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Nadira Berman

Advice from the Class of 2014

I’m starting college next year. And, not gonna lie, I feel pretty clueless about what to expect. So I decided to write a school newspaper article interviewing some members of the College Prep class of 2014 to see if they could help me out. I thought their advice would be useful to Magoosh readers as well.

Check out their words of wisdom below!

Advice from the High School Class of 2014

At a school of 10,000 undergrads, I’m just a number to the administration, and nobody is going to go out of their way to help me unless I seek it. I guess my advice is that it’s unavoidable to feel overwhelmed, and you have to realize that you’re the only one who can take action to make your experience a positive one. Every college has incredible resources that you have to find yourself in order to take advantage of.

– Student at University of Pennsylvania

1. Develop a routine for your week. There are a lot of distractions in college so if you have a weekly routine, you are less likely to become distracted.

2. Don’t join every club/organization. When you go to the club’s fair, try to sign up for clubs that you actually see yourself being in and contributing to. It’s really easy to get overwhelmed by signing up for every club and trying to fulfill multiple clubs’ expectations/commitments.

3. Don’t forget to call home. Your parents want to know what you’re up to and I’ve found that calling home can act as a great stress reliever/reprieve from the fast-paced college life.

4. Definitely invest in a LifeProof or similar type of case for your cellphone. You may think you’re super careful with your phone (I certainly did), but college can throw some curve balls at you—especially at your electronics. I can’t tell you the number of people I know, including myself, who have cracked their phones, dropped them in snow or in the sink…

– Student at Georgetown University

[Something] that’s different [from high school] is you don’t have much accountability—especially in large lecture classes like Intro to Psych/Chem/Math etc. You can just not go to a lecture and nobody knows or cares. It’s all on you. So you have to prioritize and have good time management because no one is herding you.

– Student at Stanford University

Download Venmo and actually use your Google Calendar


– Student at Yale University

First, you need to really organize your time and figure out when you are going to do different things. In college, for every one hour of class, you have three to four hours of homework, so staying on top of your time is key. Second is to not get wound up over a bad test or quiz. Getting freaked out will do far more harm than good. Finally, I would say you should have one day a week where you don’t worry about anything and do as little homework as possible. You need time to recharge, and sometimes that means not even thinking about work. I try not to do any homework Friday nights and Saturday mornings so that I don’t burn myself out before the next week even starts.

– Student at Macalester College

Don’t fail your first midterms because half of the class usually does.

– Student at University of California, Berkeley

Trust yourself and stay focused. When you go to college, there are going to be distractions and it’s always important to remember why you’re in school. And trust yourself because you’re going to encounter some people who are not genuine, no matter where you go. Just trust your gut and remember to have hella fun because it’s only four years!

– Student at Howard University

Make mistakes for good stories. And get a puppy while you can because fish in college will likely die.

– Students at Washington University in St. Louis


About Nadira Berman

As a Summer Marketing Intern, Nadira is excited to help high schoolers prepare for the SAT and ACT. As a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, she is considering studying economics. In her free time, she reports for the school newspaper and styles photo shoots for the school's fashion magazine. Besides fashion and journalism, her passions include bagels, smoothies and Netflix.

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