5 reminders to give incoming freshmen

With independence come new responsibilities and priorities

In a Huffington Post blog, Touro College President Alan Kadish offers five tips for college freshmen to make the most of their first year:

1. Prioritize

While freshmen don't need to map out their career paths as soon as they arrive on campus, Kadish says they should have some idea of long- and short-term goals, such as achieving a high GPA or joining a club.  

2. Explore new subjects

College is a time to explore new passions and interests, so freshmen shouldn't feel like they can only take classes directly related to their majors. Being open to new subjects can also help students develop soft skills, which employers say are sorely lacking among new graduates. 

3. Slow down

It's tempting to jump into all the opportunities that college has to offer right away, but freshmen will be better off taking things slow. Kadish encourages students to pace themselves by taking breaks when needed and tackling work in chunks. There will be enough time to get familiar with campus, make friends, and choose the right major.

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"If you rush into it, not only are you less likely to succeed, but you won’t have much fun, either," Kadish says.

4. Relax

College will no doubt be stressful at times, but remembering that everyone feels overwhelmed at some point can help freshmen feel a little less alone. But if it all gets to be too much, Kadish says, don't be afraid to ask for help.

5. Know your limits

Many college freshmen will have at least some exposure to drugs and alcohol, but Kadish argues that avoiding these substances is the best option. There are better ways to make friends, have fun, and manage stress, Kadish says. 

He encourages freshmen "to make nuanced decisions and learn to cope with difficulties, rather than alter your consciousness so you don't feel them," Kadish says. "While complete abstinence is not realistic, knowing and practicing safe limits is an attainable goal" (Kadish, Huffington Post, 8/8).

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