A new series we're beginning with The Jean-Pierre Ayala Scholarship blog is the Frequently Asked Questions. We invite you to submit your questions or comments to us via our contact page for any topics you would like to see covered. Today we are sharing 3 of the most frequently asked questions by college freshman.
1. What clubs or organizations should I join?
This is one of the most common questions because as a Freshman on a new college campus you'll be inundated with opportunities to join different clubs, organizations, or sports teams. While you should only entertain groups that involve topics that you're interested in and where you feel comfortable around the members. The main difference between clubs in high school versus in college is that in high school most students select which organizations to join based on what colleges find most appealing.
When you graduate college and begin applying for positions in your profession, other than fraternities and sororities, your club membership most likely won't be as important. So feel free to explore various opportunities of things you like. Just remember that the organizations you join may have subject specific scholarships available - such as chess club. Also, if you plan to apply to graduate schools, joining clubs in an area of interest related to your major will help you with knowledge, experience, and networking.
2. Is The Freshman 15 Real?
Studies have found that most college students gain weight in their first year. The Freshman 15 is the popular term used to describe the average weight gain of incoming college Freshman as it is often times around 15 pounds. While this has been found to be accurate, it doesn't have to be your reality. Our weight and overall health and well-being are directly tied to our lifestyle choices. The level of exercise and physical activity, diet choices, sleep schedule, and mental and emotion health all play vital roles in our physical composition. College campuses will have a lot of food choices, and schools in major cities like Miami, Orlando, and New York will have even more options near the campus or in downtown areas. The aromas of the Chick-fil-a waffle fries may be intoxicating and tempting, and while the convenience of fast food can seem like a God-send when your schedule is packed with studying, work, and extracurriculars, don't fall into the trap of letting its availability make it a habit. You don't have to eat perfectly healthy all of the time, but practice making healthy habits the norm, and unhealthy choices the exception instead of the other way around. Also, finding time to get at least 15 minutes of exercise in daily and maintaining a healthy sleep schedule will all work to help you fend off the dreaded Freshman 15. And if your goal is to gain weight and the Freshman 15 doesn't sound bad to you, that's great too. Just make sure that you are gaining weight in a healthy way.
3. How Do I Pick A Major?
Selecting you major will likely be the single biggest decision you'll make for many years following your choice of which school you'll attend. That being said, although you will be able to change your major later if you change your mind, depending on what point you're at in your college career, a major change may extend your time until graduation and lead you to have wasted valuable time and money on courses you wouldn't have needed for your new choice. All things considered, it's no surprise this is one of the most frequently asked questions.
Our #1 tip for picking a major is to take advantage of all of the resources available to you and to do a lot of research. Speak with an advisor or counselor. This is a resource some students overlook. Counselors will likely have personality tests to recommend to help you discover fields you may not have been aware of that cater to your interests. Once you have this list, you can then research to find the average salaries for the careers that your degree is utilized in. Additional resources you can take advantage of are college and career workshops. Not only do you gain valuable information and firsthand knowledge during these, but you're also able to network and gain additional resources and connections.
As you continue your college preparation, don't forget to submit your application for the Jean-Pierre Ayala Scholarship here.