Advice from a College Freshman, Part 3

* The class of 2016 already has knowledge to share with our current students. Look for wisdom from them to be featured in our Guest Blog section throughout the year. Thank you, John Michael, for sharing your story.

Hi, my name is John Michael Mason and I graduated with the Class of 2016 at Bishop Chatard. I am currently at Indiana University Bloomington with a focus on studying Sports Management and Marketing. College is something I looked forward to throughout my time in high school. The true point of senioritis came when spring finals arrived early for seniors. Checking emails often really helped with preparing for the college transition. I also recommend that during the summer before college, you should get the earliest orientation pouncatiussible so that you can get the best classes before they fill up. 8am classes have not been very easy for me to wake up for, but as a freshman, I really did not have many options.

College is really fun, but is mostly about what you make of the experience. I have been at IU Bloomington since late July for a two week freshmen intensive seminar program in order to get ahead with three credits. Some advice I have when you arrive on campus is: be careful, especially before school starts with going to parties, and manage your time properly.

I would also recommend spending a few hours each day studying to retain the information learned in class. College is not like high school. You apply what you learn to real life situations through problem solving and critical thinking. The critical thinking aspect is something to look forward to because thinking grades matter will take away the motivation to learn. I am involved with a few clubs, but do not get too involved because studying is the number 1 priority. Having a few clubs helps to keep busy. I also go to the student rec center or the HPER (gym connected to School of Public Health) at IU at least two to three times per week. I have played and coached an intramural futbol team, and I am currently on an intramural basketball team. If you go to office hours for your struggling classes every week as I have (10 times total for all of my classes), you will be more likely to succeed than those who do not go at all.

I have also done research and considered sports communications as a major or minor and considered minoring in spanish because I want to live abroad after college. If you want a job or internship, go to career fairs. I have been to five and my first semester of college has not ended yet. Build connections, make friends, and have fun because with being your own boss, there is a lot to enjoy and learn from the experience. Everyone is friendly for the most part. I even got to play in a basketball tournament in Assembly Hall. Get involved because that makes a big difference! Being on your own means managing your money including your meal plan, but its a lot better than you think. Opportunities are everywhere! You will love college wherever you go!!