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What advice would you give incoming freshmen?

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Photo of April Keleher

“College goes by fast. Four years in a flash second. Always be passionate about what you do — organizations that you are involved with and friendships you make and people you meet. Live it up. Because I have to go to work now and I’m a little depressed about that.”

Photo of Carter House

“Don’t drink too much before finals.”

Photo of Tori Endersbe

“My best advice would be to study abroad. I studied abroad in London my junior year, and it was the best experience I ever had. I met the most phenomenal people, and it makes you want to see the world.”

Photo of Jason Smethers

“Always try the fun and interesting classes. I took ballroom dancing as a student and it was the greatest thing ever. Never be afraid to try even the most random of courses.”

Photo of Erica Lathrop

“Go Greek. Because I knew nobody coming here and that is how I met all the friends I have now. And I would also say try not to stay in the campus bubble. … I would try to get out there and experience some of the stuff that Lawrence has to offer.”

Photo of Jennifer O’Neal

“I would recommend to freshmen to get involved with as many activities, clubs, fraternities, sororities. Get involved on or off campus just so you can experience everything freshman year and decide what your interests are for all four years.”

Photo of Nicole Tichenor

“Don’t be afraid to try new things and get involved in your community. Give back. Because it is one of the most important things you can do. And it is something we really need right now.”

Photo of Kyle Flinn

“You got to somehow manage the partying and the school. Kind of do it half and half. And you also have to attend all the basketball and football games. That is part of the KU tradition, being a Jayhawk and loving the sports and loving the town.”

Photo of Steven Groene

“Really take advantage of your general education courses. They are there to help you broaden your mind and experience. Even if you don’t end up majoring in it, you can still make it a really fun time instead of just a hassle to get through.”

Photo of Nick Norwood

“Figure out early what you want your major to be. Study hard. And take advantage of your advisers because they know what to do to get you out of here on time.”

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Aileen Dingus 8 years, 11 months ago

Mom's Top 10 Bits of Advice (plus one) (I actually wrote this to HS students, but it works for new college grads too!)

1) Follow your dreams, but remember that reality is where you live. To put it more bluntly- you have to eat. You need a roof over your head. You'll need money to pay your bills. Now, don't get me wrong- I'm all about following your dreams, living your life on your terms and all that, but if the current economic situation shows us anything, it's that living on credit will eventually come back to bite you right in the butt. Live within your means and you'll find that your means are more expansive and rewarding than you ever thought possible.

2) Be nice to the Earth. It's the only one we have (at least for now) and we want it to last for all the future generations. Plant a garden, ride your bike more, think about your impact on this fragile marble.

3) Forgive people. This does not mean "be a doormat" but rather it means understanding that not everyone thinks or experiences or lives exactly the way you do, so take a moment and ponder that before you carry a grudge around with you. We all have our own journeys to travel, grudges just weigh us down.

4) Don't take any wooden nickels. Trust but verify. Question authority. What I mean here is this- do your own research. Don't let anyone tell you something and insist that it's THE TRUTH or THE WAY or THE ONLY THING. You're smart, you've learned how to research, with the Internet you have the wealth of the world's intelligence at your fingertips. Learn the difference between what's put out there for mass consumption and what's real.

5) Be helpful. Just the fact that you can read this puts you in an elite class of people on this planet. The fact that you're reading it on a computer puts you in an even smaller class. You're fortunate people. You have more stuff in your rooms than millions of people own in their entire lives. You eat more for lunch than millions of people eat in a day. Don't be selfish with your wealth and talents. Share them to help someone else.

6) Don't be afraid to ask for help. Just because you're in those elite groups I mentioned in #5 doesn't mean you won't need help some day. When you get to the point where you need help, don't be ashamed to ask for help.

7) Stay healthy. Don't smoke, don't drink booze to excess, don't get fat and lazy. Eat good quality food, get exercise and stay healthy. You'll still die eventually, but your life will be fuller and richer than if you spend half of it sick.

8) Don't ever stop learning. You don't have to continue your formal education, but don't stop learning new things. Now that it isn't the bane of your existence, learning can be beautiful and fun.


Aileen Dingus 8 years, 11 months ago

9) Take full responsibility for your actions, even the bad ones. If you do something and fail miserably, be able to say "Wow. I failed miserably, and I take responsibility for that." Don't let anyone else be your fall guy OR take credit for the good. Don't be boastful, but remember that it's not a bad thing to say "I did that well."

10) If you're going to clam, clam big. Don't half ass your way through life.

11) Remember that there are people who will love you, no matter what stupid stuff you do. Don't shut those people out. However, if you do, they'll still love you, and they'll still be there when you decide to open that door again.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 8 years, 11 months ago


Don't let it go stale, mate!


Avoid the cell, mate!

maxcrabb 8 years, 11 months ago

Avoid the forums on here at all costs.

(I know, I know. It's too late for you and me...)

Outsidelookingin 8 years, 11 months ago

Avoid the Thugs in Lawrence!!! Start your partying early in the afternoon and be off the streets by10:00 PM.

Christine Anderson 8 years, 11 months ago

Run, while you still can! Run from KU; it's a nutfarm-an extremely expensive nutfarm. Get a job, move some distance away from home(if you desire that in a college experience), and do your degree online!

jaywalker 8 years, 11 months ago

Take advantage of everything you can and always make school your number one priority. Attend seminars and guest speaker forums, branch out to anything you had even a mild interest in; you never know where it might lead and what you might find.

Even more importantly: procrastination should never, ever, EVER be applied........EXCEPT in times of anger. Then put off what's on your mind for at least 24 hours and reassess.

Flap Doodle 8 years, 11 months ago

The cat came back. Somebody should make a movie of that. Oh, wait, they did. Thanks to the National Film Board of Canada.

jumpin_catfish 8 years, 11 months ago

Floss and brush after vomiting and don't feel guilt over all the money your parents are wasting on your education.

bearded_gnome 8 years, 11 months ago

here's a story about a grad who deserves to be cheered:

advice: cramming all night doesn't work so well, get some sleep before the test/project!

when I was an undergrad, I participated in the study a broad program.

hawklet21 8 years, 11 months ago

Live. It. Up. You'll only be a freshman once. Should you make irresponsible decisions? Yes. Should you also be 100% aware that you and you alone are responsible for your decisions? Yes. College is all about balance.

Practicality 8 years, 11 months ago

Welcome to the real world graduates. The only advice I can give is this: If you want a real chance at prosperity and a career in your field of study, you will probably have to move out of Lawrence now. Unless you majored in mixology.

Practicality 8 years, 11 months ago

Oh yeah, for the Freshman. . . . . . . . . .Do not schedule any early morning classes and JUST SAY NO!

SuperSnot 8 years, 11 months ago

If you are paying for your education (with student loans and/or work) and don't yet know what you want to study, ...turn and RUN AWAY! Go get enough work experience at horrible jobs so that you figure out what you want to do to make money. It might be a trade that actually pays you for your work. If your folks are paying for it, go ahead and enjoy the longest vacation you'll ever have.

gogoplata 8 years, 11 months ago

Be nice, until it's time to not be nice. You won't know when that is. I'll let you know.

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