It can also be fun to share your new home with your old friends.  If your high school friends are attending colleges nearby, make plans to visit each other.  Attend a game or event on campus together, or just share a night in the dorm and dinner in the dining hall.  It can be comforting to see old friends during your freshman year.   

Take Action 

Whether you are heading off to college near or far, with lots of friends from high school or on your own, keep in touch with your high school friends.  You’ll likely have a chance to get together during college breaks.  Make an effort to maintain your friendships from home as you get to know a new group of peers.   

read more

College Ready Tips

hands-1273148_1280

Going from high school to college is a big step!  Here are 5 tips from a current college student to help make your freshman year a success: 

  1. Learn to manage your time.

College classes are arranged differently than high school.  You will have gaps of time between classes.  Plan each day’s schedule carefully and use the gaps between classes for something productive – study in the library, work at a campus job, join a club or activity.   

  1. Prepare before class.

At the beginning of the semester, you will receive a class syllabus for each course outlining the requirements – readings, assignments, exams dates, etc.  Mark all of these dates on your calendar.  Use the class syllabus to look ahead at the upcoming material for the week If you go to class prepared, you will get more out of the class, and save time when studying. 

  1. Reflect on what you learned.

Learn how to take notes (such as Cornell notes).  Soon after attending class and taking notes, recopy or rewrite a summary of your notes to better organize your thoughts.  This study skill will reinforce what you just learned.  Do you still have questions about topics that were covered?  Write these down for the next class, or ask your professor during his or her office hours.   

  1. Find your study space.

Do you study best in a quiet environment like the library?  Or do you prefer some background noise or activity like a campus coffee shop?  Find a place you can study effectively.  DO NOT study in sitting or lying in your bed You want to separate sleep and study! 

  1. Be honest with yourself.

Don’t make promises to yourself that you cannot keep.  Learn how to say “no” to going out with friends when you have an upcoming exam.  Don’t promise yourself “I’ll study when I get back” if you know you will not have the energy to do that. 

Hear Mohammad share his tips for excelling in college in a video interview. 

Take Action 

Use your calendar to record any tasks you need to complete as you finish high school.   

read more