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5 Things Every College Freshman Should Know

About The Author

Antonio Neves is a former first generation college student, Ivy League graduate, award-winning broadcast journalist, nationally recognized college success speaker and author of 50 Things Every College Student Should Know.

The most powerful lessons that college students will learn won’t take place in the classroom. They will happen in the world outside of it.

Here are five simple, yet critical lessons, that will set college freshman up for a bright future on and off campus.

1. Supporters Are Greater Than Followers

Social media is awesome.

It feels good to get that new follower, that like, that heart, the double-tap, the RT, that view, that subscriber, you name it.
Regardless how many “followers” you have, know this: real life supporters are greater than social media followers.
On those days when everything seems to be going wrong, real life supporters will be there for you to provide guidance and a pat on the back. Followers won’t.
When things are going great, supporters will take you out celebrate. Followers won’t.
Likes, RTs, hearts, double-taps, subscribers, views, and shares are great. However, they can never replace real human connection.

2. Use The Ingredients That You Have

Great chefs are unique.

If a chef wants to make a dish that requires ten ingredients, but they only have seven of the ingredients and no way of obtaining the other three, what will they do?
Are they going to complain or starve? No.
A great chef will get excited and find a way to get creative with the 7 ingredients that they do have and make a delicious dish.
The greatest innovations tend to come under constraints. Use your disadvantages to your advantage.
You may not have the right amount of money in your bank account, but you can get a job.
You may not have access to a big network, but the staff and professors at your university do.
You may not have the right software on your computer, but there’s a computer lab on your campus that does.
You may not live in the city where you want to live, but you can schedule a weekend to visit toget a feel for what it’s like to live there.
Focus on the ingredients you have, not the ones you don’t.

3. What To Do When You Don’t Know What To Do

During a tough or challenging time, the last thing you want to do is pull back and close up.

Instead, pick up the phone and call a friend for family member.

Go for a walk in nature.
Say a prayer.
Write in a journal.
Work out at the gym.
Read a motivational book.
When you don’t know what to do, do something.

4. Your Family & Friends Won’t Always Understand

Sometimes what’s best for you will make others uncomfortable.

And that’s ok.
People who’ve known us for most of our lives view us in a certain way. When we make decisions that they disagree with, or when we take the road less traveled, this can knock them off balance.
Most of the time, our family and friends want what’s best for us. But what’s best for them isn’t always best for us.
Have an honest talk with people. Share why you’re making the decision that you’re making. Listen to their thoughts and then, make the decision that’s right for you.

5. No One Cares More Than You

No one cares more about your life and goals than you do.

Yes, your parents care.
Yes, your friends care.
Yes, your significant other cares.
Yes, your professors care.

But, no one can, or should, care more than you.

Antonio Neves is a nationally recognized college success expert, speaker and author of 50 Things Every College Student Should Know. He is a graduate of Western Michigan University and earned a Masters degree from Columbia University.


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