A Graduate’s Guide for New College Students

by Kianna Goss 

As I near the end of my senior year of college, I get nervous about where I am headed next. The scariest part about graduating college is having no idea of how to tackle “adulting.” It reminds me of the first time I came to college; I didn’t know what to expect. I had trouble adjusting to the new environment, figuring out balance, and learning how to become more independent. However, I eventually got into the swing of things that made me love college life and the experience I was gaining. 

Through my experience I’ve learned a lot through trial and error. I learned how to balance academics and social life, how to budget, and enjoy life in the moment. Adulting consists of trial and error because you might not always have everything figured out right away.

If you are nervous about starting your undergraduate experience like I was then here are five pieces of advice for anyone who’s about to start college for the first time. 

  1. Don’t overpack supplies for your dorm room. I understand wanting to make your dorm feel like your home away from home. However, dorms are not that big and by the time you move out of them you might not use half of the items you purchase. Also, you will need money for textbooks, which are not cheap.
  2. Speaking of textbooks, find good bargain deals. School bookstores are often more expensive when it comes to purchasing textbooks. One way to save money on textbooks is to use websites such as Amazon, Chegg, or any Facebook groups for your school. 
  3. Join clubs or organizations. This is a great way to get involved on campus and to enhance your college experience. It is also a great way to meet new people and make new friends. Coming to college can be a little nerve-racking and making new friends can ease those feelings a little. Also, it’s nice to meet new people from different backgrounds and cultures, which can be a learning experience for you as well.
  4. Take advantage of the resources available to you. As a student, most on-campus resources are covered by tuition and fees and are often offered for free as a result. For example, students at Bradley University have access to tutoring in the library, and the Smith Career Center provides assistance with resumes and LinkedIn. There is also a safety cruiser to take students around campus during late hours, as well as other resources.
  5. Enjoy the experience. No matter how many years you spend at college, they will go by quickly. Through the late-night grocery runs, difficult situations, social activities, accomplishments, and everything else that comes with college, you will appreciate it more your last year. You will also see your growth throughout the years. There’s also a chance that the friends you meet in your first year will not be your friends later. However, the friends that stick until the end of college will most likely be your friends for a lifetime. So, through trial and error, you will figure it out. 

These are just a few tips on how to adjust to your first year of college. Although I will be starting a new journey, it’s okay to be uncertain about the future and not knowing the next moves. I’m sure I will figure it out, and you will too. 

About Kianna Goss

Kianna Goss is a senior at Bradley University, majoring in journalism with a double minor in sociology and advertising with public relations. The importance of community involvement is to use your voice. Kianna’s voice is one of the strongest platforms she has, and utilizes it through her writing. Being a Black woman, Kianna often writes to give a voice to the Black community to gain control over the media that portrays them in a negative way. Kianna is a writer with different form expressions. She has written poetically, through blogs, newspapers, and opinion pieces. Kianna always looks for more opportunities to grow as a writer and person. Kianna is currently the social media director for Her Campus, works as a peer mentor for Bradley’s Office of Diversity and Inclusion, and is a team leader/caller at the Bradley Fund. Being able to explore her creativity is what she loves most about Bradley. The Communications department is molding her into the journalist she aspires to be.

Art by Qaasaani Little

Qaasaani Little is a freshman at Richwoods High School. Little is a member of Student Leadership Team and Student Council. She has loved art for as long as she can remember, including painting and drawing. Little’s artwork is for sale. She also loves animals, after school activities, and is inspired by her mom for always pushing her to do my best.