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18 Things I Learned During Freshman Year


Life flies by so quickly when you are having fun! My freshman year of college has just ended, and I want to share 18 things that I have learned throughout my journey so far. 


1. Love who you are, flaws and all. 

It might seem vague but especially in college, it is so easy to lose yourself trying to be someone else. It is okay to cancel plans to have a night to yourself — self care is the best thing. 


2. Tell your story in a transparent, authentic, and passionate way. 

As a public relations student, I was taught that my job is to tell stories. I think what will make a PR practitioner unique is to tell the authentic stories transparently, with passion. Joining PRSSA has helped me to find a way to start the “story-telling” journey. 


3. Mental & physical health are equally important 

I have gotten three emails this year about Temple students' sudden deaths. There are so many resources on and off campus to help mental/physical health.  It’s okay to have a bad day, it does not last forever, or define who you are — good will grow from the bad, in general, it’s not a bad life. 


4. Stepping out of comfort zone is never easy. 

By doing it, you will have WAY more chances. I always tell myself that opportunities will only come to the ones who are well-prepared. 


5. If you have a dream, go for it, even though people might never get it. 

Many people do not understand what public relations is, and it is important to figure out on your own what it really means to you. Stick with your dream even though people might not understand it makes you grow. 


6. NETWORK, now!

If I learned one thing from this year, it is to network. I got my first volunteer opportunity, first on campus job, and first internship, all through networking. Start using LinkedIn, and keep in touch with the people you meet. You will have a much better chance of being successful if you are a networker. 


7. Cut off the toxic relationships. 

It is very hard to move on from friendships and relationships, but some of them just have to stay in high school.


8. Stop caring what people think of you. 

Judgement is normal, but you could never find out about who someone really is unless you have a heart-to-heart communication with them. If people do not wish to do this with you, and are still judging you, it is their loss, because you are awesome!


9. You can never predict the future. 

Living in the moment is very important. Of course you can dream about the future, but you need to build up step by step. 


10. Spontaneous friends are a treasure

Make friends through clubs and organizations — you will have the same interests (and classes). Do fun things together, because we are “young, wild, and free”. 


11. ✞ = ♡


12. There are people who support you no matter what. Remind them you love them. 

Call your family, text your friends, stay in touch, be nice to them, and do not “ghost” them. You never know what will be the last  sentence you spoke to your loved ones. 


13. Age doesn’t define ability. 

I cannot stress this enough, being young does not mean we have less qualified for certain things. We can learn from all people. Age, gender, race, etc., do not matter. 


14. EVERYTHING happens for a reason —don’t give up. 

It is very common to be sad in college, maybe because of family, friends, or stressing out about school. Things happen, but good things will come from the bad. There is always a blessing in the storm. 


15. Make the most out of everything. 

I have volunteered at all kinds of events in every part of Philadelphia, New York, and DC. Take advantage of the city, explore it, there are so many exciting adventures for you to explore. 


16. Be a rose with thorns. 

My favorite flower is rose because it has its thorns. I think personality determines your true value, be who you really are, all the time. 


17. Take risks, now. 

I have applied to volunteer/internship opportunities when I am “not qualified” for it and still got called back for interviews. If you do not try, you will never know what would have happened. 


18. Eventually, you’ll like black coffee. 

Richies is still very good without the hazelnut creamer, do whatever you gotta do to keep you awake after that 8 A.M.! (Btw, don’t take them if you can find any other classes)


It is very funny to think about how I strongly disliked Temple when I first got here but now I am proud to call North Philly my home. I hope these tips and advice are helpful, please don’t call me a sophomore yet! I’m not ready!


This blog post was written by Cindy Chen, Treasurer.

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