|Freshie me and Buzz circa 2010|
1) Be social. I'm wondering how many Tech students will scoff at this piece of advice. But I'm going to give it anyway. Skip studying one night. Go out to that party, that bar, that concert. College is the easiest time in your life to be social. All of your friends are right there. They are your neighbors and your classmates and you deserve to have time to unwind and be social and live it up. You won't get many chances like that again, so don't let every moment pass you by because you are studying. BUT still make sure you study, because that's important too, which leads me to my next point...
2) Study smarter, not harder. The hours sitting in front of a book do not always directly correspond to what grades are made. Your studying style is different from everyone else's and you are going to need to figure out what your style is to really succeed in your classes. Try different things and see what works best. Use all of your resources at your disposal (professors giving access to old tests, tutors, study groups) but only use them if they are beneficial to you. For me, I started shining once I found a study group. For you... well I don't know! Go out there and find it out!
3) Your first industry job may be awful. This is mostly for seniors, but it's good to hear earlier on as well. Your first job is more than likely not going to be your dream job. The catch-22 that forms with needing experience to get a job but not being able to get experience because you can't get a job -- yea, that applies here. I'm not saying take whatever job gives you an offer first, but it's okay if you settle. It's okay if you're not exactly where you want to be when you start off your career. Just don't forget where you want to go. Once you forget where you want to be, that's when you are truly stuck.
4) You really do know best. This doesn't not mean not to take advice from anyone, this simply means that you are the one living your life. You know yourself better than anyone else can and you know what's best for you. Go ahead, ask everyone for advice. Solicit advice from mentors, parents, friends, labmates, classmates, sorority sisters, fraternity brothers, even this blog post (!), but ultimately the decision you make should be yours, and yours alone.
5) Don't sweat it. It is going to be okay. That grade, that class, that lab, that professor, that job interview -- it doesn't define you. If you get knocked down, it will be okay. Get back up, dust yourself off and keep going. All of us get knocked down. All of us had that one thing in college that felt like the end of the world. (If you were me, there were many times things felt like the end of the world.) But we all made it! You can do this. And if you ever feel otherwise, just remember that there is always help to those who seek it.