Advising: What do you wish you knew when you just started College?

“You have four years to be irresponsible here. Relax. Work is for people with jobs. You’ll never remember class time, but you’ll remember time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So, stay out late. Go out on a Tuesday with your friends when you have a paper due Wednesday. Spend money you don’t have. Drink ’til sunrise. The work never ends, but college does…” –Tom Petty

With Labor Day just around the corner in the US and summer winding down, it’s nearly time for the school year to start up again.

Only this time, I get to advise the incoming Freshmen. Of course, the most important part of the plan is to listen. To their interests, to their concerns, to their hopes and aspirations, and to what they hope to get out of their time here at College. And to help them select classes in their first semester that will help them succeed at their goals. I also plan on encouraging them to grow as people, which will likely include exploring student life, discovering the city that many of them are new to, and opening themselves up to new and varied learning opportunities.

So my chance to advise many of them also affords a great opportunity for general advice and guidance. I meet the incoming Freshman on Friday morning, starting at 9:00 AM. So my questions to you (depending on your age) are:

  • What advice do you wish you had received when you were just starting college?
  • If you were speaking to an 18-year-old incoming freshman today, what advice would you most like to give?
  • If you’re college-age or younger, what are the most important (to you) topics that a faculty member could advise you about? What information would you be most glad to receive?

You’ve got roughly 24 hours to reach me with useful tales and comments; let’s hear it!