Advice to new students from CSU grads

CSU grads with arms wrapped around one another

Colorado State University graduates have been there, done that. So who else would be better to give tips to students considering or starting their college journey at CSU? Read on for advice that will empower you to think big, blaze trails, and create a lifelong community.

“Be curious”

I would encourage you to be curious, both inside and outside the classroom. Check out the many things that are happening around campus every single day, and find out what you like, who you can connect with, who you can learn from. Having spent a lot of time outside of college before coming here, I can tell you that there’s nowhere else that you have access to so many opportunities, so many talks, and so many people both beginning and experts in their fields. Take advantage of that. Find out what gets you excited! — Kaydee Barker, Ecosystem Science and Sustainability

“Enjoy the times when you are laughing so hard your stomach hurts”

So many thoughts come to mind but the most important one is to learn to live in the present moment. Enjoy those times when you are laughing with your friends so hard that your stomach hurts. Or realizing that you can make the change you want in your life. Have fun, live in the present moment, and never forget that you are loved and appreciated. — Soleil Gonzalez, Psychology

“Don’t be discouraged by hard times”

My advice to incoming students is this: Try hard at everything you do, and do not let yourself become discouraged by hard times. Hard times come and go. You’re paying for these classes in some way, shape or form; get your money’s worth, invest your time, invest your efforts and you don’t need to be a bookworm in order to succeed. You’re still allowed to have fun but think things through and temper yourself. Moderation doesn’t cost you a dime. — James Dantimo, Equine Science

“Figure out who you are and what you stand for”

There’s a lot of challenges, a lot of adversity. The world is significantly more complex than it was before, but I think you can do yourself a favor by figuring out who you are and what you stand for, and in doing so, you’ll have that one constant in a chaotic world. You are that one constant point of reference as you get through life. — Ethan Petta, Business-Computer Information Systems

“Don’t be afraid to change your mind”

My advice to incoming students is to not be afraid to change your mind. We have this cultural mindset that you must have everything figured out by the time you graduate college – if not before you even begin – and that’s just not possible. No one knows what they’ll be doing at 50, even when you’re 49, so let yourself change your mind, your goals and your environment. Change over time is a fundamental element of life itself, so lean into it. — Binyamin Salzano, Dance and Zoology

“Explore new interests”

My advice to incoming CSU students is to explore new interests. For example, take a class that is outside of your current major. Challenge yourself by getting out of your comfort zone. Join different organizations and stick to those that align with your interests and values. — Yoselin Estacuy, Human Development and Family Studies

“Reach out to your professors and classmates”

Don’t ever be afraid to reach out to your professors and classmates whenever you need some advice or guidance. CSU is filled with people who want to help you not only succeed, but also fill your life with unforgettable learning experiences. Join clubs, meet and talk to new people, seek out research, teaching and volunteer positions; the world is full of opportunities that are yours to try until you find the one that is exactly right for you. — Luisanna Hernandez Jeppesen, Microbiology and Zoology

“Set clear goals”

I recommend new students take the time early on to set clear, concise educational and career goals and seek advisors and mentors to answer questions. I also recommend students start their journey with good organizational and time management tools. In my experience, getting ahead and staying ahead made for a much more manageable educational experience. — Brandon Tighe, Engineering

“Do not give up”

My advice for any incoming student is simply do not give up. Many times, in college we face obstacles that make it easier for one to want to quit. I remember my first college exam, I received a 40% in biology. It was the first time I’d ever failed an exam. I felt devastated and questioned whether college was a good idea. It took a major toll on me, but here I am now graduating. I also had to commute two-plus hours daily my second year due to financial adversity my family and I were facing. — Leo Jimenez-Rodriguez, Agricultural Business

Watch even more tips

“What I learned in college,” from recent CSU grads


Cassie Eliasson

Cassie loves helping students and families find their way to CSU. She especially loves sharing their excitement when they become Ramily.