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As I enter my last semester at the University of North Carolina, I can’t help but to reflect on my time here. College is a place where you can grow mentally, emotionally and spiritually. It is so crucial to take advantage of every opportunity while you’re in school. The University of North Carolina has so much to offer their students. So here are my five recommendations to every first year, as they embark on this unforgettable journey at one of the best universities in the world.

Study Abroad.  

If there’s one thing I wish I would’ve done while I was in college, it would be study abroad. This time period is the one time in your life where you will be able to travel the world, immerse yourself in another culture while working towards your future goal! Definitely take advantage of this opportunity.

Research your professors.

When people think of college, they typically think of meeting their friends that will last a lifetime. However, no one really thinks about their professors. Most universities across the nation, do their best to provide their students with renowned professors. Before the semester starts, research your professors! You might be surprised to learn what they’ve accomplished. They can give you expert advice, this is especially true, if this is a professor for your major.

Don’t beat yourself up:

College is a learning experience. There will be moments when you succeed and moments where things may be a little more challenging. Don’t beat yourself up if you feel like you are not “succeeding”. Learn from your mistakes and bounce back. College is supposed to challenge you. Remember that, “Persistence and resilience only come from having been the chance to work through difficult problems” –Gever Tulley.

Join as many organizations as possible.

UNC has over 800 organizations on campus. Try to be strategic about what you do. My recommendation is to join at least one organization that is related to your major and one organization for fun! It’s important to join organizations that are related to your major because it will connect with people in your field. This can open up countless doors in your future. Remember that longevity in an organization is much better than being able to list multiple organizations.

Take advantage of events.

UNC has a ton of events around campus. Take advantage of these opportunities. There are so many events that are geared towards preparing you for the “real world”. Events like etiquette dinners, college to corporate, networking events and more. Additionally, there are free workshops around campus that allow you to enhance your entrepreneurial skills, computer skills and so much more. These different events are not readily taken advantage of. It’s crucial to enhance your skills and you’ll have the opportunity to meet others with similar interests!


Sasha Perea

Communications Studies Major

Class of 2016


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