Sam Filipi '25

Are you looking for advice for your first year of college? Or if you're already a college student, what advice would you give to a first-time college student? Welcome to our "5 Things I Would Tell My First-Year Self" blog series, where current students transport themselves back in time and give advice to themselves when they were entering college


Sam Filipi '25, marketing major

Photo credit: Radames Gonzalez


I am currently a junior in Paul College. My time at UNH has been the best experience, and I am so thankful to call this place my home. I seriously can’t believe I graduate next year! Here are five things I would tell myself as a first-year student at UNH:


1. Manage your work-life balance

Going into my freshman year, I was super overwhelmed with nerves but also excitement. Knowing that all my classmates were in the same boat as me made it easier to cope with this. A few weeks into my first semester, it was hard to find a work-life balance. In high school, it was not difficult to complete tasks on time, do well on tests, etc. But, let me tell you, college is a whole different ballpark. This isn’t to scare you, but it is the truth. You are trying to mingle with your new friends and get involved while also taking five material-heavy core classes. 

It was super hard for me to focus on my classes when my friends were doing fun activities on the weekend, which made my grades suffer. During Christmas break, I really reflected. I knew I wanted to be successful with my academics, and I wanted my grades to reflect that. I started to make a schedule and a to-do list each day of assignments I needed to do by the weekend if I wanted to go to fun things. My planner truly saved me!

My group and I winning first place in the Real-World Business Challenge during UNH Marketing & Advertising Club's Summit for Marketing and Advertising Careers.

My group and I winning first place in the Real-World Business Challenge during UNH Marketing & Advertising Club's Summit for Marketing and Advertising Careers.

2. Put yourself out there!

I know you’ve probably heard this so many times, but it is seriously something that I wish I learned earlier. Freshman year, I thought you should only be focused on your classes. Classes are obviously super important, but it is also great to get involved and join clubs and groups that are out of your comfort zone. As a member of UNH's Marketing and Advertising Club (MAC), a collegiate chapter of the American Marketing Association (AMA), I am so thankful I pulled the trigger and just randomly applied my sophomore year because the club has seriously given me so many opportunities to learn more within the marketing field.

UDay photo of UNH students

Photo from UDay freshman year with my best friend and roommate Amy!

3. Stay true to yourself

This is advice that I wish someone had told me earlier in my college years. In college, you'll be around different types of people with different personalities from different areas of the country. I think it is so important to find your people and make sure those people don’t make you feel like you must change who you are!

4. Talk to your professors

Professors are not only there to teach you a lecture a couple of times a week. They are there to help you and accommodate you as their student. During my freshman year, I didn’t talk to any of my professors, even for extra help such as office hours, even though I needed to. But now, I’ve gotten so close with some of my professors. I still talk to some of them now, even if I am not in their class anymore! The faculty and staff here at UNH, especially in Paul College, are seriously the best and want to help you and see you succeed.

UNH students playing in the snow

Junior year snow party with my friends!

5. Enjoy every minute!

Such a cliché, I know! But seriously, these will probably be the only four years of your life where you have so much freedom and opportunity, so enjoy it. I wish I could go back to my freshman year self, not only to tell her these pieces of advice but to do it all over again! Because I seriously would if I could. UNH has been the best home ever, filled with so many people I love that I will hold onto forever, along with the memories.



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