Dear incoming students

Starting college was one of the most nerve-wracking experiences of my life. I’m the oldest child in my family, so I didn’t have anyone close to my age to go to for advice. Throughout my time at Cecil, I’ve discovered a number of tips I wish I had known sooner.

1. Communicate with your professors.

If you don’t understand a concept, speak up. Your professors want you to succeed.

2. Do the assigned readings.

No, seriously. They may seem trivial, but it makes all the difference. You are far more likely to understand the material during class if you put in effort beforehand.

3. Use the library.

Some of my best work has been done in the library. Everyday life is full of distractions. While finding a quiet place to do work can be difficult, the library is an environment that encourages more focus. It is also full of resources and databases that are helpful with research.

4. It’s OK to be unsure of what career you want to pursue.

Working toward a general education degree while you figure out your interests is something that many students do before transferring to another school. Speaking with an advisor can help determine the right plan for you.

5. Time management is critical.

The workload of college is vastly larger than the workload of high school. It’s possible to drown under all the responsibilities if you don’t budget your time.

6. Study.

In high school, I was one of the students who could get good grades without putting in a lot of time reviewing notes. This does not work in college.

7. Make friends.

With all the responsibilities college students have, it is easy to get consumed with work. Remember to take time to create lasting memories and make the most of this experience.

8. Don’t be discouraged if things don’t work out as planned.

If you fail a midterm or change your major, it is not the end of the world. Goals can be revised. Setbacks are a part of life, and you can always pick yourself up and try again.