Being Professional: 5 Things I Wish I Knew My Freshman Year

As my college career comes to a close, I have been reflecting on my journey, mostly  when I was a freshman. There is so much advice that would have been really helpful to know at the time and I don’t want future freshman not knowing either. So here are 5 Things I Wish I Knew My Freshman Year

Take Time to Find Yourself

How would you describe yourself? What do you like? What type of environments do you like to be in?  What types of people do you tend to surround yourself with? Knowing who you are is a significant step toward personal and professional growth. Your first year being out of high school gives you another change to define yourself and can help you focus more on what you love and which talents can be best applied to your professional career.

Be Who You Want to Be

  • Imagine that you are graduating college today. Who do you picture yourself as? What characteristics do you see in your future self? How is this person different from you today?
  • I recommend setting small obtainable daily goals to become that person who you want to be.

Focus Your Talents

  • There are many causes and innovations that need individuals. Unfortunately, we cannot solve every single problem or help innovate everything. A choice needs to be made to determine what you care about most and what you enjoy doing most. I personally recommend focusing on the 3 causes you care about most and the 5 things you love to do most.
  • For example, I care about affordable healthcare, access to healthcare, and access to education.
  • I am passionate about problem-solving, performing analytical procedures, socializing with individuals, planning, and organization.

Develop Good Habits

  • Create good study habits and take initiative where you can. Creating good study habits helps you develop discipline, planning, organization, and. Even if you enjoy a subject, the homework may demand a lot of time to understand fully. Learning good habbits now will help you later on no matter the career field you choose!

Be Involved



Passion: Do You Follow it or Lead it?


“Follow your passion.”

I’ve heard this phrase countless times, especially during my later years of high school and early college. Not sure if it’s just something people say to get you to think more about your future, or if it was a popular marketing trend at the time, but either way, I never felt secure in where my passion actually lied.

Even after arriving at college, I was even more unsure of what career path I should pursue. I had always dreamed of being a teacher. It was more than a dream really. It was my destiny. Teaching is a very noble field. But after I struggled to teach part of a P.E class, I started to second guess myself and whether or not I should become a teacher. Was it something I would actually be good at? Could I improve with practice, or was I just wasting my time?

To me, passion was never something you could “take with you” when it came to a career. To give up on your passion was to give up on your purpose. The realization of not being able to become a teacher was devastating. I invested so much into believing that this was my passion and that it had all been for nothing. I begun to think that I could never be very passionate about any other major and that my life would never be fulfilling.

While I was discouraged, I did not give up. I decided to teach swimming lessons during the summer of my freshman year. Even though I was only an aid for the teacher at first, I already knew I was horrible. I had a hard time relating to the kids and it was hard for me to help coordinate them in one place, especially if they did not want to participate! As summer progressed, I did become better at teaching but it was very difficult for me to coordinate them and keep them focused on swimming.

I thought to myself, If  I have difficulty coordinating 12 children that are participating in a physical activity, how can I effectively teach children that have to sit for long periods of time in a subject they are not to excited about?

I knew then that I had to switch my major and had to leave a career path that I felt destined to be in. I felt that I was letting society down. I then remembered how much I enjoyed working at Nextran Trucking company organizing invoices and receipts in the filing cabinet during the summer of my Junior year in high school. I always came to work excited and liked the office environment.  However, I was never passionate about business and never pursued this interest further.

By the end of the summer of my freshman year, I switched to business and I entered my sophomore year feeling unsure of what I was getting myself into. As the semester progressed, I realized that the subject material interested me and I did well in my classes. I further pursued my major in business by choosing my emphasis in accounting. However, I continued to doubt if I was doing the right thing.

By my senior year, I was feeling really discouraged because I even had an internship and still was internally questioning my decision. While I really enjoyed my experiences thus far, I never felt the overwhelming passion like I did for teaching. My spirits were lifted when I encountered a video by Mike Rowe from Dirty jobs. After watching the video, I took comfort that I had made the right decision by not letting my passion lead me. Instead, I led my passion to a place where my talents fit best and where my passion can grow.




My name is Angel Phillips. I am a first-generation college student that will be graduating with the class of 2018, receiving my degree in business administration with an accounting emphasis. During my time in college, I have learned a lot from my success and failures and would like to use this blog as an opportunity to share them with you.

In this blog, you’ll find tips and can follow me as I transition from a college student to a young professional in the healthcare industry.  For those of you who are still students, I hope that you will be inspired to maximize your time in school, and to those who are on a similar journey as me, perhaps we can learn from each other.

I plan on posting twice a week. On Monday’s I will be sharing tips on how to maximize your student and professional life, and on Friday’s I will be reflecting on past experiences and how they have helped me become more professional.

Thank you so much for your support! I can’t wait to share my experiences and what I have learned. I also look forward to hearing from you. Be sure to leave any questions or thoughts in the comment section.