Some solid tips to incoming first-year students, from a current freshman’s perspective
- Remember you just graduated high school, don’t be too hard on yourself
I’m always the one who wants to accomplish everything in a short amount of time. While it might work in high school, college can be a lot different. With all the things going on, academics, clubs, friendships, families, mental health, and personal matters, it will be so overwhelming to balance everything so well when you first enter college. Remember, don’t feel guilty for thinking you are not doing the best you can. Prioritize things, ask yourself: what matters to you most? I came from a really small high school in another country, while I was in so many clubs at the same time while balancing school work fairly well, college was a bit harder than I thought it would be. Going to such a large school, other than having so many resources, could also be a problem when you try to be committed to everything, just because there are too many people and too many things to handle at the same time.
- Seek opportunities for yourself, don’t feel ashamed to ask for help
I used to be a really shy person who always waited for others to come to me to ask me, “How is it going.” While in college, everyone is so busy with their schedule, I’m not saying it’s not possible to have people ask you about life, but it would happen a fewer times than you thought. I’m a pretty emotional person, and a little thing might affect my feeling, sometimes it might not show outside, but it definitely happens inside. Throughout this year, I’ve learned to take the initiative to ask for help, as many times as I want. Talking to friends is my first advice when you are not feeling right. I literally “spammed texting” my friends like 100+ messages a day just to tell my feelings. Some of them never replied (it’s ok tho lol). I also like to sit on the BU beach, just to look across the river and relax. Don’t feel like being physically alone is not right, it works for me so well especially when I feel exhausted mentally. And it helped a lot!
- Be friends with your professors, say the truths
Since I’m a COM student, most of the classes that I chose was small-size class, even though large lecture like CO101 has discussion session (about 20 people). When I have a concern about life or questions for class, I talked to my professors and teaching assistants. Something I have too many things to handle, I will let them know. Remember we are all human beings, and mistakes and taking breaks are inevitable. Don’t feel like you need to be perfect at all times. I always say the facts, if I don’t like a specific content of my course, if my professor asks if this helps, I will just say not really. It doesn’t mean you are not learning, and it’s so normal to have likes and don’t likes in a class.
Congratulations class of 2026, I was in the same shoes as you all last year around this time. Don’t be nervous, things would all come along as time goes!