Entering college is an exciting time for any student, promising new experiences and challenges. You’ve probably heard that college will be the best time you’ll have and that it’s a place where you’ll learn lots and forge friendships that will last a lifetime. But what aren’t those around you revealing? These are just some of the things no one ever tells you about your freshman year.

You’ll Need to Study

No really. You might have been one of those high school students that managed to retain enough information to still pass tests, but those days are over. College introduces you to much more complex topics and densely presented information. If you don’t review the notes you’ve taken during class each day, the ideas simply won’t stick. Establish good study habits early to make sure you’re not left behind.

There Are Better Study Spots Than the Library

The library might have all the books you need, but it’s not usually the best study spot. So many students congregate here that it’s often noisy and distracting. For a really productive study session, check your books out and find a quiet spot on campus or an empty classroom. When people see you working, they’ll give you a wide berth, so you can study in peace.

You Might Feel Lonely

You’re probably approaching college anticipating big parties and late nights spent chatting to fascinating people about life, love, and the universe. You’ll probably experience all that, but during your freshman year, there’s bound to be loneliness too. It’s normal to feel like a fish out of water when you move from a familiar high school to college, where you may not know anyone at all. It’s OK to take some time and find out where you fit. You’ll get there, but don’t be surprised if you feel lonely in the meantime.

There’s More to College Social Life Than the Greeks

Pledging for a sorority or fraternity might seem like an easy way to find your people, but there are plenty of other ways to connect with like-minded souls. If Greek life doesn’t sound appealing, trust your gut and look for an activity that is. Colleges have many social organizations, including sporting groups, bands, student newspapers, activist groups, and more. Pay attention during freshman orientation and explore all your options. 

While joining groups is a wonderful way to meet people, it’s also not for everybody. Don’t be afraid to ask your lab partner to lunch, for example. A chance pairing could be the start of a great friendship.

Some People Aren’t Drinking

While boozy parties are a part of college life for some students, many people aren’t partaking. You won’t become a social pariah if you abstain from alcohol, so don’t feel pressured to knock a few shots back just to fit in. You can always find plenty of people who aren’t drinking at campus movie nights, games nights, and other events. Keep an eye on your college website and noticeboards to find alcohol-free fun. 

Being a freshman isn’t always easy, but knowing what to expect should help you confidently transition from high school senior to college student.

Have you heard of Thrivent? They bring a unique, not-for-profit approach to everything they do—putting people before profits in all aspects of their business. It’s the philosophy and the mission they’ve been guided by for over 100 years. One that’s backed by over $116 billion in managed assets of people who trust and believe in a different way of doing business, and a unique way of looking at money as a tool, not a goal. They help they’re members be wise with money, because when people are more financially secure, they’re free to live more content, confident and generous lives.

Introducing: Thrivent Student Resources



Thrivent Student Resources puts that philosophy to work in the lives of those who are on their journey to college. They provide a thriving hub of tools and resources related to helping you achieve your college dreams with as little debt as possible. They’ve spoken with experts, former/current students, teachers, administrators and parents to collect resources together that can help you make wise money decisions when it comes to your college experience.

How To Get Started

Joining their online community connects you with:

  • A dashboard with a to-do list of goals and tasks to guide you through the process
  • Our student loan crowdfunding tool called GradPath
  • Scholarship opportunities, as we add to our growing database
  • Educational resources about how to pay for college
  • Lessons on how to be wise with money during college
  • Fun and useful tools to help with your college funding needs


Let them help you on your journey to college with less debt. They have the tools and resources you need

to make informed decisions about how to prepare, plan and pay for college. Whether you’re going to a trade school, local university, vocational school or any other form of higher education, Thrivent Student Resources wants to get you to graduation with less debt.

Why Is This Important?

Student loan debt is at an all-time high. Thivenet’s  approach to educate on this matter is The New School Mindset. This means being wise with your money by only borrowing what you need. Here’s what they believe are the core values of The New School Mindset:

  • Borrow as little as possible to pay for school. Not a dollar more, not a penny less.
  • Look at education as an investment and calculate your ROI. Your loan payment should not be more than 10% of your usual income and you should be able to pay it off in 10 years or less with the right plan.
  • Have a plan of action to fund your education. They can help determine what you need and then track your progress.
  • Don’t leave free money on the table. They have the tools to help you apply for scholarships early and often. Every free dollar helps!

Your senior year of college is a time of transition as you focus on securing your degree while looking ahead to your career after graduation. Keep the following tips in mind as you prepare for this vital year of study.

Take an Internship

The period before your senior year is the perfect time to complete internships. An internship lets you put what you’ve learned in the classroom into practice and decide whether your chosen career path is really right for you. Volunteer for as many different tasks as you can to get a real sense of what you might do once you graduate. Talk to the professionals you meet about their own career paths, and learn how you might land your dream job.

While there are no guarantees, internships can lead to job offers. At worst, you’ll network with people in your field and gain on-the-job experience that should help you in your chosen career.

Clean Up Your Socials

If you’re like most college students, you probably document your life on your favorite social media pages. Take time before your final year of college to think critically about what you’re posting and clean up what’s already there. With 75 percent of hiring managers checking candidate profiles and a third rejecting applicants based on what they find, your socials could help or hinder your career transition. 

Browse through your photos and delete any from drunken nights of revelry, or at least make them private for friends only. Nix the posts complaining about boring lectures and annoying parents. Cleaning up social media also involves sending the right messages into the world. With a year up your sleeve, you can make yourself look incredibly employable. Start posting photos from volunteering jobs and sporting engagements. Write posts about the positive steps you’re making to become job-ready. Join LinkedIn if you haven’t already, as this is the No. 1 social media channel that businesses use.

Learn a New Skill

If you’ve completed lots of credits in your past years of study, you might find you have fewer academic demands as you near graduation. While it’s tempting to put your feet up, it’s smarter to use extra time to your advantage and start learning a new skill.

But what kind of course should you enroll in? Browsing through job ads for positions you’d love should provide inspiration. Perhaps employers in your industry often look for candidates who can speak Chinese or use Adobe InDesign? Take the opportunity to gain these skills through your college, a community center, or another training venue. Even if you feel like you have a particular skill, like coding HTML, studying it formally will help you prove your proficiency to potential hiring managers. Short courses could be completed before you return, while longer ones may take all year. Consider your college workload when selecting a training course to ensure you don’t spread yourself too thin.

Your senior year can seem daunting as the prospect of graduating looms large. But with the right strategies in place, you can feel confident that you’re prepared for what lies ahead.