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New CU grads flip their tassels at the end of the December 2013 commencement ceremony.
Cliff Grassmick / Colorado Daily
New CU grads flip their tassels at the end of the December 2013 commencement ceremony.

So, dear freshman, you’re making your way into your second semester of college. By now you’ve (hopefully) figured out the difference between x and y, but you’ve still got a lot to learn.

Lucky for you, many of your esteemed senior peers (and some recent alumni) have been gracious enough to offer up their words of advice. Here we go:

“Study abroad. It’s one of the only chances to experience new places and live somewhere else while getting credit for it.” — Sophia Igoe, environmental studies and e-bio

“Work to build quality, genuine friendships. You find out soon whether people will be there for you in those hard times. It’s important to be with people who see you as more than just a character at a party.” — Nate Chen, finance

“Do everything you can. Join clubs, go out, try everything you come across.” — Ty Echols, communication

“School is important, but be sure to live some of the ‘college experience.’ Balance is key. I worked really hard and felt I spent my senior year catching up on what I missed, when I was at home studying.” — Hailee Ahren, biochemistry and Spanish grad, Dec. ’13

“Don’t hesitate. There are so many opportunities in college, and if you don’t think you’re good enough or you can just do it later you just might miss out on it. So don’t hesitate — just go for it.” — Emily O’Connor, psychology and sociology

“Make sure you get involved in all that your department offers because they can land you good connections and potential jobs/internships as well as making relationships with people who think and find the same things interesting.” — Laura Harvey, anthropology

“Get involved. There are so many opportunities to get involved in many different aspects of campus and Boulder life. Getting involved will not only benefit you throughout your years at CU, but it will also benefit you as you develop your resume and begin applying for jobs.” — Samuel Lentz, sociology

“If you feel like you missed the boat on the whole student-involvement club scene, try out an alternative break. The Volunteer Resource Center runs them for every break; I went on an amazing trip to Nicaragua that was a totally different experience than anything else I have done at CU.” — Marlee Glasgow, advertising grad, Dec. ’13

“I’ve found that the best way to feel confident going into midterms is to spend time reading the course materials and doing the homework. The more you prepare, the better you will do, guaranteed. Also, learn to love strong coffee.” — Nick Herdeg, psychology and e-bio

“Don’t get a fake ID. Trust me on this one, it’s not worth the trouble.” — Katie Mikesell, history

“Join a research lab. It lets you figure out if the major is right for you and you can get the best letters of recommendation.” — Andrei Semenov, psychology and philosophy grad, Dec. ’13

“College is the rare opportunity to start over. It’s a new place, new friends, new opportunities. It is your chance to be the best version of yourself, without your previous life’s expectations holding you back. Don’t waste it.” — Jordan Mathews, international affairs

Well, there you have it. Heed the words of your fellow Buffs, and one day you will become the wisest Buff on campus with your own words of advice to share.

Jess Ryan is a community manager and CU grad. Her “Nerd Among the Herd” column appears on Wednesdays in the Colorado Daily. Follow her on Twitter:

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