Success tips for First-Year Students

Contributing writer Erin Leitner with the News Record of the University of Cincinnati came up with 7 Tips for First-year Students to Succeed.  She included wisdom on not stressing over choosing a major.

Don’t stress about picking a major your first year or two. Just because some people know exactly what they want to do from the start doesn’t mean you have to narrow your frame of mind, too.

In your first year or so, take your time and search for your niche. My advice is take classes that you think you may like or think you are good at. If you find that you enjoy them and do well in them naturally then you may be on to something.

Also, try to ask people you admire about their careers and emulate their advice into your life. Don’t limit yourself to just local acquaintances or professors, but don’t ignore them either. Try to contact those unreachable-possible-celebrities whose work might inspire you. They may not answer you, but if they do you will have some golden inspiration.

You could also try to reach the people who directly surround your idol. They are likely the backbone of the individual you are seeking advice from and are usually equally talented and knowledgeable about the career path you are exploring.

I recall switching my undergraduate major during the first and second college year, staying within the same academic department, but choosing a different direction. With the exception of pre-professional programs in architecture and perhaps engineering on my campus, students have the flexibility to give courses a test-drive before committing to a program of study. I counsel students and families that not every 18-year old is ready to declare what they will be doing for the next forty years. Being undecided about a major is not a negative, it’s the active process of making a decision.

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