Late last week, we asked those following Walrath Recruiting on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn to provide helpful advice to college students who are just beginning their post-high school academic journey this fall.  From the one thing they wish they knew about college before starting, to the importance of standing out and succeeding, our friends were quick to respond with valuable tips and info regarding the almighty important first year of college:

Don’t slack off in the first year; get your GPA up early as it tends to only get harder from there.

Plan to find a mentor that is a professor in your major.

Understand that everyone is getting internships now.

How will you set yourself apart? Ensure to get involved in on campus activities, philanthropic clubs and various internships that will diversify yourself in the extremely competitive job market.

[Companies] want to see a track record of you being competitive and successful throughout college and sometimes even before that. What types of clubs were you in? Did you play sports? How much were you involved in your community? Although these things seem like they have little to do with getting a job, they show how competitive you are, the type of person you are and also the amount of involvement you will have in their organization respectively.

Most of all, embrace it. All of it. The new opportunities. The events on campus. The free stuff. The chance to grow apart from everything you’ve ever known. The chance to be someone you have always wanted to be!

Figure out what you want to do after college (it’s okay if it changes later on) because it helps you focus, choose classes, and gives you something to look forward to after you put in all your hard work.

Have fun but take your studies very seriously.

I would advise a Freshman to get involved with something: sports, or a group offered by the college to connect with other Freshman with similar interests.

Don’t be a lump. Take an active role in your education.

Make good friends and have fun. The people you surround yourself with in college and the reputation you build will have a large influence on your career someday (and don’t forget – the internet is forever, so don’t take dumb photos that could come back and bite you later in life!!)

Keep an open mind and dare to dream. There is a good chance that what you think you want to do for a career will change several times throughout your college years, and that is ok. As a freshman, it is more important to learn: in a formal setting through your coursework, and through your experiences and your surroundings. Take it all in. The rest will eventually fall into place.

-Walrath Recruiting would like to wish the class of 2017 a fantastic fall!

-A very special thanks to all who contributed their advice!