Wednesday, September 07, 2005
Advice to Freshmen from a Senior
Half way through the second day of classes seems like a good time to welcome incoming freshmen to the hallowed halls of academia, especially if those hallowed halls anywhere near my office. Personally, I’m always delighted to see the campus abuzz with activity.
On top of mastering details like where to get computer support or where to find your classes—short term survival skills—there looms at the back of some students’ minds vague questions, like where am I headed with this college thing. Or, more specifically, what am I majoring in??
Maybe not surprisingly, 70% of all in coming freshmen switch their initial major during that first year. And that’s where this advice to freshmen from a senior comes in….
In good company, this senior was one of the 70%. He came into college having done well in math and science in high school, only to find that those same college level courses soon lost their attraction. After running through 2 other majors, he eventually settled on an interdisciplinary major, buttressed by a few internship experiences.
His advice: veer off your straight-shot path down the classroom hallways and stop at Career Development at least once during your freshman year.
Sounds like something I would make up, right? A thinly disguised marketing ploy?
But no. This is straight from the senior’s mouth. Said he thought Career Development was just for finding jobs that final semester. Now he’s realized that it’s about career development, i.e. pairing with someone who will help you in the development process. Meeting a caring person to walk with you through the up’s and down’s, change’s and re-arrange’s typical over 4 years.