Let’s talk about senior year. It means graduating from high school and then moving onto a new chapter in your life. Attending college is filled with new experiences like, living in a residence hall, meeting people from all over the world, and maybe even living in a new city for the first time. For this week’s blog post, Angie has gathered current Bradley seniors to get a glimpse into their college experience and to ask what advice they would give to high school seniors.
Angie: Hello everyone and thank you for helping us with this blog post! To begin, would you mind introducing yourself and let us know your hometown as well as your major?
Tyler M.: Hi, my name is Tyler. I’m from Johnsburg, Illinois majoring in Mechanical Engineering.
Sierra K.: Hello! I’m Sierra from Fairfax, Virginia and my major is Health Sciences with a minor in Organizational Communications.
Shane: Hi there, Shane from Minneapolis, Minnesota. My major is User Experience Design with a minor in Graphic Design.
Kaity J.: Hi everyone, my name is Kaity and I’m from Blue Springs, Missouri. I’m majoring in Advertising & Public Relations with a minor in Social Media Marketing.
Angie: Let’s jump right in with the next question. Can you tell me the one thing that surprised you the most about college in general?
Shane: That I would have more free time than I originally thought and that as long as you manage your work and time somewhat well, college is fairly easy.
Kaity: How much time you really have! In high school, you are stuck inside for 7 hours a day, but in college, you have big breaks between classes where you can meet up with friends or enjoy a walk in the quad. You have so much more time to discover your passions and find new hobbies.
Angie: We hear so often from students after their first semester or year at Bradley that they didn’t realize how much freedom they would have to really explore campus, the Peoria area, and to take up new hobbies. As we are thinking about new experiences and freedom to explore your interests, what is something that you wished you had known before starting college?
Tyler: I wish I knew how much support I was going to have from friends and professors. I thought about changing my major to something easier when it got really hard but they kept pushing me to succeed in what I really wanted.
Shane: Be open to new places, people, and experiences. You never know who or what you’ll enjoy. And remember that schoolwork is important, but don’t forget to spend time chilling with friends or spending time to yourself.
Angie: Let’s talk about the importance of making friends in college. You are in a new living situation, maybe in a new city or even new part of the country than where you grew up, and want to get to know other students. What do you recommend doing to start connecting with others and building new friendships?
Sierra: Join student organizations!! You’ll get to meet so many people with common interests.
Kaity: The biggest secret to college is that everyone wants to make friends so you just have to put yourself out there. The people on your dorm floor are your first group of friends – so leave your door open and if they have theirs open too – pop by and say hello.
Shane: Get involved as much as possible as soon as you arrive on campus. It is much easier to make friends that way if you don’t wait until later.
Angie: Getting involved is such a crucial part of college. You never know who you might meet or what you might do that can lead to friendships and opportunities that you may not have known about. Last question for you: What advice would you give to a high school senior about making the most of their time in college?
Kaity: Jump at every opportunity that comes your way! Someone on the dorm floor asks you to go to dinner at the dining hall: SAY YES! Professor offers extra credit if you go watch a guest speaker: GO SEE THEM! In college, there are so many opportunities for personal and academic development – just go after them.
Tyler: Manage your time well enough to have a lot of fun but also make school a priority. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and keep an open mind. I’d also say to enjoy it while it lasts. I’m a senior graduating in a couple of weeks and it’s so much more bittersweet than graduating high school because you really make so many memories and enjoy life so much. Don’t take it for granted.
Sierra: Put yourself out there. College is what you make of it so don’t be afraid to try new things.
Shane: Don’t stay in your dorm room! Get out and take advantage of the opportunities on campus. I also recommend bringing a foldable lawn chair with you. They’re easy to collapse and store away, are great for outdoor events like tailgates and homework on the quad, and even provide additional seating in a dorm room.
Angie: Thank you to everyone for helping out with this blog post and for passing the torch with your guidance and advice to our high school seniors. College is a big transition and at Bradley, you know that we have the resources available to support you as you take the next step toward your future.