“If I could give any advice to new students it would be…”

If you could give any advice to new students entering college, what would you say? It seems like such a simple question with such a simple answer. Yet, how do you put years of advice, lessons and experiences into one answer?

At Excelsior College, we believe it’s important that our students not only feel connected with their peers, but also let them know that we’re here for them as well. Our Facebook #FillInTheBlankFriday posts were created to do exactly that. We understand the challenges, time and effort it takes to finally cross the finish line and receive that diploma — while juggling other family and professional commitments. We’ve been there ourselves.

We truly value the Excelsior community, and are sincerely thankful for the great insight our alums and current students doled out on this post.

Question: If I could give any advice to new students it would be…


Shannon Callaghan Chobert – “Write out your reasons for doing this. Write down your goals. Write down that you believe in yourself. Put it on an index card and keep it with your study materials and read it every single day and when you feel discouraged. You will succeed. It works.”

Shaintell Green-Alexander – “Tell your family and friends what you’re doing and that there may be a few things that you’re going to have to say no to, but it will all be worth it when you’re done and they witness you dance across the stage at commencement.”

Patrick Jones – “First, if you encounter challenges in your classes, ask for assistance from your instructors. Their sole goal is to promote student success. Second, keep on pace with your assignments. Successive module learning outcomes build on those earlier in the course. If you fall behind, it can be very difficult to get back on track.”

Cheryl Natale Vitale – “Be organized and stay on top of all your required work. Be determined and never give up. It will all be worth it when you see your diploma!”

John Harold – “Do the work. Put in the effort. Stay focused. Don’t make excuses.”

Nichole Koren Smith – “Honestly, it’s far more work than I ever did in classroom-based classes.”

Shannon Callaghan Chobert – “I did the LPN to RN bridge. Failed first CPNE, passed on the second attempt. Worth every minute of anxiety, hard-work, patience: every penny. Loved Chambersburg twice.”

Todd Willbur – “Trust the process. Put the time in.”

Todd Ginapp – “Develop time management right away.”

Cesar Munguia – “Time management. For a while, I did three courses at a time. Time management was critical to get three papers turned in every week and maintaining my GPA.”

Doris D Preslar Leveque – “Keep moving forward. Work through any setbacks. Keep your eye on the prize.”

Adrianne Boyd – “Don’t give up! You can do it!”

Julie Kovach Nestor – “Have discipline.”

Raymond Farparan – “Shut yourself off from the rest of the world and put in hard work.”

Melanie Frees – “Don’t procrastinate. If the DB is due Thursday, turn it in a day or two earlier!”

Ron Freeman – “Save all your work; you’ll need it for your capstone.”

Rebecca Price – “Have a blast, check references and give good ones.”

Dakotah Rae – “Don’t take out student loans for your education.”

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