Dear Class of 2017

Dear Class of 2017,

College sounds so exciting and even invigorating; a whole new world, you could even say.

I was a mess during most of my prior educational life. I didn’t fit the perfect cookie-cutter system. If you feel the same way, you aren’t a lost cause. In college you’ve probably heard the rules and setting are different. You are your own boss and how you use this new found potential is up to you.

My first move as a freshman was to pull myself together Edna (from the Incredibles) style. I knew that I had to get to school and be ready for whatever was thrown at me academically. So for someone who never had a “system” in school, I needed to find my system.

Organization became my new goal. What will your goal be?

I want to share tips with you from college students that hopefully will give you some things to think about before you start school!


1. Priorities.

Whether it’s doing homework or laundry, make sure you know what your priorities are.

“Trust your gut. If you have things to do like homework, it’s okay to not go out with friends. You’ve got plenty of time to live.”

– Angie, Colorado Mesa university

“Make sure you manage your time properly and don’t overload yourself with classes.”

-Lillian, Polytechnic Institute NY

“Freshman year can have a huge impact, there will be a lot of negatives and positives.”

-Mike Lipson, Providence College


2. Technology is cool and all but…

It’s proven to be a lot more efficient if you write your notes out. Science says so.

“Don’t use your laptop in class. You pay much better attention without it, even if you’re taking notes on it.”

– John, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

John also suggests

“Learn to program. Computers are the undeniable future and programming is applicable to every field.”



It’s okay to feel odd about starting something new, but just go for it. Push your boundaries.

“Keep an open mind. Change is ok. Change is growth.”

-Marcela, Penn State

“Explore campus!!! Every school definitely has awesome things hidden in it!”

-Lillian, Polytechnic Institute NY

“Get involved from day one. I go to a school with over 40,000 students, but I made it small by joining groups.”

-Jonathan, Penn State

“Be involved with the college’s group chat/facebook group/groupme if you can–it allows you to network and meet people. I did it as much as I could and I really benefited from it!”

-Tucker, Lafayette College

“Don’t try to fit in with one specific clique, everyone is just as nervous and scared as you are so be the first to introduce yourself sometimes!“

-Trinity, Colorado Mesa University

“Focus on making a good group of friends, not just on partying. College is a time to reinvent yourself. Be whoever you want to be. It’s a fresh start. Be yourself.”

-Mike Lipson, Providence College

“Make study groups and don’t be too cool for social events or games!”

-Brianna, Colorado Mesa University

“Be to be open to new relationships and don’t think about things too intensely. If you feel left out and alone do your best to keep your head up and look for new friends, even if that means getting out of your comfort zone. Also, know that it’s okay to not be happy at your school, transferring is always an option and no one will judge you for doing what makes you happy.”

– Julia, Saint Joseph University



“Never forget to call your support system at home. They are the ones that have been by your side from the beginning.”

– Angie, Colorado Mesa University

“Do not give into peer pressure. Just be yourself and the right people will befriend you. Don’t be afraid to show who you really are, because if you pretend to be someone else you’ll have friends fit for someone that’s not you! Just be yourself and everything else will fall into place. In college, the “cool kids” don’t exist the same way they do in high school, everyone is kind of different, like they’ve grown up. Nothing is like the movies guys. Don’t believe the hype.”

-Ana Ca, UNESP Brasil

“Definitely don’t hesitate to speak to people you’d never meet back home. It can change how you see the world around you.”

-Noah, Dickinson College

“Remember to give yourself a break and treat yourself sometimes. It will help you relax!”

-Sam, Colorado Mesa University

“Don’t be afraid to get help whether academically/mentally/emotionally/spiritually/psychologically. There are bound to be tons of resources designed solely to help you so feel free to utilize them.”

“It’s going to be weird being around people that are usually as smart as you but never feel discouraged. These people are so multifaceted and complex and you will be so much better off in such a stimulating environment. It’s truly quite wonderful.”

-Tucker, Lafayette College



Now don’t feel like this is set in stone. We are all different and not everyone can work with this system. It differs person to person. This is just to get you thinking! 🙂

1. Notebooks and Binders are annoyingly heavy: 

I hate carrying heavy things (and binders). Carrying a huge bag packed with multiple notebooks is a nightmare and a whole load of soreness. I came to the conclusion that tiny notebooks were a good idea and I’m in love with them.

2. Your handouts need to be in control: 

I have a simple file folder for each of my classes and I routinely clean it out so I don’t end up with a ton of trash (recycle always, please and thank you).

3. Find a planner you love and make it your bestest friend: 

If you’re someone who uses your cell phone for planning and you get along fine with it ~Keep doing what you’re doing ~. If you are like me and your memory is only slightly better than Dory’s when it comes to remembering things, you have to actually write everything down to remember anything at all. Buy a planner you love and make it your BFF. Never leave home without it and write down everything. A lot of people can’t do the whole “planner thing” and that was certainly me, but I found one that I adapted really well to.

Mariana Coelho


Mariana is a uniquely creative force. As a global citizen, she brings a fresh, multi-cultural, and empathic perspective to everything she does. Mariana likes to take photographs, do yoga, and paint. She studies Adaptive Physical Education and Health and Fitness Promotion in Colorado.

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