That’s the advice of Caroline Petrone, a former four-time University of South Carolina varsity swimmer. She’s featured in a new book for college freshmen titled 101 Lessons They Never Taught You in High School about going to College by Rutgers University professor Mark Beal.
“These are lessons I followed being an athlete there,” Petrone, who graduated with a degree in public relations in 2017, said in an interview.
“If I were a freshman again, I would stay in the heart of campus as much as you can because there’s always something going on there,” Petrone said.
“All in all, I would say embrace everything,” Petrone said. “Four years goes by fast, so don’t waste your time doing things you don’t want to do.”
Beal has mentored Petrone for six years, Petrone said. She’s now one of his students, studying Global Sports Business at Rutgers, which is in her home state of New Jersey.
Of the 101 lessons in Beal’s book, he emphasized the importance of going to class, befriending professors and getting involved with intramural sports, clubs or other activities.
“Don’t wait until your junior year to join a club,” Beal said. “You are going to feel awkward as a freshman. Every single freshman feels the exact same way.”
Students on a tight budget should be on the lookout for promotions, services or coupons that could net free dinner, school supplies or other deals, Beal said.
“Take advantage of all those things … to save some money you could spend on other things,” Beal said.