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Dear Freshmen: DO NOT DO these 3 things!

Ever wonder what the collective voice of LinkedIn would tell college Freshmen NOT TO DO? I did, so I asked this simple question and the response was fantastic. From college sophomores to retired businessmen, the assortment of advice spanned the spectrum from pragmatic to philosophical, from strangely specific to inevitably timeless. As responses streamed in, an interesting pattern emerged. Virtually all of the replies fit nicely into 1 of 3 universal DO NOT DO’s. So here you go freshmen, for a successful & meaningful college experience, DO NOT DO these 3 things.

First: DO NOT forget why you are there.

I think we can all agree that at its foundation, college is about learning, growing, graduating, and, of course, getting a job. Here’s hoping that the collective wisdom that follows can be a beacon of light for all who seek success in this new and sometimes treacherous landscape.


‘… skip class!...’ ~ Julia (Class of '92)

‘…pull all-nighters…’ ~ Emily ('14)

‘…skip the readings for your classes...’ ~ Madeline ('15)

‘…underestimate the demands of an online/ hybrid class...’ ~ Kaitlyn ('20)

‘…try everything…do not “jump in with both feet…’” ~ Monica ('16)

‘…think you are assured success just by doing the bare minimum...’ ~ Pablo ('13)

‘…limit yourself to traditional campus recruiting opportunities…’ ~ Dennis ('15)

‘…neglect to stay on top of your reading and assignments, participate in class discussion…’ ~ Joey ('13)

‘…spend your whole day working out at the rec center or eating at the dining court’… ‘study hard, network, and learn something new...’ ~ Byron ('12)

‘…join every club you are interested in... better to be dedicated to one...’ ~ Kyle ('06)

‘…feel like you have to go to every callout or join every club...’ ~ Tim ('19)

‘…wait until your junior and senior year to start preparing yourself to be internship/career ready…’ ~ Julie ('13)

‘…miss out on the opportunity to study abroad…’ ~ Hal ('90)

‘…keep your phone out during class…’ ~ Madison (’17)

Second: DO NOT be afraid.

The second piece of advice is represented by a few slight variations but the overall message is clear.


‘…be afraid to ask for help from your RA, from your professors, from staff members, and from other students...’ ~ Mary (Class of '87)

‘… be embarrassed to ask for help from a professor or even another STUDENT peer!!’ … ‘introduce yourself to alumni…’ ~ Jeff ('79)

‘…be too cool to ask and answer questions in class...’ ~ Michael ('15)

‘…be afraid to make a mistake...’ ~ Rushabh ('20)

‘…be afraid to ask WHY...’ ~ Sherman ('90)

‘…be afraid to …ask for help if you are having a tough time adjusting...’ ~ Charlene ('15)

‘ …let the thought of "going alone" deter you from exploring the dining halls, club call-outs, study abroad opportunities, or attending help sessions...’ ~ Lawson ('15)

‘…be complacent… keep putting yourself outside your comfort zone…’ ~ Mriga ('14)

‘…be afraid to try something new...’ ~ Tiara ('13)

‘…freak out when you hear that you're about to meet… your best friends for life… it may not happen in the first week...’ ~ Meredith ('14)

Lastly: DO NOT forget who you are.

Before you became a college student you were someone’s child, someone’s trusted friend, a supportive sibling, an involved citizen, and a unique individual whose value can’t possibly be distilled into a GPA or class rank. College or not, don’t ever forget who you are.


‘… stop talking to your parents...’ ~ Christina (Class of '14)

‘…neglect your wellbeing… make a conscious effort to cater to your mental, physical and emotional needs…’ ~ Khyaati ('19)

‘…neglect the social side of college…’ ~ Mitchell ('13)

‘…think you need to have your life figured out right away...’ ~ Claire ('13)

‘… get caught up in expectations (your own or other people's) about what college “should” be like...’ ~ Katie ('12)

‘…miss out on the good stuff… like kissing your future wife under the bell tower at midnight…’ ~ Joey ('13)

Good Luck Class of 2021 – We are all rooting for you!!!*

*Most of the pieces of advice can be seen in their entirety as comments on the original article. A big thanks to all of you who participated.

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