Go Above and Beyond What is Expected of You During Your Freshman Year in College


Freshman year in college is one of the most important years during your undergraduate years. It is the year that many students decide to drop out of college. Many students decide they cannot handle college and they decide to stop going to college. It’s all the year that students’ parents may decide their child is not quite ready for college. Luckily for me, freshman year was very productive and a success because I went above and beyond what was expected of me.

The reason that freshman year was a year of focus for me was because I decided to pick a major I was passionate about. I picked photography as my major and at that time photography was life. I lived and breathed photography. I remember one of my first classes was Jack Karpen’s photography class and it was very very informative. Professor Karpen gave us lots of guidance, but also lots of freedom, which was very important.

There were many days Professor Karpen would just tell our class that we were done for the day early and that we were free to start our photography projects. Some students decided to go back to their dorms and hang out with friends. I on the other hand knew I needed to do well my freshman year so I could impress my parents and most of all feel accomplished so I spent my free time taking photographs of nature at the Rochester Institute of Technology nature trail. I also spent many many hours printing photographs in the darkroom. I had learned how to print photographs in the darkroom during high school, but I knew I could improve and I did.

Later on I decided to experiment. And I spent many hours experimenting with photography that is. I began to experiment with developing images in the darkroom. I also found out about this awesome thing called Photoshop. I learned about it in high school, but never learned how to use it so of course I needed to explore that freshman year.

I actually learned how to use Photoshop in my 2D design class and it opened doors for me. Since middle school I had been cutting out magazines and making collages out of them so when I found out I could make collages with Photoshop I was ecstatic. I spent many hours scanning in my printed photographs and creating collages out of them.

After many many hours spent in the darkroom and computer labs I went home to rest. And that’s key for freshman students. Many students decide they now live in dorms and away from their parents so they decide to hang out with their friends during all of their free time. I on the other hand knew I needed to rest so I spent many hours reading my photography books in my dorm.

Another important thing that kept me grounded during my freshman year was going to the gym. I played sports during middle school and high school so I felt I needed some sports in my life during college. I joined a volleyball intramural team and often practiced with my team and also played other teams. I also began going to the upstairs track at RIT and ran at least one mile a day. Then afterwards I would go to the weight room to lift weights.

All of these activities led to me doing very well during my freshman year and of course I got to progress to sophomore year and my parents were very proud. Again to list out what can make your freshman year successful:

  1. Pick a major you are passionate about.
  2. Focus on your major.
  3. If your major is in the art field like photography, spend time experimenting with your craft. You will learn new things and you will become more passionate about your art.
  4. Rest and read.
  5. Join a sports team.
  6. Run.
  7. Lift weights.

Oh and I forgot one of the most important things. Make sure to eat healthy. I know campus food can sometimes be unhealthy. There are lots of appetizing fried chicken and French fries, which is sometimes good to have, but as a freshman you need lots of energy and you need to add food that will fuel your energy to your diet. You have to eat your vegetables and fruits. I know Mom is not around anymore freshman year in college, but you have to force yourself to eat healthy and soon you will find it delicious and soon you will crave healthy food over fried food on your own.

Check this movie I made to along with this blog post.


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