3 Pieces of Advice for Incoming College Freshman

Emily Fasth | Myers Park DECA Alumna

I am entering my junior year at Elon University this upcoming fall, a time when internships are crucial and majors need to be decided. From my experience, being in DECA placed me with equally motivated and intellectual students. It will be a comfort to some – a burden to others –that college has been a similar environment.

When I was a senior at Myers Park High School, all I wanted to do was take on the next challenge. Now that I’m a college upperclassmen, the next step is a little more daunting: corporate America.

I entered college with gusto, but I wasn’t prepared all the lifestyle changes. The following is my advice to any incoming freshman:

1. Move in completely before you run off to orientation activities.

Take advantage of your energy while your parents are still eager to help you unpack. There is nothing worse than coming back to new room filled with boxes after a long, hot day of activities. Take a deep breath and put some grunt work into unpacking initially. What could take you two hours in the morning, can end up taking you two weeks after your parents and family leave.

2. Passive aggression is your own worst enemy.

Over the next year, you will be living in cramped quarters with your suitemates. My freshman roommate was one of the most passive aggressive people I have ever met. However, I responded to her frustration with equal force. Not only was this a horrible idea, we both forgot how to communicate as young adults. Being passive sounds like the easier way out, but finding some inner courage and confronting the problem head on leads to healthier relationships.

3. Business internships are usually reserved for students in their penultimate year of college.

Don’t expect an internship at a prestigious firm as a sophomore or freshman. This was one of the hardest lessons to learn. I had friends that applied to over 50 internships, who scored multiple interviews, and ended up with zero offers. The main point of feedback from firms: “You are too young.” My advice is to interview for an on-campus job in your major’s department or take an internship at a local company. Not only will you forge local connections, but these jobs don’t require extensive experience.

This article was written by former Myers Park DECA President, Emily Fasth. Emily is currently studying at Elon University. You can follow Myers Park DECA @decamyerspark.

Categories: College, College Career Advice