Students' perspectives on college and life can change a lot over four years, so we asked graduating seniors for advice that they would pass down to underclassmen. Here is what they said.
"Although you are here to go to school, college experience is much more than that. Do what truly makes you happy, pursue what you are really passionate about and allow yourself to go after what you really want to be in life. It's not going to be easy, but with God by your side, there's nothing to be afraid of." —Slovenia, Kinesiology - Health & Fitness
"Get to know your professors and your advisor. They will be your greatest asset and support. Also, be sure to thank them after you take their class. They really do care about their students, and they put a lot of thought and time into teaching you." —Alyssa, Elementary Education
"Enjoy every second you have in college it will be done before you know it. Make lots of connections because you never know where one might lead you when you finish up and look for jobs." —Adam, Kinesiology - Sports Management & Biblical Studies
"My advice would be for new grads to be in contact with a recruiting agency a few months before they graduate so that the agency can help them with their resume and prepare to be hired upon graduation. The last thing a new grad wants is to not have work lined up upon graduation."
"Spend time talking with your professors. At UNW we are so blessed to have professors who want to talk and pray with us. I have spoken with students who have gone to other universities and if you needed to talk with a professor about something, you would be directed to talk with their TA. So, students, take time and get to know your professors, even just stop in during their business hours and pick their brains or network with them!" —Ruth, History
"No matter how sure you are of your major or career goals, go see Career Development. I waited until my senior year and really regret it. They are so helpful in finding out about yourself and how to to use your gifts to the max! Along with that, be open to what God may be telling you. Listen to him and follow the path that he puts on your mind and heart."
"Go to counseling!!! The counseling services are essential during this crazy, confusing, frustrating time of life. Don't go through college without their support. It's free, darnit!"
"Don't fear what the world fears: Will I have enough money? What will people think of me? What if I make the wrong decisions, even the wrong major? -- Whatever you do, seek the Lord. Then you will be used by Him no matter what you do. There is no fear, only love."
"My advice for freshmen is to plow through college whether it is a two or four-year program. Don't take a year off because then you will be tempted to not finish your college career. I know a lot of family and friends who took a year off and then another year and another. Some finished many years later and others didn't ever finish." —John, Criminal Justice & Biblical and Theological Studies
"My best advice for living in the dorms is to first, have fun, you're in college now and on your own! Second, do your best to be responsible for your own cleaning, trust me, life will be good for you and your roommates. Third, try to hang out on campus during weekends. College is a great opportunity to discover who you are and to make friends, especially freshman year, so try to connect with people over the weekends instead of returning home." —Jonathan, Public Relations
"I would tell undergraduate students to advocate for themselves and not to let fear keep them from reaching out for help. Regarding advocating for oneself, I say this because I have a disability (which I am public about at Northwestern) and have learned that... most people at Northwestern want to be understanding and helpful if they can be.... Some people do not go to counseling or get tutoring because there is apparently a stigma attached to it.... Even letting a professor or friend know that I'm struggling has led to me being prayed for and seeing God's love through the love of someone serving God by loving me. This has taught me how to trust God more and love others better." —Rachel, Music, English Literature, Bible
"Stay on campus on the weekends, or have an adventure in the city with your friends. Don't go home all the time. And do not be afraid to cut off old ties and make completely new friends.... Make new friends; enter new social circles, volunteer for refugees. And go to counseling. They are super, super helpful. Also, find someone in your church who will host you for lunch and free laundry on Sundays. And get an internship!" —Emily
"America is big, but the world is bigger. Go explore it! I highly recommend studying abroad if you ever get the chance—it's cheaper and more fun than visiting for a few weeks. You get to shed the tourist persona, and see the intricacies and everyday life of the culture. Careful, though—you'll catch the travel bug and will want to see the rest of the world!" —Amy, English - Writing
"I have wise words that I heard from Dawnette Scott that has helped me immensely as I navigated through college and the many things I learned. She has encouraged me to stop placing new things I learn, hear, struggle with, agree with, on a scale from good to bad. You will encounter many differing opinions from your peers at UNW and instead of taking what you hear and labeling it as good or bad, just set it on your "brain table" as it is. This has helped me have open conversations with people different me and has helped me grow in my ability to understand where other people are coming from." —Christa, Biology
"Get involved in whatever you find interesting. Try something you never thought you would have wanted to do. You will only get this opportunity for a few years and before you know it the chances will be fleeting away from you. It's okay to not have it all together. College is the time of your life to figure everything out, but it's okay if you make it to the end and don't have every detail and aspect of your life figured out! It'll come! And your major, friends, dorm situations, etc. will all work itself out!" —MaKayla, Psychology