To the incoming freshmen at NC State, I say welcome! This is your year to make an impact on NC State community. I encourage all of you to do your best and do not get off to a slow start because in college, time is very important. You may have heard all this at orientation but as a sophomore, having experienced a few things, I’ve found that the information that you receive at the beginning of the year is very important. With that being said, I have a bit of advice for the incoming freshmen.

To start things off for the freshmen, do not develop a bad reputation. Hang out with the right crowd. When you go to clubs it’s ok to dance and look cute, but keep in mind that people are watching you. Your reputation can sometimes be your first impression, and if people already have that mind set that you are a “bad person” then they are less likely to communicate with you. As far as friends, the saying goes “birds of the same feather flock together.” So if your friends are putting themselves out there in negative ways, even though you are not, people will automatically assume that you are. This may not be the right thing to do, but hey, it’s life. We all fall guilty of judging people before we get to know them. That’s why in college you have to establish your identity and let people know that even though you may hang around “bad people”, it doesn’t reflect you character.

Another thing that gets a lot of college students is peer pressure. Yes, we’ve heard about it all our lives, but I would like to address it on a personal point of view. I consider myself a very strong-minded person and if you ask people that know me well, they will agree with you. I never thought I could fall to peer pressure, but after constant exposures and a few persuasions I began to join in. It wasn’t like I was being constantly asked, but by being observant I saw that it really wasn’t a big deal. I knew it was a bad thing to do, but it looked so fun. After a few answers of “No I‘ll pass on it” I eventually said “Yeah why not”.  That was the first time I ever fell to peer pressure, but this comes to show that college is a jungle so be careful.

Being careful isn’t always as easy as it sounds especially when it comes to little things that you think will not have an effect on you such as Facebook and Twitter. Facebook and Twitter are GREAT! I love social networking, but it is so time consuming. As a sophomore I strongly encourage you not to log into Facebook when you have work to do. The time that you put into Facebook and Twitter could equal twice the amount of work that you could have completed or have not started (trust me I’m experiencing it now). Time management is the key to getting ahead in college.

Getting ahead in college isn’t really that hard. Just get to know your teachers, keep a clean reputation, get involved, establish network, and stay ahead of the game. College is the place to live, learn, and have safe fun.